Knicks resign promising guard Allonzo Trier, report says former Net Theo Pinson is exempt from exemptions

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Allonzo Trier was once one of the most promising young players on the New York Knicks’ list. The University of Arizona undrafted guard averaged a pretty efficient 10.9 points per game as a rookie last season, but that came under David Fizdale. Trier’s role was reduced under interim coach Mike Miller, with his 22.8 minutes per game during the 2018-19 season shrinking to 12.1 in his second season. Now, he will no longer have any role in New York, as the Knicks quit Trier to claim former Nets big man Theo Pinson of the waivers, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.

NBA rules dictate that a player is only eligible for a playoff roster if he was eliminated on or before March 1. Obviously, the coronavirus pandemic presents unique circumstances, but up to this point, nothing has suggested that the previous eligibility rules have changed. Trier would therefore be eligible to sign with a new team for the opening eight games, all 22 teams will play at Disney, but not the postseason. That could scare guaranteed playoff teams that need to use their spots on the roster of players who will be able to contribute in the postseason, but minor teams might be interested in seeing him up close before 2020 free agency.

Trier would have been a free agent this offseason, so in a sense, the Knicks, who have no games left, don’t lose much by letting him go. The only difference is that it would have been a restricted free agent, giving them the right to match any offer, while it is now slated for an unrestricted free agency. However, the Knicks have so much money to work that they probably wouldn’t need Bird Rights to bring Trier back. They could just dive into their space on the lid if they want to re-sign it.

However, the elephant in the room is the representation of Trier. He signed with Klutch Sports in February. Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose comes from CAA, where Klutch CEO Rich Paul began his basketball career. There has been a kind of rivalry between the two since then. While the Knicks would not resign a player simply based on who represents him, that underlying tension might have played a role in this decision.

Trier will land with another NBA team at some point, either at Disney or next season. He played well enough in New York to have earned a roster spot as a bench scorer. The Knicks’ loss, as is often the case, could be someone else’s gain.