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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

NYTimes: Knicks May Delay Their Spending Until the Summer

My contribution for the NYTimes “Off the Dribble” Blog, on the new CBA & the Knicks options for this abbreviated off-season.

99 comments on “NYTimes: Knicks May Delay Their Spending Until the Summer

  1. Thomas B.

    It’s too bad the free agency period could not start on 11/25. Maybe Tyson Chandler would have held a Black Friday deal. But if David Stern announced it, boy would Bryant Gumble have been upset.

  2. dgvertz

    What about picking up Kurt Thomas for one year? On offense, he’ll stay out of the paint so Anthony and Stoudemire can attack the basket (after first considering taking a bad 18-footer), and on defense he’ll be an asset. Why not, right?

  3. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I love Thomas, but I think he’s too old to be useful as anything more than an emergency player and a tutor to younger players (a role he played perfectly in Chicago).

  4. jon abbey

    Thomas B.:
    It’s too bad the free agency period could not start on 11/25. Maybe Tyson Chandler would have held a Black Friday deal. But if David Stern announced it, boy would Bryant Gumble have been upset.

    wow, Thomas B made me laugh, we really have been away a while. :)

    as for hoops, I’m still having trouble caring. maybe that will change by Christmas, we’ll see.

  5. Z

    Nice Mike!

    Quick question– Hahn wrote that the amnesty provision can only be used on contracts signed under the previous CBA by the current team. Doesn’t this preclude Balkman, since his contract was signed by Denver and only acquired by the Knicks?

  6. ess-dog

    Z:
    Nice Mike!

    Quick question– Hahn wrote that the amnesty provision can only be used on contracts signed under the previous CBA by the current team. Doesn’t this preclude Balkman, since his contract was signed by Denver and only acquired by the Knicks?

    I think the contract just needs to be signed before the provision regardless of the current team, keeping teams from making a large signing now and then using the amnesty on that signing 5 months from now, which makes sense.
    Orlando gets a do-over with Arenas. That will be huge for them.

  7. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Yeah, Hahn just made a slight mistake by saying “by the current team.” The memo sent to the players just said “Each team permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes.” So no mention of the contract having to be by the current team. If that were the case, then Arenas and Lewis would not be eligible and they’re obviously both eligible.

  8. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    An interesting aspect of the amnesty rule is that the cut players can’t just say, “Okay, I’m joining the Heat for the minimum.” Their contract first has to be auctioned off, with non-capped out teams being able to determine how much money that they’d spend on the player. Whoever bids the most gets the player’s contract (with the old team paying the difference in salary). Obviously some players will pass through this completely, but I dunno, I could see someone putting in a bid on a Brandon Roy or a Rashard Lewis.

  9. BIG STAT

    This team needs CP3 and a coach who won’t run the big guns into the ground…Maybe if N.O. goes into full rebuilding mode they send Okafor over with him too? I think he’s got 3 yrs left on his deal and wouldn’t make sense with a rebuild. Knicks would obviously have to give up most everything of value to get those two but then you got 4 starters and you fill the roster out with cheap guys who can shoot the rock from outside and/or hurt people.

  10. ess-dog

    NY Times?? It’s getting fancy around here.

    Guesses on the opening day lineup? Right now I’d bet on:

    Billups
    Fields
    Melo
    Stat
    Turiaf

    Of course no one’s greatly enthused by Turiaf, but maybe he can at least have a healthy, solid year?
    Hopefully Fields can work on his D and Toney can back up both positions with great D, shooting and solid pg skills.
    I think they bring Shumpert along slowly. He’ll get some minutes, especially if Fields falters on defense.
    Easy E and Derrick Brown will back up Melo and Stat and I think Jorts and Jordan will battle for back up center minutes. My money’s on Jorts getting the minutes.
    Rautins will continue to do his thing.
    And we clearly need a large body to add minutes at center between Turiaf and the rookies. I think any big worth a damn will get a two year contract. Kwame Brown or Jason Collins are possibilities.

  11. Matt Smith

    People have been saying we should use our amnesty on Balkman. I’m just wondering though, how do these work?

    My friend says we get one for the entire CBA, and if that’s true we should save it if Amare gets critically injured. Say it happens this year, use it on him and have room for two stars? Just a thought.

  12. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I believe their plan, Matt, is to save it for as long as they can and only use it on Balkman if they absolutely need to clear space to sign CP3. Otherwise, hold on to it for that very reason.

  13. stratomatic

    I hate to be so negative at a time when we are all so happy the season has been saved, but I don’t see the Knicks doing much this FA period and I think the CP3 speculation may be more media hype than reality.

    The Knicks have 41m committed to the 2012/2013 season. Over 39m of that is Amare and Melo alone (assuming they amnesty Balkman to make extra space). They can’t fit a 3rd max player and a full roster under the cap (estimate 61m), let alone a roster with several legitimate role players and a deep enough bench to seriously contend. They might be able to pull off an extend and trade and stay over the cap, but that assumes the Knicks have enough assets to get NO to pull the trigger when there are likely to be other contenders (that CP3 might find attractive) willing and able offer WAY more than the Knicks.

  14. New Guy

    I personally don’t think Balkman is completely untradeable, so I’m not sure why amnesty on him is even being discussed.

    A trade that would work, for example:

    Balkman (2 years at 1.6 mil/year) for Najera (1 year at 2.6 mil), with the Knicks throwing in $3 million* ($1 mil for the salary difference, and $2 mil to make it worth their while and for Jordan to spend gambling on golf).

    *And yes, I’m aware that the new CBA limits teams to only being able to include $3 mil per year on trades. I’d rather use that here than give up amnesty

  15. stratomatic

    Continued…

    That was the crux of the dispute about the Melo deal (and I have no problem with Melo as a player).

    The Melo deal made the Knicks a 45-50 win team, but it choked off a lot of the flexibility to become a legitimate contender to win it all and didn’t fill the most pressing need of a defensive presence in the middle and strong rebounding.

