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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lockout Over! Loud Noises!!!!

For all you normal folks/non-shameless insomniacs (like yours truly, for whom sleep is more of a concept than a practical reality), I, in a state of  near-apopletic glee, am proud to report that the NBA lockout ended at around 3:30am, Eastern Standard Time.

Woo!

There’ll be time for coherent, thoughtful analysis in the days to come, but for now…

Welcome back, worrying about Amar’e’s back.

Welcome back, hours of speculation about trades for Chris Paul.

Welcome back, Carmelo’s evolution into a dominant, two-way player.

Welcome back, Iman Shumpert’s potential and endless jokes about how “Shumpert” sounds like a Hebraic pickled herring delicacy

Welcome back, black-free unis for the ‘Bockers (fingers crossed!).

And most importantly, welcome back, actual basketball games — as opposed to hours of rumination on the vagaries of effing labor negotiations.

Happy Thanksbasketgivingball, Knickerbloggeristas! How U?

82 comments on “Lockout Over! Loud Noises!!!!

  1. Shad0wF0x

    2 Things.

    1. What are the actual rules to the compromise?
    2. Will we get 4 games each against the Heat, Bulls and Celtics?

  2. art vandelay

    Most important features from my vantage point of new CBA (at least for Knicks):

    1) No hard salary cap (and exceptions will continue to exist)
    2) Salary cap will not fall below $58 million (the cap from last summer) during years 1 and 2 of CBA, so if they want to renounce everyone, amnesty Balkman they can just about muster enough space to sign Cp3 (particularly if he takes a little less than max).

  3. SeeWhyDee77

    Indeed last nite was truly an epic one for me. I felt my forthcoming daughter move for the 1st time inside her Mom’s womb and got the breaking news a lil later…all is ok in the world! lol..now i’m about to go play the Happy Happy Joy Joy Song

  4. Z-man

    Hallelujah!!! This could not have worked out better:
    More time for Amare, Chauncey and Melo to rehab
    Cap space still available for CP3
    Less off nights (well, that could be a negative too, I guess)

    Thanks to all who stayed active on this site and kept me reasonably sane during this grueling ordeal.

  5. Z-man

    Question marks:
    Amare’s back?
    Chauncey’s knee and age?
    Iman’s knee and shot?
    TD’s shoulder?
    Jorts’s and Jerome Jordan’s, well, everything?
    Landry’s resurrection from playoff nosedive?
    Do we go after a center on the FA market (Nene?)
    Are extra E and Bill Walker parts of the puzzle?
    Do we jettison Balk for amnesty $?
    Woodson’s effect on D?
    SSoL: will it work with this team?
    CP3 coming anytime soon?

    Other than that, I think we’re all set.

  6. art vandelay

    My guess is anyone they sign this “offseason” starting dec. 9th will be on a 1-year contract to preserve cap space for 2012….I think they are going “all in” on the Cp3 quest….can’t see them precluding the possibility of signing him in 2012 free agency by signing, say, a dalembert or the like to a multi-year contract just to shore up their frontline for this season….

    In other words, I think we can expect stop-gap measures to beef up the center position in the short-term, meaning bringing Jerome Jordan over from europe, perhaps signing an aging veteran to the vet’s minimum like Kurt Thomas.

    They may amnesty Balkman immediately to free up a bit more cap space for 2012, but I think they will hold onto it for the time being in case they need to use it down the road…in the event that they don’t wind up with Cp3, for example, and something happens, for example, to amare that effectively (god forbid) ends his career as a max player (a la brandon roy)….in that case they probably would amnesty him if necessary, since there is no expiration date on the amnesty provision, except that it must be used during the duration of this new CBA.

  7. Frank

    so we are already have 10 guys under contract
    PG: Billups, TD, Rautins
    SG: Fields, Walker
    SF: Melo, Balkman, Derrick Brown
    PF: Amare
    C: Turiaf

    + the rooks – Shumpert and Jorts. I assume Jerome Jordan is coming too. So that is already 13 roster spots.

    What do you guys think of bringing back Extra E? I can see them doing a Duhon-like thing – throwing an over-market but 1 year deal at him, then using MLE or some other exception to resign him next year after CP3 is in the fold.

  8. art vandelay

    I think Extra E will be back…he sort of hinted at it earlier in the summer in an interview….saying he can’t wait to get back after lockout to playing in NY….I think they have a wink-wink agreement already in mind that they probably sorta worked out prior to commencement of lockout….I believe his agent is happy walters, who reps stat, shumpert, etc. At any rate, I think they will do exactly what you proposed, paying him more than he is worth on an annual basis so that he takes a 1-year deal, then they re-sign him next summer to multi-year deal (assuming they are content with his performance this season) post-Cp3 signing with mid-level exception.

