The State of the Knicks Salary Cap as of 6/16/15

With the draft a little over a week away and free agency to follow soon after, I figured now would be as good a time as any to restate the Knicks’ current sitution, vis a vis their salary cap (I might re-post this one more time right before free agency begins):

Now that we know where the Knicks are drafting, we officially now also know how much cap room the Knicks will have (based on a $66,500,000 cap. It could be higher than that, but everyone is currently projecting $66.5).

The Knicks’ #4 pick’s cap hold is $3,443,100. The rest of their salaries are 33,272,450.

That’s six players (the #4 pick plus Melo, Calderon, THJ, Cleanthony and Galloway) for a sum of $36,715,550.

However, you also need to take into account the fact that the Knicks have to have cap holds for their remaining six spots. Each cap hold is the minimum, so $525,093 per slot. For every free agent you sign, however, you fill in one of those slots. So for the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume Phil Jackson signs three free agents, so we’ll only have to account for three minimum slots. So it is $525,093 times three, or $1,575,279.

That brings us to $38,290,829. Subtract that from $66,500,000 and the Knicks have roughly:

$28,209,171 to spend on three free agents.

If the Knicks sign less than three free agents with their cap room or more than three free agents with their cap room, here is what they will have in cap room:

$27,684,078 to spend on two free agents.

$28,734,264 to spend on four free agents

$29,259,357 to spend on five free agents

$29,784,450 to spend on six free agents

It is important to note, however, that the Knicks will also have access to the room exception, which is $2,732,000. This is an exception given to teams who use up almost all or all of their cap room (but are not over the cap). It allows them to go over the cap, but only for $2,732,000 for one player (I believe that’s half the current mid-level). So the Knicks can spend the full $27,684,078 on two players and then use the room exception to sign a third player. Some decent players have signed for the room exception the last few years, including Vince Carter with Dallas in 2013 and Josh McRoberts with Charlotte that same year. The last time the Knicks had access to their room exception was in 2011-12 (after they went under the cap to sign Tyson Chandler). They used it in on JR Smith that year.

So if Jackson wants to hand out three mid-size contracts, he has $28,209,171 to work with. If he wants to hand out two big contracts and one room exception contract, he’ll have $27,684,078 to work with on the two big deals.

The Knicks have enough to make one max offer, but not two. They obviously can open up a lot more room if they somehow dump Calderon’s contract (it is kind of funny to note that had they kept Felton and just cut him, they’d have room for two max offers now).

EDITED TO ADD: Just for fun, if the Knicks waived Calderon and used the stretch provision on him, they’d open up roughly a little under $4 million in cap space ($4,380,683 minus the additional $525,093 cap slot they’d be opening up). So in that scenario, they’d have $31,539,668 in cap space for two free agents, almost literally the exact amount of cap room needed for two max offers (for young players with maxes of $15.7 million, of course, like Draymond Green and Greg Monroe, not older maxes of $20 million for players like Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge).

They’d have to pay Calderon roughly $3 million for the next five years, though, but with the cap rising, that’s probably not a huge deal.

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63 thoughts to “The State of the Knicks Salary Cap as of 6/16/15”

  1. you know what’s very impressive about this FO so far? all these workouts and zero leaks other than basically confirmation of what Phil had already said previously (if we drop in the lottery we’ll consider trading the pick).

  2. That is impressive, but then don’t you have to worry that perhaps there are no leaks because no one knows exactly what their plan is yet?

  3. The post is great and very helpful.

    I have a question about trade exceptions. I think the Knicks have substantial trade exceptions (The ESPN trade machine shows four for a total of $12M). If I understand how this works, they can trade a low salaried player for a high salaried player using them. For example, they could then trade Hardaway and use their JR Smith exception to receive a player in return with a salary of up to $7.1M. Does this mechanism allow them to go over the cap after they have already signed say, two players for $26M?

  4. I have a question about trade exceptions. I think the Knicks have substantial trade exceptions (The ESPN trade machine shows four for a total of $12M). If I understand how this works, they can trade a low salaried player for a high salaried player using them. For example, they could then trade Hardaway and use their JR Smith exception to receive a player in return with a salary of up to $7.1M.

