The New York Knicks were hopeful to re-sign small forward Chris Copeland, the 29-year-old rookie who proved he could be a potential difference maker. Unfortunately, the Knicks lost out to the Indiana Pacers, which is a move that New York could certainly regret at the end of the 2013-14 NBA season.
The Pacers bounced the Knicks from the playoffs last season in six games. New York head coach Mike Woodson did not allow Copeland to see much action in that series, but the first year player was able to leave a good impression on Indiana for the most part when he did get to step on the court.
Copeland averaged 6.2 points, shot 48.0 percent from the field and 55.0 percent from beyond the arc in just 11.5 minutes per game during the Eastern Conference Semifinals. That includes a solid performance in Game 5 in which he recorded 13 points, four rebounds and two steals while he shot 66.7 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from 3-point range.
The journeyman, who spent several seasons overseas, was willing to return to the Knicks because they were the team that gave him his big break in the NBA.
“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 said, according to NOLA.com.
With that being said, when New York was not exactly showing the love to Copeland, other teams were able to step in and show him some appreciation.
“Seriously, Chris was close to going back to New York for whatever amount,” Spencer told Yahoo! Sports. “Having Paul George and Danny Granger, Chris can stretch the floor and create space and make them a more dangerous team. [The Pacers] think [Chris is] a missing piece to going out and winning a championship.”
The fact is the Knicks could be very disappointed if Copeland turns into a superstar, especially since they were the ones who found him.