    The Knicks are poorly constructed right now. They have two #1 scoring options and a PG whose best quality is efficient scoring (some diminshing returns almost certain), no legit big man, no defense, not enough play making, much less upside from youth, few draft picks etc…

    As much as I want to believe otherwise, the Knicks may be in the second worst position a team can be in.

    1. They are not good enough to become serious contenders as currently constructed.

    2. They are too good to get great draft picks and rebuild quality depth via the draft (even if they hadn’t traded them all away).

    3. They don’t have a lot of young players with upside (traded most of them away).

    4. They don’t have enough space or assets to get everything they need.

    I think the downsides of the Melo deal are going to become more apparent as time passes. Former Knicks are going to develop and become more productive, the draft picks given away are going to turn into good players, and the Knicks are going to become a slightly different version of the Atlana Hawks instead of being loaded with trade chips, space, and upside to build a well balanced team that could win (like Dallas).

    IMO we have to get lucky and hope Shumpert can become the PG of the future. Then we can use the Billups contract and mid level exceptions to fill the gap in the middle and elsewhere. But as of now, I think Knicks fans (and especially the NY media) are WAY too optimistic about where this team is in terms of players, team construction, and flexibility.

  16. New Guy

    I wonder, by the way, who fought the hardest for that $3 million annual cap on cash thrown in to trades:

    - the small market owners because it’s a competitive disadvantage for them, or

    - the large market owners, who are tired of being forced to pay it

  17. stratomatic

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    I believe their plan, Matt, is to save it for as long as they can and only use it on Balkman if they absolutely need to clear space to sign CP3. Otherwise, hold on to it for that very reason.

    I agree. The amnesty should be saved as an insurance policy on Amare’s knees, eyes, and back. If a couple of million winds up being critical to bringing in a top player, only then it should be used on Balkman.

  18. stratomatic

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    I love Thomas, but I think he’s too old to be useful as anything more than an emergency player and a tutor to younger players (a role he played perfectly in Chicago).

    I absolutely love Thomas, but he played a critical role for the Bulls last year while Noah was out. The Bulls want him back and they are way closer to a championship than the Knicks. IMO he’s not going anywhere. Besides, even though he’s good and productive. he’s not what the Knicks need in the middle.

  19. New Guy

    New Guy:
    I personally don’t think Balkman is completely untradeable, so I’m not sure why amnesty on him is even being discussed.

    A trade that would work, for example:

    Balkman (2 years at 1.6 mil/year) for Najera (1 year at 2.6 mil), with the Knicks throwing in $3 million* ($1 mil for the salary difference, and $2 mil to make it worth their while and for Jordan to spend gambling on golf).

    *And yes, I’m aware that the new CBA limits teams to only being able to include $3 mil per year on trades.I’d rather use that here than give up amnesty

    Correcting my own bad math, there is only a $600k difference in total salary paid, making it even more realistic. Knicks might not have to use the whole $3 mil.

  20. KnickFanYadaYada

    Okay so I know Amare would be upset, but what do you guys think of trading Amare and Billups to the Magic for Howard and Gilbert. Then extend Howard, amnesty Gilbert, and sign CP3 or Williams next summer. The Knicks do it because Howard is better than Amare and the Magic do it because they will lose Howard anyway and this gets a big contact off their books and they have Amare for several years.

  21. Hector Lemuel

    What about signing Reggie Evans?…. He is a great rebounder & defensive specialist… I know he cant score much but the reality of the fact is that scoring is not our weakness… And what about Samuel Dalembert or Jeff Foster or even Joel Przybilla… These are all defensive big man that we wont have to pay alot of money & could make our defensive weakness, our strongpoint.. Also DeShawn Stevenson is available and maybe a Shane Battier.. all defensive free agents that could boost up our defense… I dont think Kurt Thomas would be a bad idea either but not to play alot of minutes.. Veteran emergency key role only.. plus it wouldnt be a bad idea to resign Jared Jeffries & Anthony Carter.. These are some cheap defensive players we could sign on dec9 & save some money for next year or even use some of these players for trades this year.. just a thought.. wat yall think?..

  22. Z

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    Yeah, Hahn just made a slight mistake by saying “by the current team.” The memo sent to the players just said “Each team permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes.” So no mention of the contract having to be by the current team. If that were the case, then Arenas and Lewis would not be eligible and they’re obviously both eligible.

    Thanks for the clarification, Brian. So does that mean that, like KnickFanYadaYada mentioned above, a team can acquire a contract signed under the old CBA (like Arenas) with the sole intention of amnestying it? (you are our in-house go-to expert on the new CBA Brian! :)

  23. Caleb

    @23 I don’t think Reggie Evans can guard anyone although he’ll get the ball if his man misses the shot.

    Good to be talking basketball again!

    Larry Coon up with a good explainer of everything.

    The deal isn’t kind to the Knicks, but it could have been a lot worse. And of course they brought the trouble on themselves. Fro fans in general, the league actually made player movement a little easier, at least once the old contracts expire and teams adjust to the new cap. So that’s a plus, in the long run.

  24. BigBlueAL

    Something that hasnt been brought up at all is the fact that who is actually running the Knicks now?? Remember Walsh is gone. How much faith do we all have in Grunwald and co??

  25. Z-man

    What the Knicks lack more than anything is that proverbial “player who makes everyone else better”…Steve Nash (age aside) and Chris Paul (knee concerns aside) are the two best examples worth mentioning in the current realm of possibilities; obvioulsy Paul is preferable. Put either those guys on this team to get the best out of Amare and Melo, and the Jerome Jordan/Jorts/Turiaf triad at C would work at least as well as the C detritus the Heat got to the finals with last year. Chauncey might have been one of those guys but probably isn’t any more unless Fields, Shump, TD, Extra E and one of the C’s steps up their respective games.