  9. Z-man

    Shawne Williams. I really liked his contribution last year. He had some holes in his game, maybe he worked on them this off-season.

  10. Z

    Man, I haven’t thought about this stuff in so long, I was kind of enjoying the lockout. (Who knew one could get so much work done when there’s no NBA trade machine to play with and no Knickerblogger game summaries to read…)

    So, back to the Knicks… I guess my thoughts going forward are:

    1) Do we have a GM?

    2) As CBA’s go, didn’t Dolan end up having his cake and eating it too? It seems the new CBA is going to protect bad managers from their own bad decision making, while at the same time allowing the mega rich teams to buy their way out of trouble.

    3) Is there a chance that the NBA will realize that a 66 game schedule is better than an 82 game schedule and make it permanent? (seems like it would benefit both players and owners, as owners obviously didn’t really want to play per-Christmas games and players would get paid the same amount for less work. Plus, it protects the owners investment better, as an 82 game season just fatigues the highest paid guys to the point of injury every year).

  11. art vandelay

    66 game season, while it certainly would improve the quality of play, will almost definitely not become a reality, at least not anytime soon. It would include 8 fewer home games for each franchise to sell tickets, concessions, merchandise, fewer games to telecast on national networks, etc…..annual revenues would take a hit…and if we learned anything throughout these negotiations, the owners’ (and players, for that matter) bottomlines are what matter most to them, NOT the overall health or quality of the game.

  12. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan)

    This morning:

    Wife, waking me up: “Do you want the good news, or the bad news?”

    Me: “Bad news.”

    Wife: “We have to see an earlier showing of the Muppet Movie, so you have to get up.”

    Me: “Good news?”

    Wife: “You get the Knicks on Christmas.”

    Me: <<>>

  13. ess-dog

    Ess-dog is happy.
    I just saw the max contract will be lowered to 30% of the salary cap. That’s great news on the CP3 front. Anyone hear about what the salary cap will be?

  14. Z

    ess-dog:
    I just saw the max contract will be lowered to 30% of the salary cap.That’s great news on the CP3 front.Anyone hear about what the salary cap will be?

    The max contract under the old CBA was 30% (at least for Chris Paul and other 6 year+ vets). And if Art Vandalay is right and the current cap is grandfathered in, then nothing seems to have changed on that front.

  15. danvt

    My prediction for the season is that the cap numbers make it possible that we sign CP next summer but, rather than do that, we trade Fields, Shumpert (if he plays well), and Shawne Williams to have him at the trade deadline.

  16. danvt

    I’m sorry, did that sound cynical. Old habits die hard. That above deal may actually be the right move, this year. Stat, Melo and CP3 may be enough.

    Or we may make the right decision and hang on to our prospects this year. This may have been the right thing to do last year. At least that seemed to be the consensus on this board.

    Either way, one problem with this CBA is that it’s not such a difference for the fan. You still pretty much have to give up your whole roster to get a building block type player.

  17. Z-man

    Speaking of Billups, I think that barring a trade, he’s a serious x-factor for us. If the way last year ended left a bad taste in his mouth, he might come back motivated and healthy. He’s not Paul, but was a damn effective player for most of last year. He also might be a good influence on Shump and help the rook develop more quickly.

    We shall soon see!!!

  18. ess-dog

    Z: The max contract under the old CBA was 30% (at least for Chris Paul and other 6 year+ vets). And if Art Vandalay is right and the current cap is grandfathered in, then nothing seems to have changed on that front.

    Ah that’s right. It was 35% for 10+ yr vets. So the cap is a non issue really. But I just don’t think we have the pieces to pull a midseason trade. I don’t think they’ll do anything crazy like dump Chauncey, but I don’t see us adding one cent to our 2012 salary. I wouldn’t expect any real moves.

  19. steveoh

    I actually think the biggest thing right now is that with December 9 being the start of training camp and December 25 our first game, that leaves us just 16 days to get ready.

    Which means that either Melo and Chauncey have to learn the system we’ve seen the past four years, and do it quickly, or D’Antoni’s adapted his system to match their skills, which means everyone has to start fresh, which always seems rocky.

    Learning on the fly didn’t work out very well last year. And that weird offense we ran looked nothing like what we ran before. Landry was confused and out of it. Amare and Melo couldn’t get it together. And it seemed that Chauncey and Melo just did what they knew best.

    And now throw in Woodson and the team actually being taught defense for once, well, that’s a lot to cram in, you know?

    I just fear with a tight schedule leaving us with little time to smooth things out that I’m not sure what mess we’ll be leaving camp with.

