Knicks don't match Spurs' offer to backup Butler

Updated: July 19, 2006, 10:38 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New York Knicks' insurance policy at center will be playing in San Antonio next season.

The Knicks informed Jackie Butler's agent on Wednesday of their decision not to match the Spurs' three-year, $7 million offer for the restricted free agent.

Butler, 21, averaged 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds last season. But matching the offer would have cost $4 million because of the luxury tax, and Knicks president and coach Isiah Thomas decided that was too steep a price to pay for a backup.

"I'm grateful to New York," said Keith Glass, who is Butler's agent, told Newsday. "They gave him a chance. Isiah is the one who brought him here, and Larry [Brown], obviously, is the one who developed him.

"That being said, we would not have signed with San Antonio if it was not a place we were real excited about going to. Isiah could not have been classier or more gracious. He congratulated me and Jackie for the deal, and I truly believe he's happy for Jackie."