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State of the Cap: New York Knicks

Mon, 05/31/2010 - 11:00am


2010/11 New York Knicks Payroll: $17.7 million
2010/11 NBA Salary Cap: $56.1 million
Roughly: $38.4 million under cap


Danilo GallinariDanilo GallinariThe Good: After many, many years of attempting to dig themselves out of the financial mess they were in, the New York Knicks have finally done it. At one time, they were hovering around the $120 million mark, nearly three times the salary cap for that season. Now, they have just $17.7 million in player salaries for next year. The Knicks are literally starting over from scratch and they chose a perfect time to do it. There is no doubt that players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and others will be making a recruiting trip to the Big Apple this summer. How many of them sign on the dotted line remains to be seen.

There won’t be many players left after the house cleaning New York has done, but Danilo Gallinari will certainly be one of them. The Italian forward thrived in his second season, scoring 15.1 points per game, grabbing 4.9 rebounds and hitting 38% of his three point shots. Gallinari has two years left on his rookie contract. A forward with his size and scoring ability is a nice asset to have when rebuilding your team.

Another quality asset, perhaps the only other asset still on the team, is forward Wilson Chandler. He showed that last season wasn’t a fluke by averaging 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds and improving his shooting to nearly 48%. Chandler can be a good role player for a cheap price. He is owed just $2.1 million next season.

The Bad: Sadly, there is still one leftover from the crazy spending days of the New York Knicks. Eddy Curry is on the books for next season at a whopping $11.2 million. That’s a heck of a lot of dough for someone who has played in 10 games the past two years combined. The bright side is that it’s the final year of his contract and the last huge mistake of the previous regime will be gone. What seemed like such a faraway dream just a few years ago is finally becoming a reality for Knicks fans everywhere.

Generally, when rebuilding and trying to save money, it is best to use your draft picks wisely. New York hasn’t had the best track record in that department lately. In 2005, they took Channing Frye ahead of Andrew Bynum and Danny Granger (although they did get their 30th pick correct when they took David Lee). 2006 brought in Renaldo Balkman at pick #20, one spot ahead of Rajon Rondo. This after giving away what ended up being the #2 pick in the draft to the Bulls for… Eddy Curry (ahem). 2007 saw New York having the 23rd pick instead of the 9th because Chicago got the ability to swap picks in the trade for… Eddy Curry (ahem). Because of that, they missed out on Joakim Noah. 2009 will be known as the year they snagged Jordan Hill instead of Brandon Jennings. Barring a trade, 2010 won’t be very memorable because Utah owns their #9 pick in the draft. At least that one isn’t Eddy Curry’s fault.

The Knicks made an extremely risky move trading away their promising 2009 top 10 pick Jordan Hill, a future first round (2012) plus the right to swap first round picks in 2011 to Houston in the Tracy McGrady deal that brought in 9 million dollars of cap space. If the team is able to land multiple top level free agents (some combination of LeBron, Wade, Bosh) it will all be worthwhile, but that proposition appears to be very iffy. The Knicks have given away far too many first round picks in recent years to fall into that trap yet again.

The Future: After Cleveland’s surprising early exit from the NBA playoffs, the possibility that reigning two-time MVP LeBron James, could actually become a Knick is very real. However, it’s far from a done deal. There will be a lot of competition out there, namely Chicago and New Jersey, who hold the promise of a somewhat better supporting cast and the ability to hand-pick a new head coach. New York shouldn’t hold their breath, and they also shouldn’t consider the off-season a failure if they don’t sign him. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are also possibilities and the Knicks can afford both with room to spare for a few other minor free agents. The question isn’t if the team will sign some big names, the question is who.

One player New York shouldn’t overlook is their own All-Star power forward, David Lee. Why the team has hesitated to resign him is beyond me. Lee has climbed the ranks to become one of the top tier power forwards in the league. He averaged 20.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, and a career-best 3.6 assists per game. If LeBron and Wade are smart, one of their stipulations for signing with New York should be that they retain Lee at all costs.

The chance that the Knicks could get multiple All-Stars to join the roster is intriguing. Even more intriguing is what they will do if they don’t sign any of their most coveted targets. Will they panic and hand out some overpriced contracts to players that aren’t worth it? Will they stay patient, make a couple low-key additions, and keep their cap space open for next summer? Anything could happen and that thought has to be both titillating and frightening for Knicks fans.

Grade: B-

kanebanger
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David Lee is a boss

David Lee is a boss

severin
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cool

gallinari, chandler, Lee, LBJ, D-Wade, Douglas, Bender, Curry. That could be the core.

kanebanger
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curry wont play hes bad lol

curry wont play hes bad lol

meisi4
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gallinari, chandler, Lee,

gallinari, chandler, Lee, LBJ, D-Wade, Douglas, Bender, Curry. That could be the core.

a pretty decent core but a small one and if it works to keep lee and sign to max guys you will still have to fill the roster...

who will start beside lee at the big postions? is douglas really a startig ponit in the nba right now?

many questions for the knicks remain i think... more questions than hope imo
unfortunatly...

lzboy
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Salary Cap

The knicks cannot afford to sign two max free agents and keep david lee because of the salary cap hold. They would have to renounce his bird rights and therefore would no longer have the money to sign him to a contract worth more than 5-6 million dollars, which is an amount he probably will not want.

NYCrealdeal
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why get bosh

why get bosh and lee together
bosh averged 24 11 2
lee averaged 20 12 4
lee had more steals better field goal percentage and free throw percentage
bosh had more rebounds and his midrange jumper not that much better than a improving jumper from lee
dont get me wrong i think bosh is the better player but by how much, and is paying bosh so much more worth it?
i think they go with lineup like this if we get either wade or lebron
douglass
gallo/wade
lebron/gallo
lee
biedres/okafor
this is asuming they trade curry for either center
have chandler bender and pickup few freeagents with the money u saved b/c we didnt get bosh

i wud rather get a pg from free agency and have douglass come of bench but idk any pgs that are free agents of the top of my head

topscout
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loyal

Ima loyal knick fan and I believe everything will turn around 4 da better this summer..I really don't like mike dantoni he dont preach defense and he always had chris duhon(worst pg n da nba) on da court but drove nate robinson, stephon marbury and larry hughes out of ny..I like david lee but I wanna c how he plays when its not a contract year 4 him and he can't guard any1

Ang Puti Lalaki
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Utah and the #9

As a Utah Jazz fan I used to pray that Isaih Thomas would not get fired, so that our pick from New York would continue to get better and better.

Ang Puti Lalaki
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math

17.7 m in contracts
12.2 m is Curry?
___

5.5 m for the rest of the team, did i read that wrong? or am i just drunk?

lex20
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DAVID LEE AND TWO MAX FREE AGENTS CANT HAPPEN

If the knicks sign 2 max free agents (lebron and bosh for example), they cannot keep David Lee. David Lee's cap hold this summer will be his salary for this season, and to sign 2 max free agents they will have to renounce his rights, therefore giving up his bird rights (which means they will not be able to go over the cap to sign him). Also, they will not have a mid level exception because that is only for teams over the cap at the beginning of the summer.

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