    Or maybe it’ll be beautiful.

  20. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I think an extend and trade simply has to be their move. Just have Paul tell New Orleans, “I will be signing with the Knicks this offseason if you don’t trade me to them now, so your choice is trade me now and get at least a couple of good players and a draft pick or lose me for nothing after the season.” Maybe they can try to dump a salary on the Knicks to make it feel slightly less annoying? Posey, perhaps?

  21. steveoh

    So this is awesome:

    Via Newsday:

    Training camps are scheduled to open Dec. 9 and players will not be permitted to use team facilities, such as the MSG Training Center, until the lockout is officially lifted.

    In the meantime, Amar’e Stoudemire has gotten to work on organizing a minicamp for his teammates to get together beforehand — likely at the IMG Basketball Academy in Florida — to get a jump-start on what will be a very short preseason. This minicamp could start as early as Thursday.

  22. max fisher-cohen

    Paul is such a humble guy that it’s hard for me to imagine him demanding a trade, at least not publicly, and I wonder if the NBA (i.e. the owner of the Hornets) would be willing to trade Paul, when doing so would dramatically drop the value of the franchise. I would say the one thing that might entice them is reducing salary, but they’re already well below the cap (they only have six guys under contract — Posey went to Indiana in the Collison trade), meaning due to the new minimum salary rules, they’re already going to have to add salary.

    My guess is the they’ll make a real push to improve before Paul goes on the market. Maybe try for Nene and move Okafor to PF? I can’t see Paul tanking it just to add pressure, and if the Hornets get out to a good start, I don’t see a trade happening. A lot depends on what they can do with their cap space.

  23. BigBlueAL

    “Learning on the fly didn’t work out very well last year. And that weird offense we ran looked nothing like what we ran before.”

    You mean that weird offense that scored 117 pts/g during the 7 game winning streak at the end of the season?? We have debated about this like crazy in the past but the offense was actually a bit better after the trade despite all the negativity it got from most people on this site and the rough patches the team went through after the trade (I guess the weird offense was still a very successful one). I expect it to be even better this season and easily be a Top 5 offense if not the best.

    Agreed though that the biggest thing will be the defense and whatever much needed changes they make to their defensive schemes and principles. To be honest they should probably just spend the entire training camp practicing defense and dont worry about the offense lol

  24. Z

    ess-dog: I just don’t think we have the pieces to pull a midseason trade.I don’t think they’ll do anything crazy like dump Chauncey…

    I think the only reason they picked up Billups’ option is to use him in a potential trade. His contract is worth more than his body to the Knicks this year.

    max fisher-cohen:
    Paul is such a humble guy that it’s hard for me to imagine him demanding a trade, at least not publicly…

    Paul did fire his agent and hire Leon Rose shortly after the Heat coup of 2010. So Paul may be a humble guy, but the guys controlling his fate aren’t.

  25. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I think you can be a humble guy and still make it clear that if you are not dealt this year you will be leaving for nothing the following year. Heck, you can even play that up as a nice thing for your team. “You are going to lose me for nothing if you don’t trade me. If you do trade me, you at least get some good young players out of the situation.”

    And obviously for the Knicks, while you could definitely put together a good team made up entirely of CP3, Melo, Amar’e and 12 minimum-wage guys (with some vet exceptions mixed in there), it sure would be a lot better if they could keep some of the players on the team now.

  26. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    By the way, while obviously he could not have known this at the time, it is good to know that Melo gained absolutely nothing out of forcing the Knicks to trade for him last season rather than signing him this offseason.

  27. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    A few thoughts about the deal…

    1. I really don’t think the players are being given nearly enough credit for their strategy working out about as perfectly as it could have. They essentially got the owners to make all the system changes they wanted to and all they did was lose six more games. Why is this not being made into a bigger deal? People gave them crap all lockout long for their poor strategy and their strategy totally worked out. They had almost no leverage and they used the only bit they had to get a system that was important to them. And I think it is clear that the best part of their case was that they did wait until November to break up the union. The owners knew that that gave them a much stronger case and that led to them being willing to move on issues they made it clear that they did not want to move on.

    2. While I don’t think the players are being given enough credit, I think Jeffrey Kessler is getting basically no credit, which is absurd. Even more absurd is that he is still getting blame!!! A. The successful strategy of the NBA players was Kessler’s strategy. They pulled it out by going the anti-trust route suggested to them by one of the top anti-trust lawyers in the country (Kessler)! B. Just because he was not in the physical room is a ridiculous attempt to act like Kessler was not still directing this thing. He clearly was as he was involved on the phone at all the major parts of the negotations. Heck, he even got the league to move a bit on BRI (as it is now easier for the players to get 51% – not likely, perhaps, but a lot easier). C. The NBA players ended up with a better deal than the NFL players. The NBA players kept Kessler and the NFL players got rid of him. And this is somehow a knock on Kessler? Shouldn’t that be a pro in his favor? The fact that the owners hate him is not a knock on the guy!