    The Knicks will lose all of their trade exceptions as of July 1st. And since Phil seems like he is going to pursue free agency over everything, then it looks like they’re just going to lose them outright. But otherwise, yes, you’re correct in how they could use them right now. But as of July 1st, they’re all gone.

    Does this mechanism allow them to go over the cap after they have already signed say, two players for $26M?

    Same situation. Once they’re under the cap, they lose the trade exceptions. You only keep trade exceptions if you remain over the cap (even there they eventually expire, but they expire at the end of the season if you go under the cap).

  5. “Throw a Kentucky or a Duke jersey on him,” one long-time NBA GM said, “And you’re in a heated debate about who is No. 1 in this draft. He has Dirk’s shooting ability and moves and Kirilenko’s athleticism. Think about it. What if Dirk had been a better athlete and defender? What if Kirilenko was four or five inches taller and could shoot it? That doesn’t come along in the draft every year. I’m not sure it’s ever come along in the draft.”

  6. That is such bullshit. If he had a Kentucky or Duke jersey on him, we’d have seen him compete against college players all year and we’d know exactly where he stood.

  7. Brian,

    Thanks very much for the info. I knew they expired eventually but didn’t know it was so soon. I agree, I can’t imagine they’ll make a substantial trade before the draft unless they do something to get another pick.

  8. They only expire that soon if the team in question goes under the cap. For teams over the cap, they get them for a full year.

  9. Woj reporting that Butler will not take 5 year max extension instead opting for something like a 2 year deal (player option on 3rd). Kinda surprised given the rash of serious injuries in the NBA and the first big payday for players like Butler/Draymond/Middleton etc. I wonder how many other free agents will follow suit. I guess that makes me feel a bit better about that Melo S&T a year ago which might have included Butler. This promises to be one of the more interesting off-seasons in so many ways.

  10. “Throw a Kentucky or a Duke jersey on him,” one long-time NBA GM said, “And you’re in a heated debate about who is No. 1 in this draft. He has Dirk’s shooting ability and moves and Kirilenko’s athleticism. Think about it. What if Dirk had been a better athlete and defender?”

    Please be Mitch Kupchak. Please be Mitch Kupchak. Please be Mitch Kupchak.

  11. Let me add my thank you for this also. This cleared up some of the math a lot better than other articles I’ve seen. Great job.

  12. I have to admit Porzingis looked great in those workouts, but I’ve seen players look great for 20-30 games in the NBA and turn out to be mediocre. How can you judge from a single afternoon in Vegas?

    The one clear positive is that if Phil likes him, we may get him. If not, Russell or Okafor might fall to us. If not, we may make a very good deal trading down to someone that does want him.

  13. Jimmy Butler probably still ends up in Chicago but I see him leaving after two years for big money on a better team. I’d be surprised if Chicago is good in two seasons considering Noah and Gasol (maybe even Rose) will be relatively done by then. Jimmy Butler is making a Revis-esque decision here. I hope it pans out for him the same way it did for Revis.

  14. If the Bulls offer Butler the max other teams have to give him 3 guaranteed years, I think.

  15. “Throw a Wisconsin jersey on him,” one long-time NBA GM said, “And you’re in a heated debate about who is the whitest guy in this draft. He has a white European’s shooting ability and moves and another white European’s athleticism. Think about it. What if a white European had been a better athlete and defender? What if another white European was four or five inches taller and could shoot it? Such a white European doesn’t come along in the draft every year. I’m not sure it’s ever come along in the draft.”

    FTFY

  16. Other teams can’t sign Butler to an offer sheet of less than three years. So basically, it really doesn’t matter if he is “intrigued” by the Lakers, he is pretty much 100% guaranteed to be a Bull next season. He can choose to just accept a one-year deal with the Bulls, though, in which case he can leave the following year, but he will be a Bull next season. I love how every year you see these RFAs talk about how they’d like to go here or there, but it it is all nonsense unless their original team doesn’t want them back.

    Woj’s reporting, however, is realistic, as a two-year deal with a player option for a third is perfectly logical for Butler. It’s a risk, but a logical risk.

  17. One other comment. I think the Knicks are unlikely to end up with a roster of just 12 players. But I think they can use up all their cap room and then use room exception after that to go to thirteen players. If they want two more players to end up with fifteen, then they have to hire those two players at the league minimum.

