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O'Quinn Roasts Knicks After Joining Pacers

July 09, 2018 - 4:43 pm

By WFAN.com

Kyle O'Quinn became a free agent after opting out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks, which would have paid him $4.25 million. O'Quinn opted to sign with the Indiana Pacers on a one-year, $4.5 million deal...just a $250,000 raise from what he would have made with the Knicks.

That tells you something about what he thought about the Knicks in 2018-2019. 

"I just felt like at this point, I owed it to myself to be a part of something bigger than next year's draft," O'Quinn said Monday to reporters in Indiana as he spoke for the first time since joining the Pacers. 

That's a clear shot at the Knicks as they rebuild as he believes (and many others too) that the team will be picking in the top 10 once again next summer. With Kristaps Porzingis missing potentially the entire season, he isn't exactly wrong. 

The 28-year-old power forward/center is seeking a longer-term contract next summer. O'Quinn feels the Pacers would be the much better opportunity to potentially get what he wanted, which was reportedly a multi-year deal around the $30 million range. The Pacers did win 48 games last season and made things interesting in the first round against the Cavaliers. 

"I think I owed it to myself to be part of a culture, something that was being built," O'Quinn said. "After the run (the Pacers) had last year, they're pretty established, I would say."

O'Quinn had averaged career highs in minutes (18), points (7.1), and rebounds (6.1) last season in New York.

The Knicks roster is pretty thin at both power forward and center behind Enes Kanter as they have Luke Kornet and potentially Joakim Noah. David Fizdale has said the team has discussed bringing in a veteran leader to help balance the youth on the roster. The future of Noah will be an important factor in that decision.