Elfrid Payton
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

After signing a slew of free agents to one-plus-one deals in 2019, the New York Knicks must pick up or decline those options by Oct. 17.

The New York Knicks didn’t make any long-term commitments in 2019 free agency. Most of the team’s free-agent signings came in on one-plus-one deals with a team option. With the coronavirus pandemic dramatically shifting the NBA’s schedule, the Knicks will now have until Oct. 17 to decide the fates on these players.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes that the Knicks will have to make decisions on Reggie Bullock, Taj Gibson, Wayne Ellington, and Elfrid Payton. Bobby Portis is on a similar deal and his original guarantee date was one day after the four players Marks lists. One can only assume that the Knicks will have to make a decision on Portis by Oct. 18, but that is unconfirmed at this point.

The front office might have a plan already, but it’s possible that the 2020 NBA Draft — set for Oct. 16 — will play a role in the decision-making process. Should the Knicks whiff on LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, or another potential starting point guard, they might be more inclined to hold onto Payton.

Likewise, the head coach will likely have his say in who he wants to keep on the roster. If it’s the frontrunner Tom Thibodeau, expect Gibson to be back with the team next season. Thibs coached Gibson on the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. The two are still close and it’s almost a guarantee that Thibodeau would want Gibson’s veteran presence in the locker room.

It’s also worth noting that while Gibson has lost a step from his days with the Bulls, he’s still a productive player who can provide 15 minutes of solid production each night.

The futures of Bullock and Ellington are uncertain. Both came to the Knicks with reputations as knockdown three-point shooters, but they both struggled mightily to find a rhythm in New York. Bullock converted on just 37 of his 111 attempts while Ellington hit a pedestrian 35% from downtown.

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