The New York Knicks may not be able to have enough cap space to sign Kevin Durant to a max contract this summer. And it is all because of two players on its bench, Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams.
Afflalo and Williams signed two-year deals with the Knicks last offseason. However, both players have player options on the second year of their contract that will potentially affect New York’s cap space going into the 2016 free agency.
According to ESPN, the Knicks are projected to have at least $18.9 million in cap space this offseason but it’s not enough for one max contract player like Kevin Durant. If Afflalo and Williams opt out of their respective contracts, the Knicks’ cap space goes up to a total of $30.5 million.
That kind of money will be enough for the team to sign Durant as well as other key players. Still, that will only happen if both players decide that they can get more money from free agency.
The 30-year-old Afflalo is currently averaging 13.2 points per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from threes. Those averages could warrant a good contract but it may not be close to the $8 million he will get if he stays in New York.
However, there are rumors going around that the Knicks are trying to push Afflalo to opt out of his deal by benching him. Interim head coach Kurt Rambis revealed that he has talked to the player about his new role but Afflalo has refuted it.
“There’s no breakdown in communication. We never had the communication. I don’t know why he would say there was a conversation,” he said via New York Daily News.
On the other hand, Williams’ player option is worth $4.6 million. In his first season in New York, the former second overall pick is averaging just 8.9 points in 17.2 minutes per game.