May 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Chris Copeland (14) shoots a free throw during the second quarter of game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks Rumors: Knicks make qualifying offer to Chris Copeland

As the New York Knicks prepare for the 2013 NBA Draft, they have also begun to turn their attention to their own free agents.

First up on the agenda is Chris Copeland, even though it is almost next to impossible that they will be able to retain the 28-year old rookie’s services.

May 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Chris Copeland (14) celebrates scoring during the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers in game 5 of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffsat Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 85-75. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks have formally extended a qualifying offer to Chris Copeland, making him a restricted free agent, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com. The offer is for a one-year deal worth $988,872, the max the Knicks could offer him.

Copeland has the option to accept the qualifying offer, which given the season he had, would be foolish of him to do as he will get a lot more money testing the open market.

If Copeland does sign with another team, and early on the New Orleans Pelicans and Indiana Pacers are rumored to being prepared to offer him big money, the Knicks would have the right to match the offer.

But because the Knicks are over the tax line, they may not have the opportunity to match on Copeland gets offered a starting salary worth more than the taxpayer mid-level exception (approximately $3.18 million).

He’s likely to get a contract that starts around $5 million per season after posting Per 36 minute averages of 20.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 47.9 percent from the floor and 43.1 percent from behind the arc.

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Tags: Chris Copeland NBA Draft New York Knicks New York Knicks Rumors

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