According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, New York Knicks guard Ron Baker has picked up his player option for next season worth $4.5 million.
The most inescapable move of the New York Knicks offseason finally took place when beleaguered guard Ron Baker picked up his player option for the 2018-19 season. ESPN’s Ian Begley reported that Baker opted in for his $4.5 million on Thursday.
Knicks guard Ron Baker has picked up his player option for the 2018-19 season, per ESPN sources.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 31, 2018
The 25-year-old was rewarded with a shocking two-year, $9 million contract following a storybook season as an undrafted rookie. Steve Mills completely overreacted to 52 games–Baker’s rookie sample size–of the young spark plug from Wichita State and shelled out the big bucks.
In the blink of an eye, Baker went from fan favorite to overpaid scrub. The surprising play of veteran Jarrett Jack and rookie Frank Ntilikina limited Baker’s minutes before his season ended in early Feb. due to shoulder surgery.
He played in just 29 games this season and posted averages of 13.3 minutes, 2.4 points, 1.6 assists, and 0.9 steals to go with a slash line of .339/.333/.769. New York is stuck with Baker for another year; inevitably at the end of the bench.
Baker’s a holdover from the Phil Jackson era. He was very close to the Zen Master as well as former head coach Jeff Hornacek. He’ll have an uphill battle fitting into David Fizdale’s rotation. The New York backcourt is already crowded with young talents like Ntilikina, Trey Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Damyean Dotson.