  28. BigBlueAL

    Brian, what do you think the age limit rule should be?? As a fan of college bball as well (though nowhere near as big a fan as I am obviously of the NBA) I wouldnt mind it being 2 or even 3 years (which is the same rule the NFL has and the MLB has for kids who attend college) but from what Ive read at least for the 2012 draft it looks like it will stay as 1 and done with the most likely scenario being the age rule pushed to 20 years old and 2 years after graduating high school.

  29. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Here’s what confuses me – why do the owners want to push the age limit further back? I get wanting to eliminate “High School to the Pros,” since they felt that teams weren’t getting the most of that first year (as high school players tended to take a bit longer to gel), but I would think one year of college ball should be enough to eliminate that learning curve, and so I would think teams would want to have more years of a player’s youth. But I guess they still think 19 is too young. I think that we’ll still see 19 stay as the age, partially because, as I said, I find it hard to believe owners care that much about it.

  30. Z-man

    The CP3 thing raises concerns for me. Unlike Melo, who whatever you think about him is clearly entering his prime 5 years, Paul has a documented degenerative condition in his knees. Combine that with the fact that the East has uber-athletic younf PGs guys like Rose and Wall. So I am much more excited at an outright FA signing than I am about a Melo-like extend and trade that costs us young players like Shump and Fields plus draft picks.

    Those concerns do not exist with Deron or Howard, but they clearly would be harder to get.

    I just don’t know whether the theory that Paul, Amare and Melo along with MLEs and minimums gets us over the top holds water. If Paul loses a half-step or worse in the next 2 years, he becomes our Brandon Roy. It might make more sense to go big (Nene?), and take the chance at finding a “steady hand” at PG. This worked for the Lakers and Dallas, and less so for the Heat who at least got to the finals. Here’s an interesting scenario: Nene + an aging Nash + (Shump +Fields + draft picks) vs. Paul + (Minimums+ MLEs) – (Shump+Fields+draft picks)

  31. Z-man

    I guess a big part of the answer is what Shumpert brings to the table. If he is Russell Westbrook 2.0, we can live with Billups, etc.

  32. Frank

    Unless I am reading the new CBA rules incorrectly, I feel like people are making too much of a deal about the continued existence of the sign or extend and trade. The Carmelo Anthony situation was such an advantage for melo because he could sign a bird rights extension and get the extra years and percentage raises over that period of time even after getting traded, but reading the new rules, it sounds like extend and trades can only be extended for two or three extra years and are only eligible for 4.5% raises over the life of the new extended contract. So I don’t see why Chris Paul wouldn’t just sign here as a regular free agent rather than force the gutting of the teams young prospects and force A mid season trade.

  33. Frank

    Also regarding Chris Paul’s knees, I am not quite so concerned about them as opposed to amare’s knees because Paul has never relied solely on his. athleticism. I can see him improving his jump shot even more than he has in the last two years and then aging as gracefully as Steve Nash. The other thing is that if he signs a 4 yeur contract and if my memory serves me correctly, he, Carmelo, and Amare will all expire right around the same time. So that would be our window for a championship.

  34. daveinmd

    I’d much rather pursue Dwight Howard. Of course, much of that depends on whether or not he is interested in coming to New York. But it is surely easier to find a competent cheaper option at PG than it is to do so at Center.

  35. art vandelay

    I think just about all of us would, all things being equal, sign howard as a free agent in 2012, but the reality is that he hasn’t expressed any interest (yet, at least) in playing for the Knicks through backchannels as Cp3 clearly has (wedding toast, various outlets have reported his desire, constantly seen attached at the hip with Melo).

    I actually hope LA pursues Howard and NOT Cp3, even though the Lakers technically have more of a need at point guard…the doomsday scenario would be one in which LA offers Gasol, Odom, draft picks and who knows what else for Cp3, and then Howard chooses to play in Brooklyn with D. Williams, who decides to stay there. Then we really would be completely out of luck!

  36. JK47

    With Dwight Howard we are an instant title contender, since he would completely solve our two biggest needs: rebounding and interior defense. With Chris Paul we are a fun team that can score a lot, but the glaring holes remain.

  37. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    just don’t know whether the theory that Paul, Amare and Melo along with MLEs and minimums gets us over the top holds water.

