Afflalo and Williams to opt out: $30+ million in cap space looms

This is big news for the Knicks. Afflalo was the source of great frustration for Knicks fans this year, and it’s not at all surprising to see him opt out. He’ll get a raise and a new start. Williams had bright moments for the club, but is easily replaced in his limited bench role. The Knicks can free more space by dealing Kyle O’Quinn and/or Calderon. Calderon could also be stretched to free up a bit of room.

The team can opt to go big game hunting to bag a max player, or sign several quality role players and hold the ammunition for 2017 when sexier names will be available. First up on the agenda, nabbing a draft pick to use on Thursday. Things are moving along….

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29 thoughts to “Afflalo and Williams to opt out: $30+ million in cap space looms”

  1. Frank,
    Agree, but we need a lot of other players beginning with a shooting guard that can….shoot and guard.

  2. I’d be giving Noah and Evan Turner the same contract RoLo got (maybe less years) and then I’m offering RoLo to Indiana, Atlanta or Phoenix for George Hill, Jeff Teague, or Eric Bledsoe. Noah/Turner for 4,000+ minutes at $26M > Conley for 2,000+ minutes for the same money. If we could truly figure out a way to get one of those three point guards, we would be a really good team next year assuming we held onto Galloway and Thomas.

    One thing I hope Phil Jackson isn’t gun-shy about is trading Grant if it means we can get an actual player. Grant sucked last year and can’t shoot. His ceiling screams “back up point guard” and we can’t let that get in the way of progress.

  3. Afflalo opts out – this is GOOD
    D Williams opts out – this is mostly good too, although he might have excelled in a more up tempo offense. we’ll never know.

    I agree with Frank – they need a competent point guard in the worst @#$&*(+!’ing way

  4. Why would Atlanta, Indiana or Phoenix want Robin Lopez?

    Indiana already has Miles Turner and is trying to play small/fast. Atlanta, even if they lose Horford (which I doubt) is probably not eager to trade their starting PG to lock in a center platoon of Lopez and Tiago Splitter. I could see Phoenix being a possibility since they have two viable lead guards and Alex Len is nothing special, but Bledsoe is the most expensive and most injury prone. Between him and Noah that’s a lot of money tied up in players who are liable to rack up DNPs due to injury. Noah’s numbers last year make you wonder if he can even still be a starter in this league.

  5. I can’t see Jackson putting so many eggs in such a brittle Noah basket when I’ve heard him make comments about other players (Shumpert and Chandler for example) where he specifically talked about injury potential as something he weighs when deciding who to keep or pursue. I love Noah as a player. I think he’s an upgrade from Lopez when he’s 100%. But he’s had a variety of injuries in multiple seasons and is 30 years old. He’s a big injury risk and probably on the decline. Getting Noah and trading Lopez is a theoretically good idea that could turn into a disaster and set us back another season if Noah breaks down again. I’m not in favor of that. If he wants to come to NY and compete with Lopez for the starting job on a reasonable contract, I’m all for it. I’ll take whatever he has left for as many minutes as he can give us. But we can’t rely on him.

    Evan Turner and a starting PG that can score would be ideal.

  6. Did these Noah rumors come up again or is this just a rehash of the same Howard Beck rumor from weeks ago?

  7. Noah has been pretty shit for the past 2 years. Going gaga for him and sending out Lopez is a Dolanesque starfuck move.

  8. At some point we should add someone who can score efficiently. I like Noah, but he can’t stay healthy and I’m not sure he can put the ball through the hoop anymore.

  9. I think it’s less clamoring and more “They’re likely going to try to sign Evan Turner, so might as well get used to it now.”

  10. I feel like Evan Turners recent value is all tied to Brad Stevens, he’s just not a player I trust, idk.

  11. I like him more than most, but yeah, agreed, I’d prefer he not be signed, as well.

  12. Noah has been pretty shit for the past 2 years. Going gaga for him and sending out Lopez is a Dolanesque starfuck move.

    It’s funny to me because Noah is this year’s Afflalo (or Calderon)! Knicks fans who only watch the Knicks are under the impression these guys are still good, and spend all offseason talking about what big upgrades they are, and like 10 games into the season are having that “Wait, this is what Calderon/Afflalo/Noah plays like now?” moment. Noah was so bad last year in particular. Like almost out of the league bad. If people think you’re just going to replace Lopez with him they’re in for a horrible shock.

  13. I think it’s less clamoring and more “They’re likely going to try to sign Evan Turner, so might as well get used to it now.”

    That’s the way I see it. I could see him as a very nice role player on both sides of the ball, but when he’s playing you need another scorer. In our case that would mean the PG has to be a scorer. I don’t see how Lopez, Turner, and Grant/Calderon on the court works. IMO, you need at least 3 scorers, preferably 4.

  14. I must be the only person who views Robin Lopez as our only way to a viable starting point guard. In a year where the market is saying “it’s a good year to sign a center and a pretty shitty year to grab a point guard,” I think we should at least talk about it. Despite Noah’s inability to put a ball in a basket, he’s the best passing center in the league, an elite defender, and a great offensive rebounder. Not many players can put up a WS/48 over .100 and a WP/48 over .200 with a TS% below .500. He does a lot of really good things on a basketball court that lead to wins. Do we need shooters? Absolutely, but I’m not about to lose interest in a guy who quite frankly does everything else at an all star level except score. Platooning him in with Lopez would give us a great front court, but I’d at least like to know what we could get for Lopez if he were in a front court with Noah, Porzingis, Hernangomez, and O’Quinn.