    I have enjoyed all the spirited speculation since Saturday, but frankly it is getting repetitive. The good news is that we will have a much better idea of our needs in three weeks. I am cautiously optimistic about Jorts and Jordan being able to contribute more than Mozgov did last year, not that that’s saying much. Jorts in particular has a habit of exceeding expectations and finding his way within a system, and he seems to play with a sneer. The C’s in the East are so unimpressive that we should be able to bring them along slowly. I have been super-high on Shump since the draft, so I hope he doesn’t disappoint me the way AR did last year. Honestly, I hope we stand pat for the first half of the season to see what we really have in the young guys, and that the CP3 speculation doesn’t become as much of a distraction as the Melo talk did last year.

  26. Thomas B.

    I wonder when they will announce the price of NBALPB. It had better be about 60% of last year’s price.

  27. Thomas B.

    Our old pal Wilson Chandler is doing okay in the CBA.

    “So far, Chandler – averaging 43 points for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions – has been the most dominant player in the Chinese Basketball Association.”

    Impressive, but what are his advanced stats?

    I think one winner of the shortened season will be advanced stats site such as this one. I think people will start looking for a fair way to compare a truncated season with a standard 82 game season. This could be a great time for continued growth.

  28. Frank

    Not that other would ever to do this but the reason no one ever thought about buying out Billups prior to this season was because his buyout would still count against our cap and that would make the relative gains in terms of cap space not worth it. But now that we an potentially amnesty him and wipe the entire 14M off the cap, that would leave us about 12M under the cap. Not only would that put guys like Nene, Chanldler, and Gasol solidly on the radar, but it would also potentially let us enter the secondary waiver process on the other amnestied guys. Just food for thought.

  29. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Those stats aren’t right. Lazy reporting. His team page is only after one game, but his team is 3-1.

    TEAM: http://www.asia-basket.com/team.asp?Cntry=China&Team=7304&Page=3

    His Games:

    http://www.eurobasket.com/boxScores/China/2011/1120_7304_3512.asp

    http://www.eurobasket.com/boxScores/China/2011/1123_7300_7304.asp

    http://www.eurobasket.com/boxScores/China/2011/1125_1946_7304.asp

    http://www.eurobasket.com/boxScores/China/2011/1127_7304_3514.asp

    I have Chandler at 33.8 PPG.

    On another Knicks note, former Knicks Randolph Morris and Stephon Marbury are leading the BEIJING DUCKS to a 4-0 record.

  30. jon abbey

    Chris Broussard on Twitter:

    “Chris Paul’s first choice is to play for the Knicks, sources say. He’s willing to wait & sign w/NYK as free agent next summer.”

  31. Robert Silverman

    How’s this for a mega-deal…

    Knicks get: CP3, Artist formerly known as Ron Artest
    Hornets get: Bynum, Fields, Walton, Turiaf, 1st from LA (i.e. serious cap relief and a building block)
    Lakers get: Okafor, Billups

    Works under the cap. Thoughts?

  32. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Works under the cap. Thoughts?

    The Lakers are not dealing Bynum unless it ends up with them getting a great player.

  33. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Chris Broussard on Twitter:

    “Chris Paul’s first choice is to play for the Knicks, sources say. He’s willing to wait & sign w/NYK as free agent next summer.”

    I love it. That’s what we need to keep hearing. CP3 needs to keep putting that out there.

  34. Matt Smith

    Doc Hollinger doesn’t see our chances of getting CP3 as realistic unless he’s willing to take a huge ($40 million) paycut:

    We’ve been hearing since the infamous wedding toast of last summer that Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Paul want to play together for the Knicks. We’re two-thirds of the way there. Melo and Amare are already Knicks, and CP can become a free agent after the season and sign with New York. Looks like a slam dunk, right?

    Not so fast.

    It appears the only realistic way that Paul can end up in Gotham would be if he is willing to take a massive pay cut. He would likely make about 60 percent as much in New York as he could make in New Orleans and, even in the best-case scenario, forego tens of millions of dollars compared to playing in other markets.

    Let’s quickly follow the salary-cap logic involved in Paul moving to the Knicks as a free agent:

    • The current salary cap is at $58 million with the players taking a 51.1 percent share of BRI.

    • Next year, the players’ share goes down to 50 percent, likely offsetting any increase in BRI itself. In other words, one can reasonably expect next season’s salary cap to be right around $58 million.

    • The Knicks have $39.5 million committed just to Stoudemire and Anthony. (And before you ask, they cannot renegotiate their contracts downward.)

    • Even if the Knicks got rid of everybody else and just had those two on the roster, the 10 “cap holds” for minimum salary players would occupy another $5 million in salary cap space.

    • That means the Knicks have an absolute minimum of $44.5 million committed.

    • Which, in turn, leaves the Knicks with an absolutely best-case scenario of a $13.5 million starting salary for Paul.

  35. Matt Smith

    Paul will make $16.4 million this year and would be opting out of $17.7 million in 2011-12. Should he opt out next summer, a new five-year contract with the Hornets would start at $17.177 million and pay him as much as $22.3 million by the end — a total of $98.8 million. In comparison, over the life of the maximum allowable four-year deal with the Knicks, he could get only $57.6 million.

    So if Paul really wants to go to New York, he can go — as long as he’s willing to give up, at a minimum, forty million dollars to do it. (The same, incidentally, applies for Deron Williams or Dwight Howard.)

    In fact, even this scenario seems optimistic as far as Paul’s New York earning potential; it would basically involve New York giving away Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas, and Landry Fields, not to mention whatever players the Knicks sign this offseason or draft next June. The Knicks would have only the “mini” mid-level and a bunch of minimum contracts to use to surround Paul, Anthony and Amare — they’d have vastly less, in other words, than even the Heat had to work with last summer.

    Should the Knicks keep Shumpert and Douglas around, New York would have just $11 million for Paul’s starting salary, and the total value of the contract would be half what he could get by staying a Hornet; even compared with leaving the Hornets and signing with another team for the full maximum, he’d be leaving about $30 million on the table.

