Friday, May 10, 2013
Agent: Prigioni interested in Knicks return
By Jared Zwerling
Pablo Prigioni's agent, George Bass, told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday that the Argentine point guard "is interested in returning to the Knicks" for a second season.
"Pablo really enjoyed himself here, and he has interest in playing again next year," Bass said. "He's fallen in love with New York, there's no doubt. The Knicks are just a first-class organization, so it's been good all the way around."
When Prigioni recently was asked about his plans for 2013-14, he said his focus was "playing in the playoffs, in important games." At season's end, Prigioni likely will fly back to his home in Alicante, Spain, and weigh his decision there with his family. Before the NBA, he spent 17 years playing professionally in Spain and Argentina.
Last summer, Prigioni signed a one-year veteran's minimum deal for $473,604. This offseason, the Knicks could make him a restricted free agent by giving him a qualifying offer before June 30. That offer for next season would be for $988,872 (the second-year veteran's amount of $788,872 plus a non-Bird exception of $200,000).
While another team could present Prigioni a higher contract, the Knicks could match any offer being that he's restricted. Two league insiders believe Prigioni's max value could be around $2 million based on his success down the stretch this season and into the playoffs.
"I do believe there will be other teams that will have interest in him, but you never know how much interest," Bass said. "If somebody came along and offered him more money, then that's a whole different story."
Bass said there have been no early negotiations with the Knicks just yet, but he said, "Glen [Grunwald] is Pablo's biggest fan." Bass said he and the Knicks general manager are very close, and they even started talking about Prigioni coming to the league five years ago.
In his first NBA season, Prigioni took over at starting point guard on March 18, and since then the Knicks have posted a 21-5 record, including the postseason.
"He comes to work every day, doesn't say too much, but he works hard," Raymond Felton said on Friday. "He get his time in, he's a great teammate. He's the perfect example of a great professional, and he can really play the game, really understands the game."