New Addition to the Knicks “Pay To Not Play” Auxiliary

According to the New York Daily News, Isiah Thomas and Jalen Rose are working out a buyout of the remaining one year/$16 million left on Rose’s contract.

This will now make it a staggering $52 million that the Knicks will owe on the salary cap this year for five players who will not play for the Knicks this year (Allan Houston, Jerome Williams, Shandon Anderson and Maurice Taylor are the other four…you can stretch it to 6 players and $58 million if you want to argue that Malik Rose is essentially paid to not play as well).

However, seeing as how this money is already spent, I think it probably does make more sense to cut Rose loose than to keep him around. Unlike Malik, Jalen Rose likely would not be a good influence on the younger players, and like Malik, he wasn’t going to play any significant minutes, so if this can free up a roster spot for another player, then that’s okay by me.

What’s intriguing about this the most to me is who is the Knicks back-up small forward until Jeffries comes back? Is it Renaldo Balkman? Or David Lee?

Or will we see Jamal Crawford at the 3 in a three-guard lineup?

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24 thoughts to “New Addition to the Knicks “Pay To Not Play” Auxiliary”

  1. I would prefer a 5 guard line-up to any of this wish-wash:
    1: Renaldo Balkman (Every time he touches the ball on his end of the floor he ends up dribbling it up anyways)
    2: Steph
    3: Nate Robinson (Think of an Adrian Dantley type)
    4: Jamal Crawford( Similar body type to Sir Charles, just -600 pounds)
    5: Steve Francis (The best rebounder/ shot blocker of the bunch, will be more effective than Eddy Curry on both ends of the floor.)

    Although it pains me to leave off White Power (David Lee)it must be done.

  2. What?s intriguing about this the most to me is who is the Knicks back-up small forward until Jeffries comes back? Is it Renaldo Balkman? Or David Lee?

    Or will we see Jamal Crawford at the 3 in a three-guard lineup?

    I suspect Isiah will play this by feel a bit, trying to force matchups that work in his favor. However, I also think that one area where Zeke and Larry may agree, when all is said and done, is that David Lee really is an undersized power forward rather than a small forward.

  3. I’ve never understood why Lee has been played at the SF. Balkman can at least handle the ball a little. Lee dribbles with two hands and his head down, like a little girl.

  4. i thought the idea was to trade away exp. contracts for picks, etc.? can’t we keep them around in the NBDL?

  5. I’m pretty sure that, in order to make a trade, you need to bring back contracts, too. So, you can’t just dump Jalen Rose on someone to get picks. You would also have to take on players with contracts adding up to Rose’s, like the time the Knicks traded Nazr and Brewer for the Spurs’ picks and had to take on Malik Rose, who, incidentally, is still on the team and doing absolutely nothing.

  6. chris,
    the point is that the expiring contracts are valuable trading chips to teams looking to be under the Cap and was the reason we acquired them in the first place or so I thought. We obviously have to take back contracts but when you are the Knicks and you are aspiring to win 30 games you need to look for ways to improve. That is why Chris webber made sense for us, his deal would expire in a year and we could get picks, this is how you rebuild.

  7. But why would any team want to give us picks for Jalen Rose? That’s what made no sense to me.

  8. Not sure I get you mase — what do expiring contracts have to do with picks? The reason teams want expiring contracts is in order to get under the cap at some future date when they go off the books. This enables them to go after a big free agent acquisition.

    I think it’s been well established that there is no way the Knicks will be under the cap this decade. (Unless you know how to nullify AH’s contract, get rid of Marbury and Francis and Curry.) Thus, Rose’s expiring contract could only be traded for another player(s) making $16 million who isn’t/aren’t worth it. Such a player would likely have more than one year remaining on his contract which is (as pointed out) is exactly how we got into this Malik, Mo Taylor, Jalen mess to start with.

    More importantly, the Knicks have absolutely no intention of rebuilding in the classic sense. I’m not arguing against rebuilding mind you — I’m just saying that the Knicks won’t do it…any more than the Yankees would ever rebuild.

  9. Jalen Rose has no value to the knicks, but i cant think of a plausable deal to unload him. though he is a veteran, with championship expierence on the colegiate and professional levels, he does not have the kind of veteran leadership teams look for. young teams want veterans to set an example in the club house, but rose does not set the example those teams have in mind. he is a whiner, and he is selfish, something that to many of the players on these young teams are anyway (see Jailblazers, Portland).

    Other veteran teams have no interest in him for similar reasons. he could be a solid contributor on a quality team, but there is also the risk that he will complain about minutes, touches, shots, etc. no team wants to chance the chemistry of the entire team, especially for an older guy who will give you 12,4,4 tops.

    The best thing for the knicks to do is eat his salary, not relegate him to the d-league. he’ll complain and demand a trade, which is not gonna get the knicks anything substantial. eat his salary.

  10. With the infinite wisdom of retrospect, Jalen Rose never should have played a single minute for the Knicks.

    The instant he came over in the Toronto trade that brought the Knicks a draft pick, he should have been cut so that his playing time could go to developing talent.

    The Knicks weren’t going to win anything last year, nor will they this year, so I’m going to take a page from the Mets book: If you can’t win, give the fans another reason to watch.

    Like youth. Like Frye and Robinson and Lee and Balkman. Hopefully, they’ll make things interesting.

