One day after the Knicks extended their qualifying offer to Pablo Prigioni, making him a restricted free agent, the Argentine point guard told ESPNNewYork.com that he wants to return next season.
"I would like to go back to New York," he said. "I miss New York."
The offer is for one year guaranteed at $988,872, and Prigioni has until July 23 to accept it. If he doesn't by then, the Knicks can withdraw the offer. Chris Copeland is in the same boat, after the Knicks extended their qualifying offer to him on Tuesday.
The Knicks could split up their mini midlevel exception of $3.1 million to sign both players. However, if either demands more than that in an offer sheet, the team will have no power to re-sign him.
It's unclear at this point what other teams, besides the Knicks, are interested in Prigioni. It will likely come down to him staying with the Knicks for one more year or returning to Spain, where he lives and played for many years.
Now that Jason Kidd has retired, leaving a need for an established point guard to suit Mike Woodson's veteran roster, the Knicks will likely make a harder push for Prigioni. When he took over at starting point guard in late March, the Knicks won 13 straight games. His full-court defensive pressure set the tone for the team, and his pick-and-roll playmaking was some of the most efficient in the NBA. He also improved his 3-point shooting as the season went on.
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