  36. Matt Smith

    Around this point, Knicks fans will point out that a free-agent signing isn’t the only way Paul can end up in New York. He could also try to force a trade, and that wouldn’t be as financially damaging. Paul’s potential earnings improve somewhat if he wants to do a sign-and-trade or an extend-and-trade, although they still lag behind what he can make by staying.

    Alas, there’s one little problem with that: The Knicks would need something worth trading. Sorry, New Yorkers, the Hornets aren’t giving away their superstar for Chauncey Billups’ expiring contract and Douglas. They can’t even trade a draft pick, as their 2012, 2014 and 2016 first-round picks are all owed to other teams and the league forbids teams from trading picks in consecutive years. In other words, if New Orleans decides to pre-emptively trade CP to avoid losing him as a free agent, there’s a zero percent chance of his landing on the Knicks to join Amare and Melo.

    Moreover, if the Hornets are convinced CP is leaving, it’s hard to imagine them passively waiting around for Paul to ditch them in the summer. Especially after that whole LeBron thing two summers ago.

    This is why I argued the Knicks overpaid in the Anthony trade with Denver rather than being patient and signing him outright over the summer — they have no assets left to make a deal for Paul, and yet from a financial standpoint, trading for Paul is the most realistic route to bringing him on board.

    Or rather, they do have one asset if it’s important enough to them: They could trade Anthony for Paul.

  37. Matt Smith

    John Hollinger on the Chris Paul situation:

    No matter how you slice it, it seems somewhere between highly unlikely and virtually impossible for Paul to end up with Amare and Melo on the Knicks. He can’t force a trade there, he’d take a financial bath signing there as a free agent, and the Hornets aren’t going to sit idly by and lose him for nothing. The CP-to-New York talk to match Miami’s Big 3 makes for fun conversation for this winter, but the Knicks lost hope of this happening the day they made the Anthony trade.

  38. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    We’re an ESPN family blog. We really can’t (and shouldn’t) post full Insider-only articles here. Feel free to summarize the article, but no cutting and pasting an entire (or even the majority of an) Insider-only article here.

  39. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Regarding Hollinger’s article – on the one hand, it is certainly an important point to note the situation of how much the Knicks can possibly offer Paul. And yes, such an offer would be a pay cut. However, he makes far too big of a leap when he says things like “highly unlikely and virtually impossible” when he has no idea of what Paul himself wants to do. If Paul wants to sign with the Knicks, Paul is going to sign with the Knicks. And if Paul insists that no matter what, he will sign with the Knicks, Hollinger can say stuff like ” Sorry, New Yorkers, the Hornets aren’t giving away their superstar for Chauncey Billups’ expiring contract and Douglas” all he wants, but what else is New Orleans going to get for Paul if he makes it clear that he will leave for New York?

    It reminds me of all the articles about how the Knicks couldn’t acquire Melo because the Nuggets did not want anything the Knicks had. Or how Lebron wasn’t going to pass up money to sign with Miami. Or how he wouldn’t sign with Miami period.

    Again, it is important to note the problems with Paul coming to the Knicks. I have no problem with Hollinger doing so. That is a very good job by him. But his use of such definitive terms I think is a real mistake on his part.

  40. Frank

    Somehow I feel like this Hollinger article is just lazy. First of all, any extend and trade is more limited in years and percent raises than if he stayed with New Orleans and really used his Bird Rights. So unless he wants to stay with New Orleans (which no one thinks he does) he’s going to take a bath financially regardless of whether it is by trade or by free agency. So the real question is whether he wants to stay with New Orleans or not.

    LBJ/Bosh/Wade have already shown that players who want to play together will take less money. Unfortunately Melo doesn’t seem to be one of those, but it’s entirely possible that CP3 is. He would have to take a lower starting salary but it is possible that he would make that up in marketing opportunities (STAT and Melo have been hawking just about everything here).

    The only team that scares me in this is the Lakers. They could definitely put together a package that the Hornets would have to consider taking, and now that Phil Jackson is out, they aren’t married to the PG-unfriendly triangle. They would be in some serious luxury tax territory though.

  41. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I don’t know about lazy so much as overly dramatic. Throwing around stuff like, “He’d be passing up $40 million if he signed with the Knicks!” is an over-exagerration for the reasons you mentioned (that he’d be giving up money no matter what he does if he doesn’t re-sign with New Orleans, which he clearly will not be doing), but it is true. So I think “lazy” is a bit much. I think he’s just throwing around too many definitive/dramatic phrases than he should, particularly when (as noted before) if Paul wants to play with the Knicks – Paul will play with the Knicks. It is not a situation where the Knicks literally cannot sign him and Hollinger seems to be phrasing it as such.

    For instance, I don’t know how many of you guys remember the whole “Chris Webber might come to the Knicks!” articles from about 9 or 10 years ago. Now that was just fantasy. This is extremely realistic, especially since it almost certainly is based upon the fact that Paul has determined that he will be a Knick.

    But yeah, it is more than fair to note that it is awfully cheezy of Melo and Amar’e refusing to leave any money on the table and then ask Paul to take a pay cut. What is up with that?

  42. Frank

    @40 – one can only be sort of happy that the Knicks can’t negotiate against themselves much in this situation- they’ve already given away everything!

    The major reason that Denver was able to get so much from the NYK is because Melo was so stressed out about the new CBA and wanted to extract as much $$ as possible even if it meant maybe not getting to the Knicks. Now there isn’t any uncertainty on that side anymore. If CP3 WANTS to come, he can make it happen. It’s just a question of whether he wants it enough to go all in like Brian said.

    I actually think there’s half a chance the Hornets try to trade Paul before the season even starts. traded players CAN keep their bird rights if they wait 6 months from the trade to get their contract if i remember correctly?

