Knicks parting ways with Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson, and Bobby Portis

NBA Free Agency, New York Knicks

The New York Knicks are getting rid of Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Elfrid Payton.

After the initial sting of missing out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving following their defection to the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks chose to spend that cap space on a plethora of veteran free agents, chief among them being power forward Julius Randle. The Knicks have seemingly realized what a disastrous spending spree that was, as they have decided to get rid of three signings from that summer splurge a season ago.

Shams Charania is reporting that the Knicks have declined a $15.7 million team option on Bobby Portis while also waiving a veteran power forward in Taj Gibson and a backup point guard in Elfrid Payton. New York is expected to save around $33 million with these moves.

Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Elfrid Payton didn’t help turn the Knicks around

After an up-and-down stint with the Chicago Bulls highlighted by him punching Nikola Mirotic in the face, Portis ended up in New York. He didn’t live up t billing, as he started just five games and averaged 10.1 points per game. 

Gibson, who just recently turned 35, started 56 games for the Knicks last year, but his 6.1 points per game ended up as the worst mark of his career. He’s a solid rotational big, but he has no business making the amount of money he’s making at this stage in his long career. Payton averaged 10.0 points and 7.2 assists per game, but Tom Thibodeau appears set on trying to make either Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr. work for him.

The Knicks are moving forward with a young core of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and 2020 first-rounder Obi Toppin. Leon Rose seems determined to wipe away all remnants of the old regime in New York, and undoing their 2019 spending spree is a good way to start.

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