Just this past season, the New York Knicks got some unexpected boosts from a pair of “veteran” rookies in Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland.
The latter of the two came to the Knicks after some strong play overseas in Belgium and although it took Copeland some time to adjust to the NBA game, he came around in a big way, especially during New York’s advancement to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Now, Copeland is 29 years old and a restricted free agent, but under the new CBA guidelines, the Knicks can only match a deal worth up to $3.1 million. That opens the door for other teams who feel that he is worth more.
The New Orleans Pelicans are among them.
According to Marc Berman of the NY Post, the Pelicans are expected to make a play at Copeland, although it remains to be seen just how much they are willing to give him. New Orleans is under the cap, so they will have the flexibility, unlike the Knicks. New York has already said that they would like to keep Copeland, but their hands might be tied financially if higher offers roll in from other teams, like the Pelicans for example.
Copeland reportedly wants a contract in the four year, $16 million range, similar to what his teammate Steve Novak currently has. If that’s the case, he’s all but done in New York if another team is willing to offer that up.
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