  18. Bargs and Darko were dumb as dirt and had poor work ethics and attitudes. I don’t sense that in this kid. Still, I’m not at all convinced Zingbean’s gonna be able to add poundage and I’m not sure he’d survive playing for the Liberty let alone in the NBA at his current weight and strength. Like Brian noted, he didn’t appear to gain a pound in the last year. I wouldn’t draft him unless he agreed to take that metabolic rate test (and any other relevant tests) and have the results analyzed by the Mayo clinic or wherever. I’m not sure it would be in his interest to take the test – or maybe he has already taken it and the results were not encouraging? I mean if you wanted to maximize your earnings potential wouldn’t you go ahead and have that done and publicize the results if positive? OK I’ve convinced myself to take WCS who probably has an iffy work ethic and focus. ::sigh:: Why couldn’t Fish find a way to lose those two meaningless games at the end of the season and maybe we have Towns and don’t have agonize over this?

  19. I really think that the k’s are going to opt for the trade down. Think about it: we get leaks raving about Porzingis, WCS, and Winslow (people in the 4 range) but they keep working out 12-25 pick guys.
    Seems like they are trying to supercharge the value of the #4 and get a ridic trade down scenario.
    Also if they do buy another pick (say #24 or what have you) that plus a trade down to 9-12 would cost less together than paying a #4, and Jax seems like a pretty frugal guy so far (not including Melo, but I believe his hands were tied there.)
    Oddly, you’ve heard very little about Mudiay, which is why I think he’ll be our default #4 pick if they don’t get the trade down that they want.
    But you’ll probably see them end up with a “batch” of players like Kaminsky, Johnson, and a vet like Afflalo, example.

  20. GSW National Anthems>>>>>>>>>>>>>Cleveland’s National Anthems.

    For this reason alone, GSW should win. USA! USA! USA!

  21. Brian, Thanks for the cap info. My head is spinning but I get it.

    That brings us to $38,290,829. Subtract that from $66,500,000 and the Knicks have roughly: $28,209,171 to spend on three free agents.

    Roughly. LOL. Got lazy with the pennies?

    And Shump scores the first point of the game…

  22. You can’t hate on a blind girl with cerebal palsy and pretend to love America. Not on my watch.

    Then again , I think the Cavs ran a Shumpert post up, so I may have lost my mind

  23. I wasn’t hating. She was very brave and very inspirational. Just saying Metallica and Santana had a better rendition. Also, I’m not a fan of such blatant attempts to tug on one’s heartstrings.

  24. I love this Yahoo headline:

    Woj: Porzingis isn’t another Euro flop

    Oh, okay, that settles that, then.

  25. Woj and Chad Ford say he’s good-what more do you want?

    (To be fair, Kevin Pelton is really high on him too)

  26. Lol Steph dribbles the ball off his leg and it’s “active hands by Iman Shumpert”

  27. Lol. Every good move stump makes I start shaking my head before he lays it up because I believe a miss layup is coming

  28. This game looks like it’s going to come down to rather iggy and green make their open shots off the pnr.

  29. Delly had his Jeremy Lin moment in games 2 and 3, now he’s thudded back to earth and will most likely stay there for the rest of his career

  30. I remember a distant time ago when a team drained wide open threes and stifled your comeback your coach would call a timeout to yell at you to get your shit together. Apparently coaches don’t coach anymore.

  31. I see why Lebron does not like playing the 4, he rarely shows to protect the rim. His defense has been very poor this series and playoffs but he did have a heavy load to carry. He would get an occasional steal but his rotations and on ball D has been terrible.

  32. Mark Jackson has got to be dying inside.

    Fun question: Do the GSW’s win a title with Mark Jackson at the helm? Do they even make the Finals?

  33. Congrats to the Warriors. I know it sounds mean, but I’m so glad that JR Smith stunk it up. No surprise. Let’s hope the Knicks put that saved $6.4 million or so to good use.

  34. Congrats to the Warriors, but things couldn’t have broken any better for them in the playoffs. Not having to play the Spurs, Conley being out, playing the Rockets instead of the Clips and then the Cavs missing 2 of their 3 best players.

    But you can only beat who you play, so good job.

