The State of the Knicks Salary Cap Entering the 2015 Free Agent Season

The NBA free agency period begins at midnight tonight, so I figured I’d let everyone know where the Knicks’ cap room stands heading into free agency.

Teams are technically not allowed to sign deals until July 8th, but can negotiate and basically agree to deals starting July 1st (teams are allowed to agree in principle with their own free agents before then, like the Phoenix Suns agreeing in principle on a 5 year/$70 million deal). The reason for this moratorium is because the league isn’t actually sure about the salary cap figures until July 8th, as they perform an audit during the week (why they can’t do the audit before then is beyond me). Teams can sign their own draft picks in the moratorium period, plus players can be signed to minimum contracts (plus players can accept qualifying offers). These deals rarely take place during the moratorium, but they are possible. In any event, this is a long way of telling you all that we don’t actually know for absolute certainty what the cap will be. We will know for sure on July 8th. That said, the league gives the teams an idea of what they think the cap will be, and it tends to be pretty darn accurate, so let’s go with the figure that the league told teams back in April – $67.4 million.

The maximum initial salary that a free agent can sign for is based on how many years of service they have in the league, 1-6 years, 7-9 years and 10 years plus. They are 25% of the cap, 30% of the cap and 35% of the cap, respectively. Oddly enough, though, the league uses different math to figure out these percentages, so they tend to be less than actual percentages of the cap.

Players with 1-6 years experience can sign an initial contract of $15.76 million
Players with 7-9 years experience can sign an initial contract of $18.91 million
Players with 10 years plus experience can sign an initial contract of $22.06 million.

Okay, with that out of the way, where do the Knicks currently stand?

The Knicks currently have only three players already under contract for 2015-16: Carmelo Anthony, Cleanthony Early and Jose Calderon.

Anthony – $22,875,000
Early – $845,059
Calderon – $7,402,812

However, they also own a very cheap team option for Langston Galloway of $845,059. Let’s assume that they are going to use that option (it is a pretty safe assumption).

The Knicks also have qualifying options for the following three players:

Alexey Shved $3,998,408
Quincy Acy $1,181,348
Travis Wear $1,045,059

While all three of these players theoretically might return to the Knicks next season, I would imagine that none of the three will actually receive qualifying offers, so let’s ignore them (EDITED TO ADD: The Knicks have officially declined their qualifying offer to Acy).

The Knicks will have cap holds on their cap for their other free agents, like Andrea Bargnani, but let’s assume that they are going to renounce all of those cap holds.

In addition, the Knicks have cap holds for their two first round picks, Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant. The Knicks are allowed to sign Porzingis and Grant for 80% of these figures or 120% of them (most teams give their rookies closer to 120%), but either way, the cap holds will apply (this is to keep teams from signing free agents and then signing their own draft picks).

Here are the cap holds for their two picks:
Kristaps Porzingis $3,443,100.
Jerian Grant $1,310,300 (Oddly enough, Grant will make more money this year than Tim Hardaway was due in his third year in the league, so the Knicks actually added salary with the Grant/Hardaway deal)

Okay, so the three under contract players, the almost certain to be picked up Galloway option and the two rookies. That gives the Knicks six players, and a total of: $36,721,330

However, you also need to take into account the fact that the Knicks have to have cap holds for their remaining six roster spots (each team has to have a minimum of twelve roster spots. The Knicks can, and will, add three players later on to get to fifteen spots, but that’s not going to matter for this exercise, so ignore that). 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.

So $36,721,330 plus $1,575,279 equals $38,296,609.

$38,296,609 from $67,400,000 gives the Knicks $29,103,391 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:

$28,578,298 to spend on two free agents.

$29,628,484 to spend on four free agents

$30,153,577 to spend on five free agents

$30,678,670 to spend on six free agents

The $28,578,298 and the $29,103,391 figures are probably the most important ones. This is because the Knicks also have access to what is called the room exception. 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 $28,578,298 on two players and then use the room exception to sign a third player. Or $29,103,391 on three players and then use the room exception to sign a fourth 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.

I used to note the figures in case the Knicks were to use the stretch provision on Jose Calderon, but that now does not appear to be even a consideration. If it were, they would open up $3,855,590 in cap room (but then have to pay Calderon $3,000,000 a year for five years).

$28,578,298 is not enough to sign two max players, but it is still a decent chunk of money. It’ll be fascinating to see how the Knicks spend it!

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154 thoughts to “The State of the Knicks Salary Cap Entering the 2015 Free Agent Season”

  1. The way that they’re talking, though, it sure sounds like Cory Joseph will be gone in San Antonio. The Knicks really don’t need him now, what with Grant being added to Galloway and Calderon, but he’s a tantalizing free agent piece.

    I get what you’re saying, but you don’t pass up a very productive player on a (presumably) cheap deal because you have an aging one dimensional player who missed half of last season, a promising 2nd year player, and a low first round draft pick. I like all 3 of those guys to some degree, but none of them is a sure thing for next year.

  2. I don’t think it’s safe to presume that it would be a cheap deal. I think he’ll get his money out there. But fair enough, if it is a cheap deal, then yes, you definitely sign him anyways and go with a lot of two point guard lineups.

  3. I’d say the best we could do is likely this combination (this isn’t considering trades like tiago splitter or the serbian guy from minne):

    Monroe for 15.76
    Corey Joseph for 8
    Aminu for 5
    Biyombo/Ajinca (is he valued this low?) for the room.