    Nash, Amar’e and a bunch of decent players just went to the Western Conference Finals a couple of years ago. Paul, Amar’e, Melo and decent vet minimum guys (plus whichever minimum players the Knicks could keep) could easily match that Suns team, talent-wise. That team’s next best player that year was Jason Richardson. The Knicks’ next best player would be Carmelo freakin’ Anthony!

  38. KnickFanInCelticLand

    Z,
    I don’t think you can call CP3 knees a documented degenerative condition. All I have heard about his knees was a partial meniscus tear in one knee. I have heard no mention in the media that he has one of the type of tears that likely lead to “degenerative sequellae.”
    If that is truly all that happened in the injury colliding with a cameraman, his knee function outlook is quite good. BTW, the most important factor for quickness/speed are the some of the muscles that cross the hip rather than the knee.

  39. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): Nash, Amar’e and a bunch of decent players just went to the Western Conference Finals a couple of years ago. Paul, Amar’e, Melo and decent vet minimum guys (plus whichever minimum players the Knicks could keep) could easily match that Suns team, talent-wise. That team’s next best player that year was Jason Richardson. The Knicks’ next best player would be Carmelo freakin’ Anthony!

    losing in the conference finals in what was basically a foregone conclusion is hardly “getting over the top”, and even that took some amazing play by Richardson and one of the best playoff games anyone has ever played by Goran Dragic.

    anyway, I don’t think anyone would argue that even with Paul, we’d need a competent defensive center to allow Amare/Melo to play PF/SF fulltime.

  40. Z

    KnickFanInCelticLand:
    Z,
    I don’t think you can call CP3 knees a documented degenerative condition.All I have heard about his knees was a partial meniscus tear in one knee.I have heard no mention in the media that he has one of the type of tears that likely lead to “degenerative sequellae.”
    If that is truly all that happened in the injury colliding with a cameraman, his knee function outlook is quite good.BTW, the most important factor for quickness/speed are the some of the muscles that cross the hip rather than the knee.

    First off, I didn’t say anything about Paul’s knees. That must have been Z-Man (no relation :)

    Secondly, I agree that Paul’s knees aren’t a huge concern. He played 80 games last year and was an elite producer. Even if he lost one leg and went legally blind back in 2009, I’d still give him a 4 year max contract next summer. It’s obviously not effecting his ability to produce on the court. (And, if he does turn out to be damaged goods, there’s always the forthcoming amnesty provision!)

  41. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    losing in the conference finals in what was basically a foregone conclusion

    They lost in six games and one of those losses came because of a bizarre shot by Ron Artest off of a bricked three by Kobe at the end of Game 5. How the heck was them losing a “foregone conclusion”? And, again, we’re talking the Conference FInals. That’s pretty damn good. And, again, we’re talking with a team with Jason Richardson as their third best player, not Carmelo Anthony. And that’d just be the first year – in the next few years, they’d be able to add players to the core (and that’s provided that they have to go the nuclear option of gutting the team to get Paul and not convincing New Orleans to trade Paul for Billups, Douglas, Fields and whatever else they want).

    But yes, clearly a good defensive center would be ideal to use with that lineup. But they’d be contenders without one.

  42. BigBlueAL

    I love how losing in the Conference Finals is something that is being mocked at. I miss the days when the Knicks used to lose in the Conference Finals lol

  43. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Yeah, exactly. Having a team good enough to lose in the Conference Finals is pretty darn sweet.

  44. Will the Thrill

    So… do the Knicks have a draft pick next year under the new CBA? If so, does anyone know if the draft order will change?

  45. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I wouldn’t imagine that the CBA would affect the Knicks’ draft pick situation. In any case, no, they will not have a draft pick in 2012 (unless it is a top 5 pick, in which case, well, that would be bad). They will have one in 2013, though (unless they have a top 5 pick in 2012, in which case they’ll keep the 2012 pick and lose the 2013 pick – unless that, too, is in the top 5).

    Here is the Knicks’ draft situation the next few years…

    2012: No first rounder unless it is in the top five, a second rounder unless it is #56-60, in which case it would go to Phoenix (as part of the Amar’e deal). So the odds are that they will have a second rounder. They had Golden State’s 2012 second rounder but traded it to Denver.

    2013: First rounder unless they had a top five pick in 2012, in which case Houston would get the Knicks’ 2013 first rounder (unless it, too, is a first rounder). They have their second rounder.They had Golden State’s 2013 second rounder but traded it to Denver.

    2014: Denver has their first rounder unless the Knicks lose their 2013 first rounder to Houston (unlikely). They have their own second rounder and get the Celtics’ second rounder if that pick is #56-60.

