The New York Knicks want to re-sign restricted free agent Chris Copeland, but they are not exactly sure if they will be able to do so. The small forward is garnering plenty of interest from other teams in which he will field several offers beginning Monday. Not to mention, the Knicks’ payroll is over the luxury tax threshold, which means they will not be able to offer Copeland what other teams can.
The 29-year-old averaged 8.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 15.4 minutes per game last season. He also managed to convert 47.9 percent of his 6.8 field goal attempts per game and 42.1 percent from 3-point range in 56 contests (13 starts). He also was a factor for New York in the postseason in which he was able to consistently knock down mid-range shots, while also shooting 47.8 percent from beyond the arc.
“New York gave him his first opportunity. He’s very loyal and he would love to go back to New York. He would like to show the level of appreciation back in Madison Square Garden like they actually showed him,” Copeland’s agent John Spencer told NOLA.com.
There are several teams reportedly interested in Copeland’s services, most notably the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans has made it very clear they intend to sign a small forward in free agency. They believe there is tremendous upside to the first-year player, and they believe he could be a huge asset for the team going forward.
“Would he have any interest in playing for the Pelicans?” Spencer told NOLA.com. “I think any basketball player in the right mind would want to play in the NBA. He’s very interested in the situation, but that being said, he’s got to listen to everybody.”
The fact that the Pelicans plan on offering Copeland a solid contract certainly does not bode well for the Knicks. With that being said, if New York can get in the same ballpark as some of the other offers, there is a good chance Copeland will re-sign with the organization.