Knicks’ Ron Baker picks up player option for next season, sources say
Ron Baker has picked up his $4.5-million player option for next season, according to league sources.
This was the expected outcome for Baker, who appeared in only 29 games last season. He had season-ending shoulder surgery in February.
The Knicks signed Baker to a two-year, $8.9-million contract last summer. The undrafted guard out of Wichita State has averaged 3.5 points and 1.9 assists in 81 games in his two NBA seasons, but the Knicks like Baker’s toughness and defensive intensity.
Two other Knicks have decisions to make on player options. Enes Kanter has an $18.6-million option and Kyle O’Quinn has a $4.2-million option for next season. Both players have said they want to remain with the Knicks.
Oklahoma guard Trae Young is scheduled to work out for the Knicks at their practice facility before the June 21 NBA Draft, a league source confirmed. The Knicks met with Young at the pre-draft NBA Combine in Chicago and had a representative at Young’s recent pro day.
Young, who led the nation in scoring and assists, is projected to be a high lottery pick and could be taken before the Knicks select ninth. The Magic needs a point guard, owns the No. 6 pick and could take the dynamic Young, who has drawn comparisons to Warriors guard Steph Curry.
With small forward being an area of need, the Knicks are expected to draft a wing player. Villanova small forward Mikal Bridges is a possibility. But general manager Scott Perry said the Knicks are not ruling out any position because they are trying to add as much talent as possible.
The Knicks already have four point guards under contract — Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay and Baker. Perry has said he won’t select a guard unless someone shows in pre-draft workouts that he’s better than what the Knicks already have.
The Knicks are expected to begin hosting prospects and players they could take with the ninth pick beginning next week.