This clever play on the corny saying, “Hold Your Horses” certainly carries a lot of weight and has several interpretations to New York Knicks fans worldwide.
Knicks fans need to “hold their horses” before getting worked up about losing the 7’3 superstar Kristaps Porziņģis to free agency next season.
However, they also need to hope the front office in Manhattan does everything to “hold onto their unicorn,” as he becomes a RESTRICTED free agent this summer.
The most important thing to remember before the Concrete Jungle heats up is the big distinction between an unrestricted free agent, and a restricted free agent.
The former allows teams like the Knicks to give a max offer to the player. No other team (even Brooklyn or San Antonio) can offer Porziņģis more money. Also, the Knicks will always have an opportunity to match any offer sheet Porziņģis signs, thus retaining him for another year.
Tommy Beer, from Forbes.com, writes as a SportsMoney contributor. Thus allows him to look at the Knicks conundrum from strictly a finical point of view, unimpeded by bias or future NBA Championship aspirations.
This gives me confidence when I read quotes like this in Beer’s newest article about the “Zingod:”
“the odds of KP playing for a team other than the Knicks at any point over the next four years is extremely unlikely.”
Beer qualifies this by saying Porziņģis will have to abandon a great deal of money on the table to sign elsewhere.
Read his entire article, Beer is very articulate and well–informed on the money side of this issue and it will make all Knicks fans feel reassured…at least for the time being.
As for the San Antonio Spurs’ interest in the Knicks’ injured superstar, obviously we all assume every team in the NBA has “interest” in a generational international talent of Porziņģis’ caliber. However, not all teams possess the financial flexibility to go out and literally steal Porziņģis from Pennsylvania Plaza.
That is why it is odd to have the Spurs voice their interest.
In the original Ringer.com article that broke the news about SA’s inquisition about KP, Kevin O’Conner argues the money is not currently available in Texas. The Spurs would have to move some things around to offer KP the max.
Also, the Spurs’ interest in Porziņģis came from a reliable source in O’Conner. This certainly is not a Dan Clark-like shot in the dark. However, it is nowhere near a guarantee the Spurs will make a legitimate stab at Porziņģis this off season.
All in all, there are people in high places that all but guarantee Porziņģis wears the blue and orange again in is career.
Before all this news broke, I was in favor of keeping KP sidelines the whole year. Knee injuries are a BRUTE and a year+ recovery time could be extremely beneficial. Also, KP would do nothing for the Knicks but win them a few more games and in turn alter the draft lottery odds and make it harder for the Knicks to lock in this BEHEMOTH…
However, it could be beneficial to acquiesce Porziņģis and play him in March under a strict minutes restriction. This would allow him to regain his legs and strength and help him readjust to the speed and physicality of the NBA that cannot be truly recreated in a practice facility in August.
It will also show KP that the front office is dedicated to Porziņģis and giving him what he wants. The key to keeping KP in New York is keeping him happy. It would be frustrating for Porziņģis to be benched even though he knows he is ready to go and doctors have cleared him as well.
This summer feels like a REAL turning point for this franchise. They could either sign KD and retain KP, or do neither. This would seriously alter the morale of the fanbase and their young players.
At the very least, they need to make one of the two summer moves. Failure to do either would be detrimental.
Featured Image: Heavy.com