In an interview that took place today on Argentine Radio, New York Knicks rookie point guard Pablo Prigioni said that he would prefer to stay in the NBA next season, rather than returning to the Spanish league to finish out his career, as was previously reported.
Earlier in the postseason Prigioni told Marc Berman of the NY Post that his wife had a difficult time adjusting to life in New York due to the fact that she had never previously been outside of Spain and does not speak english.
Prigioni, who at times this season seemed a bit too unselfish, got more and more comfortable as the season progressed, eventually finding himself in the starting lineup for the New York Knicks. After becoming a starter Prigioni excelled, helping to lead one of the leagues best offenses to an impressive 16 game winning streak late in the regular season.
With the exception of being benched for all but 3 minutes of game 4 against Indiana, Prigioni’s excellent play continued through the postseason where he averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 assists for the Knicks, also adding some of his best moments on the defensive end where he added 1.8 steals per game.
Taking a look at Prigioni’s averages per 36 minutes is even more impressive.
Per 36 minutes Prigioni averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 2 steals, while shooting an impressive 46% from the field.
In comparison Jason Kidd’s per 36 numbers were 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.2 steals, while shooting 37% from the field.
Although Prigioni is 35 years old he certainly seems to have a bit more left in the tank than Jason Kidd, who will be 40 at the start of next season.
Prigioni will be a restricted free agent on July 1st. In order to retain his services the Knicks would need to use part of their $3.1 million mid-level exception which would allow them to match offers from other teams. If the Knicks do not chose to do so they can include Prigioni in a sign and trade which would at least bring them back a trade exception.
It is unclear what the New York Knicks will do at this point. If Jason Kidd does not choose to retire the Knicks may have no choice but to cut ties with Prigioni, who proved towards the end of this season that he belongs in the NBA.