    2015: They have their first rounder unless the Knicks lose their 2013 first rounder to Houston (unlikely), in which case Denver would get this one. They have their own second rounder.

    2016: The Nuggets have the right to swap first round picks with the Knicks (I am surprised that James Dolan didn’t throw his first born child into the Melo trade, as well). The Knicks have their own second rounder.

    No deals after that (yet).

  46. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Ha!

    Okay, how about this. I will go just on a “The odds say that this will be what happens” situation.

    2012: No first rounder, their own second rounder.

    2013: Their own first and second rounder.

    2014: No first rounder, their own second rounder.

    2015: Their own first and second rounder.

    2016: Denver can swap first rounders with them, the Knicks have their own second rounder.

    2017-on: They will have to wait until this year to trade.

    Better? :)

  47. Z-man

    @48 and @50
    Sorry Z, mea culpa. That said, I had read this in the past:

    http://richiez23.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/knee-issues-could-potentially-hinder-nba-future-of-all-star-paul/

    Not definitive, but certainly a concern for a diminuitive PG. True, he has such a great all-around game that he could adapt to slowing down a tad, but I still worry about the night in-night out wear and tear playing D vs. the increasing amount of young, super-athletic PGs in the league. Again, in a straight FA signing, its a no-brainer, but to mortgage any more of the future after shooting the whole wad on Melo is certainly deserving of concern.

    Re: amnesty, we would probably have to use the Amnesty provision to have room to sign Paul, no?

    Re: Hip vs. Knee, respectfully, I’ve never heard of strong hips compensating for cartilage-less knees.

  48. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Again, in a straight FA signing, its a no-brainer, but to mortgage any more of the future after shooting the whole wad on Melo is certainly deserving of concern.

    A straight FA signing would require more of a mortgaging of the future than a trade, since a trade would be 4-5 players leaving while signing him would take pretty much the entire roster (outside of Shumpert and Jordan) because of the need to clear out cap space.

    And yes, they’d need to use the amnesty on Balkman to have even vaguely enough room to sign Paul, but they can wait until the last moment to do so, so there’s no rush to use it (as their hope would be to first convince New Orleans to trade Paul and thus hold on to the amnesty as long as they can).

  49. max fisher-cohen

    They’re more likely to stretch Balkman’s contract, I think. If they wait to do it until next summer, he’ll only cost about $300k on the cap. Hell, we might be able to pay a team $2 million next summer to just take Balkman and the $1.6 million left on his contract.

    I think they’ll hold onto the amnesty clause. It could be a really powerful trade chip since they could swap Billups out for a huge bad contract, then amnesty that contract.

    Let’s say Howard leaves Orlando. Orlando is going to amnesty Arenas, probably, but what would they give up to get out of Hedo Turkoglu’s contract?

    Joe Johnson is getting older and worse. The Hawks will probably amnesty Marvin Williams. What might Atlanta give us to take Joe Johnson in a couple years and amnesty him?

    The knicks are in a nice position because they don’t care about spending money. THey can use the amnesty clause to basically give a poorer team tens of millions of dollars.

  50. ess-dog

    Looking over some numbers, even if we end up w/ Melo, Amare, Jordan and 9 cap holds, won’t we only be able to offer CP3 about a 14 mil starting salary? That’s a lot of money to give up over the life of his next contract to play with his buds in NYC.
    A good back up plan might be Nash + Camby? Makes us pretty old but if they’re as good as last year we’d be a very good team.

  51. KnickFanInCelticLand

    Z-man: @48 and @50Re: Hip vs. Knee, respectfully, I’ve never heard of strong hips compensating for cartilage-less knees.

    Z-man,

    I never wrote that. I wrote

    KnickFanInCelticLand: Z, BTW, the most important factor for quickness/speed are the some of the muscles that cross the hip rather than the knee.

    Stated another way in simplied biomechanics, CP3 is fast because of a powerful iliopsoas lever arm that generates most of forward motion acceleration. The knee does not create any of this energy but does function to efficiently transfer energy created in the lower leg. Some of this energy can be lost if the knee is unstable (this happens if there is ligament damage in addition to the meniscus). This is also the situation that causes early joint degeneration and career shortening. However, CP3 looked quite sound this past year. If he was going to lose a step because of the injury, you would have noticed it last year.
    There are many types of knee meniscus injuries. The outcome of these injuries range from excellent to poor depending upon the type of tear and a couple of other factors. Joan Benoit this injury 3 weeks before the US Olympic trials. She went on to qualify then win the ’84 Olympic Marathon in record time. Now in her 50’s almost 3 decades later of “wear and tear,” she is setting seniors records by the boat load.
    That blogger did not examine CP3 or have his medical records. He can only speculate just as I am doing only with a year and a half more of observations. The knicks medical team surely will have this info before the team pulls the trigger on any potential deal or FA signing.