  15. “Noah has been pretty shit for the past 2 years. Going gaga for him and sending out Lopez is a Dolanesque starfuck move”

    Not sure why so many are in such a rush to jettison Lopez. He played pretty well last year on what is now a reasonable contract, he allows KP to play the 4 and they were affective on the court together, and he is a good defender around the rim. Noah in theory may be better, however Thibs has run him into the ground over the past 6 or 7 years. There are a lot of miles on those legs and body. He would be a big risk in my opinion.

  16. @massive

    Noah hasn’t been good and we want to sign him under the working theory that he’ll be good enough to replace Lopez and then also believe that we can get Bledsoe (they have Len and Chandler, always hurt), Teague (asked for 2 firsts at the deadline for him last year and on an expiring contract) or George Hill (Indiana wants to play small and fast, also on an expiring contract). This doesn’t make sense to me in the short or long term.

  17. The Knicks need some guys who can throw the ball into the basket. All this Joakim Noah, Evan Turner business is making me throw up in my mouth a little.

    The Knicks were 28th in the league in eFG% last year, putting up a .483 mark as a team. It’s just really difficult to compete in this league if your eFG% is that horrendously shitty. Evan Turner’s eFG% last year was .469, and Noah’s was .383. The Knicks need to drastically IMPROVE their eFG%, not make it even worse.

    As sucky as Afflalo was, he could at least shoot a little bit– he had a .500 eFG%. And Robin Lopez was one of the few guys on the team last year who put up a good eFG%. He ended up at .539. Even if you can flip Lopez for, say, George Hill, you end up with this lineup (each player’s 2015-2016 eFG% in parentheses):

    PG George Hill (.528)
    SG Evan Turner (.469)
    SF Carmelo Anthony (.474)
    PF Kristaps Porzingis (.467)
    C Joakim Noah (.383)

    That is just too many inefficient shooters. Even if you get development from Porzingis and a bounce-back season from Melo, that team is going to be one of the worst teams in the NBA in eFG%.

  18. Getting rid of Lopez makes no sense. He’s one of our only useful players on a reasonable contract. You’d don’t get better by getting rid of those types of players, you get better by getting more of them. On top of that, as has been said Lopez gives us the ability to play KP at the 4, which seems to be where he is better suited right now.

    As for Noah, as a backup at the minimum or something, sure why not? You can never have enough depth. If we’re going to pay upwards of $8-10 mil for him, no thanks.

    I think our best option assuming we can’t get Durant or Conley is to try and do what Portland did last year with guards instead of bigs i.e. find young, upside guys on reasonable deals. Bazemore at $12-13 mil would be nice, Solomon Hill could be nice. Other options could include Lance (if Memphis declines his option) or Delly. The other restricted guys like Fournier and Crabbe would be cool but I don’t see how Orlando/Portland let them walk.

  19. Thats not my point, though. We don’t have to get any of those three guys or even have a healthy Noah (you can say he hasn’t been good, but the last time he played 2000 minutes was a season ago and his WS/48 was .130 and his WP/48 was .194). The point is we need to upgrade our roster and we have the front court depth to experiment with losing Lopez. If it were up to me, we’d trade Lopez for cap space and immediately offer Hassan Whiteside a max contract. Forget about Noah or any point guard I’ll mention until we sign Conley for a mega max. The point is I believe the trade market is more fruitful than the free agent market, and that Lopez is not untradeable and shouldn’t be since he’s our only real asset.

    I would trade RoLo for Derrick Rose if it meant Whiteside or Durant would sign here.
    I would trade RoLo for a guard if I felt Noah, Biyombo, or Horford would come here.
    I would trade RoLo for a draft pick if I were sold that kid would be a good starter in this league.
    I would trade RoLo. I would trade Grant. I would trade Melo if that were possible. You can’t hold onto everybody.

  20. Keeping RoLo is also a good strategy because he’s a good player. I’d prefer we keep RoLo, punt on a big free agent PG signing, and instead sign Troy Daniels, Solomon Hill, Seth Curry, Jon Leuer, Mirza Teletovic, etc. because our roster currently sucks and one big name won’t change that. The truth is we won’t be punting on a big free agent this summer unless we do the unlikely and trade for Derrick Rose. If we sign the big name free agent (or trade for Derrick Rose), we still need depth and I would not be against trading RoLo for said depth.

  21. @massive,

    Noah is 30 and on his way down. He’d be high risk for the Knicks short term and a terrible idea long term. Lopez is already good, seemingly getting better, younger, a great teammate, and on an attractive salary. Unless we were stealing someone that’s a perfect fit both long and short term, it doesn’t make much sense to put all our eggs in a guy that almost seems likely to break down. If we could add him as a FA and keep both Lopez and him, that makes more sense.

  22. JK47,

    I agree.

    That’s why I keep insisting that if we do sign Turner (who seems like a likely candidate considering it was reported that there is mutual interest), we absolutely positively need a good scorer at PG or the offense will be terrible.

  23. There’s one good scoring PG on the market and we can’t afford him and Evan Turner.

  24. There’s one good scoring PG on the market and we can’t afford him and Evan Turner.

    I don’t want to restart that “trade a pick” discussion because no one agrees with me, but a team of Lopez, KP, Melo, Turner, Teague and a deeper young bench (adding Turner will not be so expensive that we can’t also improve the bench) will be pretty darn good next year and still have upside. There are a lot of things I’d prefer, but none of them are realistic. Landing Teague is possible, especially when you are also buying picks.

    An alternative would be landing Fournier (if possible). Then the offense is set and we could look for defensive PG or stay with Grant.

  25. Turner and Kay Felder might be an excellent twosome as Turner and Thomas were in Boston. We’d then have money left over for Noah.

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