  43. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    It is pretty funny/sad that the Melo trade was so bad that the Knicks really can’t overpay for Paul because there isn’t anything left to give! They could trade Shumpert, Fields and Douglas (plus Billups and whatever else they would need to give up to make the salaries match) and take back Okafor and it would still be a steal because they’ve already traded away all their future draft picks. Unless they pick up a first rounder in 2012 from another (good) team and then they can give their 2013 first rounder, too.

  44. iserp

    could we amnesty Melo and then sign him again right away?

    This way, it is possible that both Melo and CP3 surrender a little money (and not only CP3)

  45. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    No, because players waived under the Amnesty Clause enter a bidding process once they’re waived. And obviously some team out there would make a bid on Melo (that was something I was wondering if they could do before the deal was finished, and I think that is part of the reason they specifically added the bidding process, to close that loophole. That and to keep waived players from automatically joining good teams like the Heat or the Lakers).

  46. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Also, did I read it correctly that the NBA has decided to close the “player traded to another team and then waived can then re-sign with his old team after waiting a month” loophole? Who was that practice hurting?

  47. Frank

    We also shouldn’t forget that trades don’t have to be just between two teams. I can sort of see somebody wanting Billups as a rental to make big playoff push. For example, the Lakers could probably put together some sort of the package where they accept Billups as part of a three way trade. They would be very dangerous with him at the point as opposed to Derek Fisher. As a huge expiring contract attached to a player who still has a lot of ability left, He probably still has a lot of value.

  48. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    A very fair point, Frank. What team out there do you think realistically would want to trade for Billups and his expiring contract? What would the Lakers realistically have to offer up? What other team would be interested?

  49. art vandelay

    While I generally appreciate Hollinger´s stat-centric analysis as it relates to players´ oncourt prowess, or lack thereof, I think his saying Cp3 to Knicks is a “virtual impossibility” is really steeped in a bit too much logic, which doesn´t always dictate player movement. He seems to ignore a lot of the evidence heretofore discerned: 1) LBJ-Wade-Bosh conspired to join up and in a similar fashion, Cp3, himself, proclaimed during the wedding toast that he, STAT and MELO should do the same. Cp3 is friends with all of these players, and reportedly at the time Lebron told him he better team up with melo and stat if he wanted a chance to win a title. 2) He mentions all the money Cp3 would have to give up, but ignores that LBJ, Wade and Bosh took sizable paycuts as well to abandon their former teams. The prior logic for years was that superstars would NEVER take paycuts just to team up and win, but that logic seems to have been turned upside-down now, so I don´t think we can just assume bigtime stars won´t do it, especially to go to a market like NYC where they have ample opportunities to make lost revenue up in endorsements; just look at STAT, he is all over the place…during fashion week, involved in myriad businesses and sponsorships, on talk shows, with a TON more exposure now than he had when he was in Phoenix…I am sure his offcourt income has increased dramatically since becoming a Knick.

    Hollinger also says we have no tradeable assets, which is accurate, but why should Cp3 feel compelled to force a trade this season? Broussard is reporting Cp3 would be willing to wait until free agency to sign with NYK. The incentives that made it smart for Melo to force one last year (at least smart for him personally) will not carry the day here due to lack of pending CBA next season and changes in rules regarding extend-and-trades, which now don´t include carryover of bird rights and higher annual raises.

  50. art vandelay

    As with Melo it basically boils down to whether Cp3 is ready and willing to play ONLY for the Knicks. Because if he tells New Orleans he will sign with Knicks next offseason they are forced to deal with NYK only to trade him or else lose him. If, however, he is willing to go to a team that can trade NO better assets (like the Clippers, for example), then he will go elsewhere probably.

    I don´t think Hollinger appreciates the premium top players are willing to pay (or really, forego, in additional salary) to a) play with their pals, b) play in their #1 desired city/market with chance to win championship, c) have extra off-court opportunities…this Lebron “global icon” mantra seems to have really been copied by others.

  51. Frank O.

    I have literally not had a thought about pro basketball since the talks started. It’s nice to read all of you again. This remains one of the most interesting and informative sources around about the Knicks.
    That CP3 clearly wants to be a Knick is an important starting/leverage point for the Knicks. While the Lakers would be able to offer more than the Knicks, they aren’t as likely to if they know CP3 would rather be a Knick.
    And, frankly, I’m not sure CP3 would want to play with Kobe. Any PG would have conflicts with Kobe, who we all know isn’t a strong team player by nature.
    Also, one cannot underestimate the power of Billups’ expiring.
    But I will find it hard to get too excited about the season. Perhaps it will change in December. I’m a little angry still that a bunch of millionaires, on both sides, refused to deal for a long time because they wanted even more money.
    Boo f—ing hoo.
    I am also frustrated that a team that was still having gel problems late in the season hasn’t had a full run up to the season.
    Hollinger has been anti Knick for a long time, IMHO. He’s had reasons for that, but I take his commentary with a grain…
    Basketball reporters love making definitive statements and defend those statements until they are finally proven wrong and they never, ever own up to their errors.

  52. max fisher-cohen

    Here’s the problem: The knicks have essentially nothing to offer. If I was the GM of a contender, I know I don’t have to offer anything of great substance to outbid the Knicks. NY’s best offer is what… Billups, Fields and Douglas (who all expire this summer) and Shumpert? I would give more than that just to rent Paul, and could Paul really leave a team after they went to the finals or even won a championship? The knicks, after all, can’t even throw in a pick before 2016.

    Potential suitors:

    Dallas: Rodrigue Beaubois is a better prospect than anyone the knicks have. Him plus some draft picks (which will probably be good since Dallas only has about a 2 year window left) and either JET or Kidd probably gets the deal done.

    OKC: Westbrook and Nate Robinson, with the Thunder using cap space to absorb the salary differential…

    Memphis: Conley and Rudy Gay is easily more than the Knicks can offer. Heck, Rudy Gay alone is probably enough.