  52. max fisher-cohen

    From the Hahn article:

    Teams can use the Amnesty provision once over the life of the new CBA, but it can only be used for contracts that were signed under the old CBA by the current team.

    bummer. I guess amnestying Balkman might be the best option if you can’t pay another team to take him.

    I would make Chuck Hayes my number one target in free agency. Would he take the $5 million MLE to play for 1 year? He only made $2 million last year, and he’s proven he’s a great, though unconventional, defensive center. If Hayes says no, my picks for adding a big (of guys who might take a 1 year deal) in order of most to least desirable are Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin, Kurt Thomas, Josh McRoberts, Jared Jeffries, and Carl Landry.

  53. BigBlueAL

    BTW I brought up Grant Hill because Ive seen his name mentioned as a minimum veteran FA who would be willing to sign with a team like the Heat and Knicks.

    Remember he did entertain the idea of signing with the Knicks a couple of years ago and is said to love playing for D’Antoni. I know he is not a big man but this team could still use some nice depth at the SG/SF position.

  54. art vandelay

    According to that NBA CBA memo pdf available online of the agreed-upon framework I just read, the “stretch” provision will ONLY be applicable to NEW contracts signed under the new CBA…so they could NOT use it on balkman, unfortunately. I think amnestying him is the most likely solution to clear up the $1.6M owed him next season to create more space for Cp3, though I bet they hold onto it until right up to the moment they are prepared to sign him for insurance (i.e. what happens if amare goes down with major, god forbid, career-ending injurying this year?).

  55. art vandelay

    I would be happy with re-signing Easy E to 1-year contract, then bringing in grant hill and kurt thomas on 1-year contracts as well…saving space for cp3 in 2012 and seeing if they can nab him…I don’t think they should jeopardize not being able to have the space to sign him in a middling free agent crop this year, not to mention any chance of trading for him would be diminished if new orleans knows they don’t have the cap space to sign him next year (they would lose that leverage as a major threat to pluck him away).

  56. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Thanks for the info, av.

    And yeah, max, I am totally down with trying to blow away Chuck Hayes with a one-year deal. He would indeed be perfect.

    And Al, I would love Hill, but I’d have to think he would be able to find a job for a team closer to winning a championship in 2011-12 than the Knicks, where he would serve more as a stopgap until they figure out what is happening with the 2012 offseason.

  57. Robert Silverman Post author

    art vandelay:
    According to that NBA CBA memo pdf available online of the agreed-upon framework I just read, the “stretch” provision will ONLY be applicable to NEW contracts signed under the new CBA…so they could NOT use it on balkman, unfortunately. I think amnestying him is the most likely solution to clear up the $1.6M owed him next season to create more space for Cp3, though I bet they hold onto it until right up to the moment they are prepared to sign him for insurance (i.e. what happens if amare goes down with major, god forbid, career-ending injurying this year?).

    I think it’s the other way around — amnesty can be used at any time under the new CBA but have to be on contracts signed under the old (pre-2011) CBA.

    In other words. If the Knicks signed Sam Dalembert this off-season to a big, 4-year contract, they couldn’t amnesty him next summer or the following summer.

    It basically prevents teams from giving huge contracts to lure a player now, and then dumping it to maintain cap flexibility. It’s a way of forgiving past sins, NOT allowing future sins to take place.

    So the Knicks could amnesty Balkman now or next summer. Just to be a worst-case-scenario type of guy (and remain true to form), I say you hold on to the amnesty and dump Balkman next summer to get some cap room. Why wait? What if Amar’e blows his knees out? Wouldn’t it be worth it to suddenly only have Melo/Shump/Balk on the roster (about 23mil) and be able to go up to Paul AND Dwight Howard and say “Here’s 35 million. Split it evenly and you win a title.”?

  58. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I believe av was saying the same thing, Robert (he was pointing out that they couldn’t use the stretch waiver on Balkman, not that they couldn’t use the amnesty on him).

    By the way (and I mean this as a general thing, not in response to you specifically, Robert), if Dwight Howard had any inclination to being a Knick, sure, they obviously should go after him – dump Amar’e right away. Howard is right up there with Lebron as the best player in the world to build a team around. But I don’t think he’s shown said inclination, which is why I’m sticking with the “Big Three” that Melo, Amar’e and CP3 sure do seem to want (and this CBA gives the Knicks a chance to be able to achieve).

