NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Damyean Dotson #21 of the New York Knicks reacts in the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden on February 24, 2019 in New York City.The New York Knicks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 130-118. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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Damyean Dotson is set to become a restricted free agent after the 2019-20 season. The New York Knicks can’t afford to let him walk.

Danny Small

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, there is going to be serious interest in Damyean Dotson during free agency, whenever that may be. The wing has spent the first three seasons of his career falling in and out of the New York Knicks rotation.

In regards to the interest in Dotson around the league, Berman writes:

“According to NBA sources, three prominent organizations — the Jazz, Bucks and Warriors — are expected to show some interest in Dotson, who made $1.6 million this season as a ‘3-and-D’ prototype.”

Dotson, 25, has career averages of 7.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game after playing two-plus seasons for the orange and blue. The streaky shooter is right around league average from three (36.1%), but he’s capable of catching fire at any moment.

Although the Houston native isn’t an elite on the other end of the floor, he’s a capable on-ball defender who has made strides with his off-ball defense throughout his career. He’s a team-first guy who is always willing to make the dirty plays when necessary.

Along with Frank Ntilikina, Dotson is the longest-tenured player on the Knicks, but that could change sooner rather than later.

What this means

It’s eye-opening that three of the best teams in the NBA are showing interest in Dotson. The Utah Jazz are a perennial playoff team, the Milwaukee Bucks are a legitimate NBA Finals contender, and even though the Golden State Warriors are the worst team in the league, they’ll be a championship threat as soon as they are back to full-strength.

The fact that three teams with championship aspirations are showing interest in Dotson tells us all we need to know about him. At this point in his career, we know he isn’t going to be an All-Star, but he can definitely be a solid contributor on a winning team.

He’s capable of knocking down open threes and plays his tail off on the defensive end. That’s exactly what teams are looking for in a second-unit wing.

Do the Knicks have any interest in retaining Dotson after this season? That’s a tough question to answer at this stage. Incoming team president Leon Rose’s plan for the Knicks is still somewhat of a mystery.

Per Spotrac, Dotson has a $2.02 million qualifying offer on the table this offseason. Teams can extend an offer sheet to the Houston native, but the Knicks will have the right to match any offer that comes his way.

As a result, the Knicks have the final say in where Dotson ends up next year. But does he have a future in New York?

In the final nine games before the NBA’s coronavirus hiatus, Dotson only played garbage-time minutes in one blowout loss. He fell out of the rotation in favor of veterans like Wayne Ellington, Maurice Harkless, and Reggie Bullock in February and March.

Perhaps this was a sign that Dotson will be playing for another team next season. However, the conspiratorial twist to this story could be that the Knicks were holding him back to try and scare off some of his potential suitors in restricted free agency. After all, if he couldn’t find his way into the Knicks’ rotation, where could he?

But again, that conspiracy is all speculative at this point. And in all likelihood, no NBA team would be fooled by a ruse like that. Dotson has played in enough games for teams to feel like they have a handle on him.

The outbreak of coronavirus has thrown the entire NBA calendar into disarray. Although we don’t know when free agency will actually start, it’s clear that the Knicks will have a tough decision when it comes to keeping Dotson.

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