New York Knicks superstar Kristaps Porzingis has missed the entire 2018-19 season so far and his absence will impact his contract situation.
While the New York Knicks are focusing their efforts on attracting a superstar like Kevin Durant in the offseason, Kristaps Porzingis is the team’s ace in the hole. The superstar big man has yet to play during the 2018-19 season as he recovers from knee surgery.
Porzingis is up for a qualifying offer this summer and according to Bobby Marks of ESPN, the amount Porzingis can earn from the qualifying offer will drop after he misses Friday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
Kristaps Porzingis will miss his 42nd game vs. Indiana and will now see his Qualifying Offer drop from $7.5M to $4.5M. Porzingis has a $17.1M cap hold and is eligible this summer for a five-year $158M contract with a starting salary of $27.25M.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) January 11, 2019
While it’s possible for the Knicks to lose Porzingis in free agency this summer or next, it’s highly unlikely. If Porzingis truly wants to leave New York, the best way for him to do it is by signing the qualifying offer, playing one more year with the Knicks before bolting via free agency in 2020.
Coming off of a major injury, it’s unlikely that he would take that risk when the Knicks are likely willing to offer a five-year $158 million contract — or at least something quite similar to this deal.
Additionally, any team can swoop in and offer Porzingis an offer sheet, but since KP is a restricted free agent, the Knicks can match any offer sheet Porzingis signs.
In short, no team can offer Porzingis the money and the long-term security that the Knicks can. If Porzingis chooses to play for the $4.5 million qualifying offer next season, then Knicks fans can panic. But until that happens, Knicks fans needn’t worry about Porzingis high tailing it out of New York anytime soon.