  59. Ben R

    I love Chris Paul and would love having him as a Knick but why can’t we just act like every other team in the NBA and try to sign players that make us better now, build our young assets and not keep swinging for the fences. We have a couple nice young guards in Douglas and Fields, a promising rookie guard in Shumpert and two of the best forwards in the NBA. Add a solid center and we have a very competitive team. How about we just try and build that team rather than tread water for another season while we chase another superstar. We’ve been chasing superstars rather than focusing on building competitive teams for 4-5 years now.

    We would be better with Paul/Amare/ Melo sure but with no homegrown talent it will not be the most rootable team and considering that our big three won’t even be the best big three in our conference and will have no supporting cast makes me question if it’s even ultimately a good move.

  60. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I love Chris Paul and would love having him as a Knick but why can’t we just act like every other team in the NBA and try to sign players that make us better now, build our young assets and not keep swinging for the fences.

    Because the Melo trade only makes sense if it was a prerequisite for Paul joining the team. And you have to admit, Ben, that the way things have shaken out, it sure seems as though that is both what the Knicks are planning to do and what Paul seems to want to do.

  61. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Here’s an interesting question – as you may or may not have noticed, the current deal kept the “no team can spend more than $3 million (or was it $4 million) total in trades all year long.” It used to be $3 million (or $4 million – I honestly forget) each trade!

    So here’s the question – what will this do to teams selling their draft picks? Will it make it no longer worthwhile to sell your picks because no one will spend the money? Or will it be a situation where the price stays the same but teams can only buy one? Or will the fact that all the teams are in the same boat lead to the price dropping on how much late first rounders will cost? After all, the monetary downside of late first rounders are only going to multiply in the future, as teams like the Lakers and Mavericks certainly won’t want to add to their luxury tax bills by giving guaranteed salaries to rookies who might not even crack their rotation, right? So might those teams still be willing to deal, just for lesser return? Might the Knicks (who likely are okay paying pretty much any luxury tax they need) be an active player on the first round purchase market (after the 2012 offseason, of course, because they won’t add salary until then)?

  62. art vandelay

    The 3-star model has clearly proven (so far, at least) to be a viable winning strategy….not that it is a necessary condition for winning (see dallas last season) but it is sufficient, definitely (miami made it to finals last season and boston won it all in ’08 and nearly won again in ’10). What reason do they have at this point to abandon the Cp3 pursuit? They cleared cap space for superstars and they already nabbed 2, even if they didn’t wind up with LBJ. Now, if they had cleared all this cap space and not been able to land stars because of the stench hanging over the franchise from the Isiah era or whatever other reason, then I would certain say, abort! However, all signs point, as brian clearly mentioned above, to a mutual marriage between knicks and cp3 being consummated….at least we know it is possible under terms of new CBA. If they couldn’t manage it under a hard cap or different new CBA, I would say let’s throw money at d’andre jordan or someon, but even by making some maneuvers to build the team this offseason, I don’t think they are a chamnpionship contender anyway.

    I am willing to sign a few cheap veterans, hope to win at least a round of the playoffs, and then go after Cp3 next summer, rather than wasting a chance for another superstar on a middling free agent, as this class is relatively weak. Remember that the ’09 class was likewise weak, and that torpedoed Detroit when they spent major money on middling talent (e.g. Ben Gordan, Charlie Villanueva)…and toronto spend a ton on Turkoglu and look how well that worked out for them.

  63. The Formerly-Congenial Cock Jowles, #1 Gentleman

    Post suggestion:

    A list of the likely candidates to be cut by each team, and the likely salary each player will receive (and from whom) once signed. All this with a prospectus of the Knicks’ possible moves (although I’d be happy if they made no moves now, cut Amar’e after the season, and picked up Paul and Howard at once; wishful thinking, I know).

  64. Ben R

    Boston went with three stars but had a great supporting cast, Miami had a better supporting cast than we will have and a better big 3. To be able to sign Paul we would have to trade Shumpert and renounce Fields and Douglas and then prey that Paul takes a paycut. So it would literally be our big three and 12 minimum contracts. It would then take a couple of years to fill in with future picks and MLE’s all the while Miami gets a more solid group around LeBron and Wade and Amare and Paul’s knees take even more pounding.

  65. art vandelay

    If Cp3 takes a little bit less than the full max….say $15 or $16 mil rather than the $17-$18M he will be eligible for, would they be able to use that mini-mid level of $2.5M/2 years to sign someone who is a step up from a vet’s min-level player? I am not to clear on how this salary cap “room” exception works.

  66. Frank O.

    “Welcome back, Iman Shumpert’s potential and endless jokes about how “Shumpert” sounds like a Hebraic pickled herring delicacy…”

    someone had to say it…? lol

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