Robinson Signing with Knicks would end Flirtation with Sessions

The NY Timesis reporting the Knicks are close to signing Nate Robinson to a one year deal for 5-6 million.  This would in turn end the flirtation with Ramon Sessions.

The Knicksand the sparkplug guard Nate Robinson are nearing an agreement on a one-year contract that will pay Robinson $5 million to $6 million, a person close to the negotiations confirmed Sunday.

Guard Nate Robinson may soon sign a one-year deal with the Knicks that will give him and the team flexibility next summer.

The deal would allow the Knicks to add Robinson, a restricted free agent, without dipping into their payroll for 2010, said the person, who requested anonymity because the negotiations were not complete.

The Knicks are attempting to maintain enough wiggle room to land one or two of the potential star free agents expected to be in the 2010 class. The Knicks would have Robinson as a usable asset; they could keep him, trade him, re-sign him or use him in a sign-and-trade next summer.

A one-year deal would allow Robinson to re-enter free agency next summer in search of a long-term contract as an unrestricted free agent. In that case, the Knicks could still offer him the largest salary because they would retain what are known as his Bird rights, which allow teams to exceed the salary cap in order to retain their own players.

The deal is expected to be finalized some time this week, according to Yahoo Sports.

Robinson recently declined a two-year, $10 million offer from the Greek club Olympiakos.

Robinson and Knicks Coach Mike D’Antonispoke last week at the team’s summer camp in Las Vegas. Robinson also met there with his teammate David Lee, also a restricted free agent who has expressed frustration that his contract negotiations have dragged on.

A sluggish economy and a restricted tag have not been a favorable combination for Robinson and Lee in their pursuit of long-term contracts. Few teams were far enough beneath the salary cap to offer multiyear contracts. Of the teams that were, most shied away from restricted free agents because their money could be tied up for a week and the contract offer could be matched by a restricted free agent’s team. (The Portland Trail Blazers’ offer to Paul Millsap was a notable exception.)

If Robinson’s deal is finalized, it will almost certainly end the Knicks’ flirtation with the point guard Ramon Sessions, a restricted free agent from the Milwaukee Bucks. And a deal with Robinson could help Lee’s cause for a long-term deal because Robinson’s contract would not tie up any salary past next season.

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