  53. Scorpio Dragon

    I think what people are underestimating is the fact that the stars on that level already don’t get their fair market value. Losing a couple more dollars in NBA salary won’t mean much when you can make it up in non NBA related income (endorsements, side projects, etc). New York and LA are premium places for that type of income. Miami and Chicago as well to a lesser extent.

  54. New Guy

    This is why I was hoping there wouldn’t be a season. Paul would have been a free agent and gone straight to us. Now we have to hope no one trades for him, or that the team that trades for him is one he won’t want to stay in. I, for one, hopes he just keeps his mouth shut and plays out the year.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, best move the Knicks can make is to amnesty Amar’e after this season and sign both Paul and Howard to team with Melo. Will never happen. But it should.

  55. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Max, none of those teams would make those offers just to rent Paul. And that’s the key – Paul can control this by plainly stating that he will not play for anyone outside of New York, thereby reducing the offers to pretty slim pickings. You say teams could beat the Knicks’ offer just to rent Paul, but I don’t buy that. I don’t know who can afford to give anything of note to rent Paul. And heck, the Knicks can take on Okafor, too, if need be (they can’t do it yet since they don’t have enough players signed to trade, but they will soon).

    Douglas, by the way, does not expire this summer.

    The only problem would be if Paul does not say that he will only play for the Knicks. Then other teams could easily outbid the Knicks.

    This is all controlled by what Paul wants to do.

  56. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, best move the Knicks can make is to amnesty Amar’e after this season and sign both Paul and Howard to team with Melo. Will never happen. But it should.

    That’d be pretty darn hilarious.

  57. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    By the way, the real alternative if Paul really does not join the team next year would be to sign 57-year-old Steve Nash, right?

    And then pick up a defensive center with the mid-level.

  58. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I don’t get it – why would the Jazz make that deal (it is great for the Knicks, though. Gotta love that Hollinger says that it does not affect the Knicks’ winning percentage. Hilarious)?

  59. SeeWhyDee77

    lol..I kno rite? I figured in that deal that maybe N.O. could send a pick Utah’s way since they would be getting cap relief and a still fairly young and useful starting PG in Harris. Utah would be getting a veteran leader who’s problee a better fit for the offense in Billups and his expiring deal while getting a talented wing in Ariza to replace AK 47. The Knicks..well that deal is self explanatory lol. We’d be giving out a major asset in Landry and another important piece in Ball Wilker (lol) and also relying on Shump’s maturation and early contribution. We still wouldn’t have a center or a back up big we could trust so we’d problee hafta look at bringing back the whole roster..so it’s not like there’s not alot of risk for our side as well.

  60. flossy

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): And heck, the Knicks can take on Okafor, too, if need be (they can’t do it yet since they don’t have enough players signed to trade, but they will soon).

    Are you sure? Because that would be amazing and make trading Landry, Shumpert, Douglas and whoever else more than worth it. Emeka Okafor’s no savior, but he is an above average (if slightly undersized) starting center, and *way* better than anyone we (or, crucially, Miami) might sign to play center in the foreseeable future.

    There’s some risk in gutting your team to build a big three, but if you can pencil in Okafor at center for the next few years alongside CP3/Melo/Stat the Knicks could more or less hold an open three point shooting competition and just sign the winner to start at SG and be fine.

  61. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Actually, now that I think about it, with the rules being what they are about teams having to spend a higher minimum salary for the team, it probably doesn’t make any sense to get rid of Okafor if you’re New Orleans.

  62. jon abbey

    why can’t Paul take the $13M in conjunction with Melo and Amare signing private contracts with Paul to give him whatever money would make all three of their deals equal? obviously taxes would complicate things, but that’s why we have accountants and tax lawyers. maybe (probably?) there’s a hole in this, but I don’t know what it is.

  63. jon abbey

    I also think it’s totally ridiculous that a player doesn’t have the right to negotiate his contract downwards if he thinks it’ll give his team a better chance to win, especially with deals signed under the old CBA.

  64. max fisher-cohen

    @Brian, I understand it’s a rental, but I doubt Paul would dog it after a trade like that, although I suppose it’s possible, and especially for Dallas or OKC, the trade would make them frontrunners to win a title. Could Paul really walk away from a max contract after winning a title? It would be really awful PR for him.

  65. taggart4800

    Great to be talking about BRI again… Basketball Related Info…? Anybody? No..? OK.

    Would love to see the knicks throw the kitchen sink at Okafor and Paul. But it ain’t going to happen. Would be a dream situation for Paul to bring a big man with him he has been playing with for years.

    I would love to see the Knicks give Jerome Jordan a good run and I really think we should explore Sean Williams. His behavior off court is said to have improved and he would be an excellent fit for the team.

    As for other additions G Hill and K Thomas would be very sensible playoff focused moves but I really like the idea of say Shannon Brown….? Great defender that can hit the spot up jumper and run the floor. I really think we just need to be solid defensively when the starters are off the floor and canny with our rotations. A 3 Guard Combo of Douglas, Brown and Shumpert would frustrate a lot of teams and really protect the interior. For the same purpose I would prob bring back Jeffries and Extra E and give D Brown a run. Prob not enough roster spot for all those guys though.

    Interesting to watch Shumperts workout tapes. Seems to be a focus on passing into the post from the wing and slashing to the basket.

    All I want for Xmas is shumpert to be great. Think about that as a break for the Knicks?? We would have a media heralded trade piece! He seems to be a high character guy that is earning respect from some vets in the league.

    Not sure what Harrelson can offer to be honest, but the stats were kind. I’m happy with the holding pattern as is, at least this year we are competitive if not special.

  66. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    The more I think about it, the Knicks likely could never get enough players to match the salaries of Paul and Okafor, since Amar’e and Melo take up so much of their cap. My apologies, folks! As I mentioned earlier, though, with the new rules, there is less of an incentive for teams to dump salary of good players (which Okafor still is).