  35. slightly disappointing playoffs overall for the aforementioned injuries…. spurs/clips turned out to be the best one and we got it in the first rd.. wars/cavs first 4 games were up there…

    this whole small ball movement is going to affect the league next year but i do think it’s a perfect time to go big if you have the right guys…

    onto the draft and what is going to shape up to be another crazy month of rumors and speculation…

  36. It would have been fun if the Warriors had faced San Antonio and the Clips, as well as a healthy Cavs team. But you can’t take anything away from them. They won 67 games in dominating fashion, and clinched 3 playoff series on the road. They and the 1996 Bulls are the only teams to be top 2 in both offense and defense. And, most importantly, staying healthy for 100+ games is a big part of any championship.

    I was at MSG when the Spurs won their first chip back in 1999 and you could sense at that time that they were going to win a bunch more. I think Golden State could win a whole bunch over the next 5-10 years too.

    (And it was awesome seeing David Lee up there hugging the trophy…)

  37. yeah they may go on a run… but i just think they are going to get done in playing small ball by someone…. i don’t know who.. but the grizz came close and if they had any reliable shooter they might’ve ended it early for them….

    curry is uncanny… but they need reliable scorers around him and it’s going to be tough keeping it together…

  38. I think they can keep the core of Curry, Thompson, Green, Barnes, and Ezeli together forever if they want to. They are all under 26 and under control of the team for years. The bench will have to wax and wane a bit, but it did for the Bulls and the Spurs during their dynasties too.

  39. It was pretty funny watching Curry’s reaction when he didn’t win Finals MVP. He did not look pleased. He knew not to freak out about it, but you could tell he was thinking, “Seriously?” Andre Iguodala, NBA Finals MVP. That’s awesomely odd.

  40. Andre Iguodala, NBA Finals MVP. That’s awesomely odd.

    Yeah. It was an odd finals all around. But I think AI deserved it. He was the best defender on LeBron, and to win all they really had to do was control that one guy.

    (ps– great work on the state of the cap Brian)

  41. Oh yeah, if you were going to go with a Warrior, Iggy was likely the clear choice. I was honestly expecting them to go with Lebron before the game, just because of the narrative. Then late in the game, it seemed to me like the announcers were trying to hype Curry up for the MVP and then it went to Iggy. While deserving, he has to be the oddest player ever to win NBA Finals MVP. It’s kind of nuts how the voters are getting smarter about who wins awards. First Kawhi and now Iggy.

  42. Apparently if you’re the key defender on the best player in the world in the finals, that’s good enough! Must be the worst FT% of any Finals MVP in history, right?

    Iggy was definitely great in the series, probably their second best player. He and Livingston were the dudes who really stepped up their games.

    I feel bad for Cleveland, but with the East remaining the East, and possibly better health next year, they should be in the mix again. Super interesting FA scenario there with Love and Thompson. Personally, I’d re-sign TT and try to sign-and-trade Love.

  43. 12 for 35 from the free throw line for Iggy. Holy shit, that’s kind of nuts. But it’s funny, it was only barely worse than Shaq’s FT% from the 2000 NBA Finals, where Shaq won the first of his three NBA Finals MVPS.

  44. Damn so lebron is 2-4 in the finals. I wonder his feelings about that

    and an absolute miracle finish in 2013 from being 1-5.

  45. “and an absolute miracle finish in 2013 from being 1-5.”
    Everyone seems to forget that LeBron completely bricked a 3 pointer (barely hitting the right side of the rim on a wide open shot from the top of the key) right before Ray Allen hit that miracle shot. If Allen didn’t bail him out, the narrative on LeBron (at least before this series) would have been very different from what it is now.

  46. If Allen didn’t bail him out, the narrative on LeBron (at least before this series) would have been very different from what it is now.

    And yet he would be the same player. Lebron isn’t 2-4 in the finals. Teams with Lebron on them are 2-4 in the finals, mostly because of the guys not named Lebron.

  47. Well.. To be fair.. Technically Lebron is 0-2 in the finals, and 2-2 when he actually has a team. He was basically playing 1v5 this series.
    And I don’t even like him.

  48. “And yet he would be the same player. Lebron isn’t 2-4 in the finals. Teams with Lebron on them are 2-4 in the finals, mostly because of the guys not named Lebron.”
    You are 100% correct. The narrative would be different, but that doesn’t mean the narrative would be right. Very often the narrative is inconsistent with objective reality, especially since 2 of his finals teams probably wouldn’t have even sniffed the playoffs without him.

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