  11. Well, without getting Jalen we wouldn’t have gotten Balkman, so that only goes so far.

    What would have been preferable would have been to cut Jalen months ago so we had the roster spot available to give to Jackie Butler.

  12. Hah yeah a few more than two years…

    Is that really the rule? It’d be nice if guys who were trying to play back into shape could work down there. Might’ve been a useful gauge for guys like Amare, TMac, and Kirilenko last year.

  13. Hey, maybe the Nets should pick Rose up (if they can buy out their own malcontent, McInnis). Considering that with House out their only backup for the 1, 2 or 3 spots is Antoine Wright and Marcus Williams (and no I’m not counting Nachbar!), they could do worse than have Rose who can play all three, to an extent. As much as he’s the whipping boy in this thread, if Jefferson or Carter went out, I’d arguably rather have Rose actually start than any of those guys listed above, including House.

  14. Is the Knicks’ lack of a roster spot why they didn’t sign Jackie Butler?

    If that’s true, then they essentially chose to overpay Jared Jeffries, a small forward who can’t score, a type of player they already drafted, instead of bringing back a legitimate NBA center?

    Please tell me Mr. Thomas didn’t resign Butler because of some other stupid reason.

    ANY other stupid reason.

  15. I think it was the stupid reason of just not thinking Butler was worth the money.

    Which is really, really stupid.

  16. Oh, and I meant to comment on the deal with Rose’s expiring contract, but forgot to.

    Yes, this move (along with the Taylor move) is a definitive sign that Isiah was not just paying lip service when he said that the Knicks were out of the “trading a big expiring contract to a team looking to clear out roster space” business.

  17. I’m pretty sure that the Butler call was Dolan’s. He probably said “haven’t we spent enough on centers in a league that is moving away from them?”

    Surely, Zeke couldn’t have responded “well, the league is really only moving away from two, and we have both…”

    So I figure that Dolan made a couple of decisions. I don’t think I have to say what kind they were.

  18. Marc R – At risk of missing the sarcasm, yes the Knicks got Balkman for Rose, but the Rose/Davis contracts were a wash last year with the Knicks on the hook for $15 MM this year, or $30 MM with the tax.

    So was Balkman worth $30MM. I guess if Rose signs someplace this figure will go down.

    I hope this move means Isiah understands the real problems with trading expiring contracts – you only get high priced mediocre guys. While the Knicks talent base increased, it messes up playing time and doesn’t increase the talent to where the Knicks could actually be good.

  19. As my favorite riddle goes:

    Q: What must one do when he finds that he is digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole?

    A: Stop digging.

    The Taylor and Rose buyouts indicate that some combination of Thomas and Dolan have finally figured out that it’s way past time to stop digging.

    While that is to be commended it is hardly cause for celebration. Still, you gotta crawl before you can walk.

    Matt – I suspect you are correct about the Butler call being Dolan’s. Isiah never disparaged Butler upon departure, and we all know Isiah’s not that mature. That suggests he may not have been completely on board with the decision.

    Seth – that was cold-blooded about David Lee dribbling with two hands like a little girl. It made me laugh out loud.

  20. Kevin-

    No question that the Knicks overpaid for Balkman but, for once, this overpayment didn’t really hurt them. They would have been way over the cap this year anyway. Also, when the Knicks usually overpay for players (like Francis) it means that those players have untradeable contracts. Not so with Balkman. Therefore, in this case at least, it’s just money and nobody is hurt but Cablevision’s stockholders.

  21. Stockholders, Marc? Umm, i beg to differ here, dude — the money actually DOES come out of our pockets. Every time we attend a game (w/the highest ticket prices in the league), watch a game on MSG, or buy a jersey, banner, t-shirt, merkin, or anything with the Knicks logo printed on it, the money goes under Dolan’s tacky fedora. As fans, we are the consumer to whom this product is sold. The organization operates using OUR money. If we really wanted to get pro-active here, the best way to influence change in this organization is to vote with our feet/dollars. Now, I’m a useless addict, and after 20 years I couldn’t stop if I wanted to, so I’m one to talk.

    But yeah, even ignoring the fact that this isn’t MLB and w/a salary cap the Knicks can’t, like the Yankees, outspend the rest of the league and BUY a title (and look how well THAT has turned out the last six years), I do care about the money.

    That being said, being able to change course when it’s clear a plan isn’t working is the hallmark of good management. Take the current administration in the White House, for example. Zing! I’d rather cut Jalen than risk seeing him dealt for CWebb/KMart or some similar-type overpaid, injury prone, ex-“star”.

  22. Ken (may I call you “The Animal”),

    I’ve been a season ticketholder for seven years so I’m fully aware of how expensive the tickets are (not just highest in the league, but in all of sports). That said, there has been no correlation over the years between the team’s payroll and the ticket prices. The Knicks just charge as much as they feel they can get away with, no matter how much they are paying the players. For example, the payroll has ballooned over the past few years but the ticket prices have barely moved upward if at all. Also, if merchandise has gotten more expensive, or the games have become more expensive to watch on MSG, then I haven’t noticed.

    I will agree that I’m on board with cutting Jalen and Taylor rather than trading them at the deadline this year. The Knicks simply have too many players right now. The only high-priced player that I think it would be worth getting with an expiring contract is Garnett (as Berman said in today’s Post), but I don’t see that happening anyway.

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