  67. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    @Brian, I understand it’s a rental, but I doubt Paul would dog it after a trade like that, although I suppose it’s possible, and especially for Dallas or OKC, the trade would make them frontrunners to win a title. Could Paul really walk away from a max contract after winning a title? It would be really awful PR for him.

    I doubt he would dog it, either. I don’t think it would ever get to the point where we would find out, though, as I don’t think any team would trade anything of real value for a guy who says he is not going to sign with him. When is the last time a team gave up significant assets to rent a player? No examples come to my mind. Especially Oklahoma CIty. How could you possibly give up Westbrook on the chance that Paul will love it so much in OKC that he will re-sign?

  68. Z

    Is the trade machine adjusted to fit the new rules? Is it working at all? Not only does trading for Chris Paul not effect a team’s chances of winning according to the machine, but it also says the Knicks can trade Billups, Douglas, Fields, Turiaf, Walker, and Balkman for Paul and Okafor without involving a third team. (Not a very good trade for NO, but it does save them $25,000,000).

    As for Paul “taking a bath”, the guy has already made $55,000,000 in his career. His “bath” contract from the Knicks would net him another $50,000,000 over four years. That’s a lot of money for a guy whose only recreational vice appears to be ten pin bowling.

  69. JK47

    OKC is a good young team, and they could presumably give Chris Paul a max contract. They’d be a title contender with Paul. In a pure basketball sense, going to OKC might make more sense for Paul.

    But seriously, isn’t it obvious that Chris Paul would end up with more money in his pocket in New York than he would in Oklahoma freaking City? Chris Paul’s face would be all over Manhattan and his jersey sales would vault into the top 5. Chris Paul is no dummy and he knows he’s not going to get much of a chance to build a “brand” in OKC.

    This is why the Melo move makes sense. The Knicks are a story– they are a sports meme. Add a third star and they are the natural rivals to another great sports meme, the Miami Heat. Playing for the Knicks suddenly has all sorts of cachet.

  70. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Is the trade machine adjusted to fit the new rules?

    Yeah, that was what I wasn’t sure about.

  71. Frank O.

    Now that I am thinking about the Knicks again, I find myself having a sense of dread when imagining another season watching Toney Douglass heave 3s and other bad shots, and generally play sketchy ball.
    Or Jeffries stumble through games.
    Or Turiaf get into foul trouble.
    Or Bill Walker tease with flashes of brilliance and anger with flashes of complete ineptitude…
    Other than Amare and Carmelo, there isn’t a person on that roster I wouldn’t be willing to get rid of.
    Landry is probably only holding onto his trade value up until the start of the season.
    I’m ready to lose virtually anyone outside those two, or everyone outside those two.

  72. Frank

    @75- totally agree although I wouldn’t give up on shumpert until we see him play. I think Landry probably has near zero trade value.

  73. Z

    Wow, looks like Denver is going to lose their favorite piece of the Carmelo trade to an international hostage situation… Wilson Chandler isn’t going to get an exit visa to return to the NBA! (I guess that’s what these guys should have expected, going off to work in a fascist system (they thought the NBA CBA needed reform!)

    “They can play, get paid [in China] and return to the NBA in March,” one Chinese team official said. “Or they can not get paid, and return to the NBA in March.”

    This could be the best story to come out of the lockout.

  74. flossy

    Z:
    Wow, looks like Denver is going to lose their favorite piece of the Carmelo trade to an international hostage situation… Wilson Chandler isn’t going to get an exit visa to return to the NBA! (I guess that’s what these guys should have expected, going off to work in a fascist system (they thought the NBA CBA needed reform!)

    “They can play, get paid [in China] and return to the NBA in March,” one Chinese team official said. “Or they can not get paid, and return to the NBA in March.”

    This could be the best story to come out of the lockout.

    Damn right they should have expected it–it was well publicized that players signing in China wouldn’t have the ability to get out of their contracts if the lockout ended. I don’t know why anyone would be surprised.

  75. Z

    Frank:

    I think Landry probably has near zero trade value.

    a) Landry Fields was number 4 in rookie of the year voting this past year. He led all guards in rebounding. He makes the minimum wage.

    b) The NBA owners just went on strike to try to institute defenses against the ineptitude of their own managers. Those managers are still making trades.

  76. Spree8nyk8

    Has anyone seen any info on when league pass pricing is going to be released. I’m hoping the one positive to come out of this lockout mess is a cheap league pass :) They owe the fans something IMO.

  77. Frank O.

    Spree8nyk8:
    Has anyone seen any info on when league pass pricing is going to be released.I’m hoping the one positive to come out of this lockout mess is a cheap league pass :)They owe the fans something IMO.

    it seems from the start, the fans were the last thing the league and players were concerned about.
    getting paid was what it was about, and offering a discounted league pass other than one that is prorated, probably isn’t in the offing…imho.

  78. Frank O.

    Frank:
    @75- totally agree although I wouldn’t give up on shumpert until we see him play. I think Landry probably has near zero trade value.

    Yeah, think Landry right now has value, but his slide was bad enough last year that I’m concerned that it will continue. He couldn’t figure out how to fit in with Amare and Melo.
    Maybe he’ll turn it around, but it will take time and his value will drop the longer it takes.
    Get what you can for him now as a formerly top-rated rookie.

  79. Spree8nyk8

    @ChrisMannixSI Chris Mannix
    I’ve been told any deal involving @CP3 is unlikely as long as the NBA is the de facto owner of the Hornets. They don’t want that PR mess.

    I guess that is good news for the Knicks right? Luckily, Paul plays for the one team that doesn’t have the ownership looking at it from a must get something now mindset. Guess we’ll see what shakes out.

  80. twoseam2007

    I hope we can bring Shawne Williams back, but it’s certainly not a given.

