Priggie, Priggie, Priggie can’t you see? Well apparently Pablo Prigioni saw himself in a Knicks uniform for the foreseeable future. According to multiple reports, Prigioni and the Knicks have come to terms on a three-year deal worth approximately $6 million dollars. The deal is fully guaranteed for the first two seasons, with the third year being a partial team-option. The deal can not be made official until July 10th, when the NBA ends its free agent moratorium period.
After spending the first 16 years of his professional career playing in the Euro and Spanish leagues, Prigioni was finally convinced by his Argentinian national teammate Manu Ginobili to give the NBA a try. He had been on the radar of Knicks GM Glen Grunwald for a couple of years but it wasn’t until last season that he was able to bring him to the United States. The 6’3″ point-guard would become a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden last season with his slick passing, ability to sneak into the lane and his hard-pressing defense on inbound passes. In 78 games last season (18 of them starts), Prigioni averaged a modest 3.5 points, 3 assists and just under 1 steal per game. As part of the Knicks NBA regular season record breaking long-range attack, Prigioni shot just under 40% from beyond the arc. When he became a permanent starter in March, the Knicks reeled off 13-consecutive wins, helping them reach 54 wins, their most since the 1999-2000 season (50).
Due to being an NBA rookie last season, Prigioni was not eligible to for a veteran minimum contract, meaning the Knicks had to use some of the $3.2 million of their mini-mid level exception. The first year of the deal will give Prigioni $1.5 million, meaning the Knicks still have $1.7 million left to use. They could be saving that amount to possibly re-sign restricted free-agent Chris Copeland or land another player from a group that includes Kenyon Martin, Elton Brand, Matt Barnes or Carlos Delfino. The Knicks can also use as many vet minimum contracts as they desire to fill out the rest of the roster.