The Knicks reached agreements with 2015 second-round pick Willy Hernangomez and Lithuanian forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas on Tuesday, sources say.
Hernangomez’s deal was a multiyear contract. Agent Andy Miller said last month that he intended to negotiate a multiyear deal to allow Hernangomez to develop with the Knicks. The specific length of the contract is unclear, but it is at least three years, sources confirm.
Juan is a stretch-4 prototype, while Willy, Fraschilla said, is “the opposite. He’s a big banger, backup 5, backup 4, just a banger.”
Hernangomez is close friends with Knicks forward/center Kristaps Porzingis. The two played together in the Spain for Sevilla. But it would be unfair to expect Hernangomez to play the kind of minutes that Porzingis did as a rookie.
Scouts say that Hernangomez’s game is developing, but he doesn’t have the offensive polish yet to get major minutes in the NBA.
Hernangomez, who goes by “Billy,” has strong basketball roots. His father played for Real Madrid and his mother played professionally and in the 1992 Olympics. Last week, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek described Hernangomez as a player who would fit well in the Knicks’ system.
“He’s ready to come over here,” Hornacek said. “He had a pretty good year over there in Europe. He’s a big body, skilled; he’s a low-post guy that will fit good in the system.”
Kuzminskas, 26, is a 6-foot-9 forward who played recently in Spain.
“He’s an athletic, big wing who can guard multiple positions, so that gives him a chance to play in the league,” Fraschilla said. “He’s always been a below-average outside shooter. But he’s athletic and he’s got a great motor. He’s not exactly Jonas Jerebko, but he’s in that mold. … He’s athletic, he runs, he can jump and can guard 3s and small-ball 4s. He’s got a really good motor; he’s a solid, quality guy who can fit right in and he’ll play hard every day. If he can turn into a Jerebko, this would be a steal for the Knicks. At worst, it’s a good gamble and it fills out the roster.”
The Knicks now have 11 players on the roster. They reportedly used the room exception to sign Kuzminskas.
If that’s accurate, then they likely used most of their cap space to sign Hernangomez. The Knicks can exceed the salary cap to sign guard Langston Galloway. Other than that, it appears that they have only the veteran’s exception at their disposal to sign players.
Summer Knicks: The Knicks’ summer league team in Orlando beat the Clippers 92-84. The club had scored an average of 48.5 points in its first two games – both losses.