    I think the starting lineup looks like

    PG – Billups
    SG – Fields
    SF – Carmelo
    PF – STAT
    C – Turiaf

    Turiaf starting at center is obviously a scary proposition, but if he can play anywhere around 20 solid minutes, and be coupled with another center or two in the rotation (Jerome Jordan?), the center position may not be as HUGE a concern as we thought. (also, when S. williams comes in to the game, STAT can slide over to the 5 for a few mins)

    It should be EXTREMELY intersting how the back court minutes get divvied up between Shumpert, fields, and douglas (with Billups obviously getting a large majority of the PG minutes).

  81. Spree8nyk8

    Frank O.: it seems from the start, the fans were the last thing the league and players were concerned about.
    getting paid was what it was about, and offering a discounted league pass other than one that is prorated, probably isn’t in the offing…imho.

    idk, might be surprised. I would think that with the PR mess this would be a down year for subscribers if they don’t. I’ll get it either way as I’m sure most of the diehards here will do also. And if you don’t theres always http://www.azzav.net/

  82. BigBlueAL

    Almost 50 comments added since I went to bed last night, all talking about the Knicks and roster moves they can make.

    Its good to have the NBA back :-)

  83. Caleb

    Sorry everyone, Hollinger is dead on and Chris Paul is not coming to New York unless our new GM sobers up and pulls an S&T next summer w/Anthony or Stoudemire. Which CP3 might or might not be willing to do. (might depend on what Dwight Howard or whoever does).

    Forget the stuff about his wanting to come to NY or play with his friends – it might be true but it means nothing. Players might give up a bit of money for a better situation, but not tens of millions of dollars and 40 percent of their income – especially not a guy with bad knees on his last contract.

    Carmelo was dying to come here, and wouldn’t promise to give up a penny. If he had, we could have avoided that idiotic trade and he would have a better surrounding cast. He knew that but it’s bi$ne$$.

    Amare loves NY but he didn’t give a discount – we were high bidder when no one in the league would give him a 5th year.

    I’m sure LeBron/Wade/Bosh really do love each other but they didn’t give up much. With no state income tax they’re each making more than they could have with any other team (except staying in Cleveland).

    Fire away if you think of anyone who ever made the $acrifice it would take to get CP3 to MSG with Amare and Carmelo still on the roster.

  84. Frank O.

    Caleb:
    Sorry everyone, Hollinger is dead on and Chris Paul is not coming to New York unless our new GM sobers up and pulls an S&T next summer w/Anthony or Stoudemire. Which CP3 might or might not be willing to do. (might depend on what Dwight Howard or whoever does).

    Forget the stuff about his wanting to come to NY (I bet he does) or play with his friends (I bet he does). Players might give up a bit of money for a better situation, but not tens of millions of dollars and 40 percent of their income – especially not a guy with bad knees on his last contract.

    Carmelo was dying to come here, and wouldn’t promise to give up a penny. If he’d indicated he was willing to give up anything, we could have avoided that idiotic trade and he would have a better surrounding cast.

    Amare loves NY but he didn’t give any discount – we were high bidder when no one in the league would give him a 5th year.

    I don’t doubt that LeBron/Wade/Bosh love each other but they didn’t give up much – with no state income tax they’re each making more than they could have with any other team (except staying in Cleveland).

    Fire away if you think of anyone who ever made the kind of $$ sacrifice it would take to get CP3 to MSG with Amare and Carmelo still on the roster.

    one could argue that Paul has already made a ton of cash, but given this is his last contract (the knees) this could be his last chance of getting a championship and given the three amigos in Miami and the LA Lakers Juggernaut, and Oklahoma reloading, he may see the Knicks as a great way to possibly win a big one, and get endorsement dollars that extend in NYC long after his Knicks career is over.
    All you need to do is look at Joe Namath, Boomer Esiason, and a host of other NY athletes who made a career after sports merely lending their name to products.
    I’m not saying likely, just possible.

  85. Spree8nyk8

    Hollinger is comparing the New Orleans deal to the Knicks deal which is not how it should be looked at. You need to compare the Knicks deal to what another team outside of new orleans could give. It’s not going to be far off of that. Certainly not 40m.

  86. art vandelay

    Does Hollinger have an axe to grind with the Knicks? Someone hinted that he did above, and I have noticed over the years that he does have a tendency to be anti-Knick but never knew why exactly.

  87. BigBlueAL

    All Hollinger wrote about last year was how the Knicks had no assets to trade for Melo. Now its what a bad trade that was because it left the Knicks with no assets to trade for CP3.

    Im sure once the Knicks sign CP3 it will be who cares because all they have is crap to go with their Big 3.

  88. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    All Hollinger wrote about last year was how the Knicks had no assets to trade for Melo. Now its what a bad trade that was because it left the Knicks with no assets to trade for CP3.

    That really was less Hollinger than the other writers. Hollinger’s position tended to be “they would have to give up so much to get him that it wouldn’t be worth it,” which, if the Knicks don’t get CP3, certainly seems fair enough.

    Im sure once the Knicks sign CP3 it will be who cares because all they have is crap to go with their Big 3.

    It definitely will be that. He already sets that up in the piece.

  89. art vandelay

    From Adande today on the amnesty clause (a nuance I wasn´t quite aware of):

    Unfortunately, the new proposal does not allow for teams to use the amnesty clause on a player who has been acquired in a trade; it’s only applicable to contracts that are currently on the books. I would have liked to see teams that don’t have a pressing need use the amnesty clause rewarded for their spending discretion and be in position to pick up cheap talent in exchange for taking expensive contracts off the hands of teams that had already used their amnesty clause.

  90. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Thanks, av. Yeah, I agree with Adande, it seems odd that the NBA would find the need to keep teams from picking up contracts with the intent of waiving them.

  91. twoseam2007

    Hey everyone, as Knick fans, we support each other as we do our team. A newsite has just gone up called http://nickjohnsonsmustache.dinstudio.com/ . This site touches on all things sports, with a concentration with New York teams of course. In fact two new interesting columns have recently gone up concerning CP3 going to NY and D12 going to NJ (potentially). Please check out the site, I along with the staff would really appreciate it We are also on twitter, @njmustache

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