    Runners up would be monroe/Green and monroe/carroll

    If Monroe doesn’t come:
    Joseph for 8
    Aminu for 5
    Danny Green 12/Carroll 10-12
    David West (if he’s crazy)/Koufos/Ajinca 4m-5m
    Biyombo/Ajinca/Hansbrough for the room

  4. What do you think Joseph would make?
    I think it would be about the same as Calderon contract is right now.
    A real key would be for the Knicks to get Monroe to take a contract that starts out at $14m for this year.

    Monroe – 14m
    Carroll/Green/Harris – 14m
    Joseph- 7.5m

    If you could trade Calderon, I would gamble on Galloway becoming closer to the knick down shooter he was in college.

    Starting Joseph and Galloway at the 1 and 2 would be a nice defensive tandem. Short but nice.

  5. I mean cheap to be like 7-8 million. Cheap meaning he’s a very good bet to outperform that price.

  6. Nice article!

    Read the latest Zach Lowe piece on Grantland. I wonder what Jimmy Butler will do. Will he have the guts to go with the QO from Chicago and gamble it all on next year? I also wonder how much PJ will be eyeing next year with the cap going up about $23 million. Maybe try to secure a couple of good young big men this year and wait for the big time wing next year?

    What about restricteds this year? Could the Knicks try to grab an up and coming player or two like Jae Crowder? I’ve read that Boston wants to try to resign him to the room exception. So, offer him $3 million or more and they might not match. That wouldn’t tie up too much $$ while you wait to see if they match. If he can improve his three point shooting, he could become a steal. If.

  7. Janis Porzingis also said in Monday’s interview that his brother has been dealing with a hip injury that has prohibited him from working out in recent days. Kristaps Porzingis’ workout with the Knicks on June 22 was cut short because of the hip ailment, which Janis described as “tightness.”

    He’s a bust. Fire everyone.

  8. Signing rumors seem strongest for Greg Monroe. Every other rumor just seems to signal that the Knicks are talking to everyone they can. If the Knicks sign Monroe to a max contract then the numbers become:

    $12, 818,298 to spend on one free agent.

    $13,343,391 to spend on two free agents

    $13,868,484 to spend on three free agents

    The money sure goes fast if you sign someone to a max, even one who doesn’t have seven years of service yet. I didn’t calculate four or more free agents after Monroe, because that get’s you down into the salary range of the room exception. That said, I am in favor of signing Monroe. He’s a good player and it’s not so easy to sign free agents. There’s a lot of competition. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  9. Brian– thanks for this (as always). Maybe the salary was what was motivating Atlanta on the THjr trade??

    Also, can you give a little detail about the logistical process of pursuing restricted FAs? (Like, can a team make an offer sheet to more than one restricted FA at a time? And if the Knicks make an offer sheet to a restricted FA does that preclude them from competing for unrestricteds during the 72 hr wait time?)

  10. i think they’ll sign monroe and try to shop in the $4-8mm range… they did state they needed multiple big men.. which they do… so i doubt they’ll blow all their cap space on monroe and a wing…

    things will start to become unpredictable if monroe signs elsewhere…

  11. @9 – whatever offer sheet you sign with a rfa will put a hold on your cap space until the other team decides to either match or not…

  12. Yeah, as djphan notes, it creates a cap hold. So you can only sign multiple players to offer sheets if you have the cap room for both players.

  13. Taking Taigo Splitter off the Spurs hands would not be a bad move. He’s signed for 8 million per for the next two seasons. He’s pretty good, and would be a nice trade asset at that money.

  14. I would love splitter but do we have the assets to pull that trade off? I’m sure other teams want his services too

  15. if the hawks can take hardaway for a mid first… i’d say anything is possible…

    splitter’s good but he’s been very injury prone the last few years…

  16. Again splitter is not a cap dump guy. Someone would happily pay with real assets. we have zero shot.

  17. I agree that following the THJ trade, “never” and “zero chance” are out of my vocabulary for possible moves. Now, “unlikely” I can still get behind. ;)

  18. Zero is euphemism for very unlikely since it’s also possible that Travis wear and splitter swapped skill sets in the offseason. If the Th2 trade makes you swap your platonic lexicon for some kind postmodern whoknowsism shit is about to get really boring around here.

  19. If the knicks some how unload Calderon contract without taking on any money could that TPE be used to go over the cap in a S&T?

    The TPE that Calderon would create is around(above) the numbers Bjelica is rumored to be asking for.

  20. Zero is euphemism for very unlikely since it’s also possible that Travis wear and splitter swapped skill sets in the offseason. If the Th2 trade makes you swap your platonic lexicon for some kind postmodern whoknowsism shit is about to get really boring around here.

    Hey, I’m still down with “unlikely”! :)

  21. I found this fun quote: “Monroe told the Pistons that he had their qualifying offer “right here” while pointing to unmentionable places” Oh, he will fit right in.

    Lots of rumors about teams loving Monroe, but not so much on Carroll, or even Tobias Harris. What are you guys hearing?

    I hope any scenario of filling out the roster includes minimums for Amundson an Thomas; I think they earned that

  22. Any chance of doing something with the trade exceptions in the next 13 or so hours before they expire?

  23. Love this quote from Pop re: free agency:

    “I’m not calling anyone at midnight. I’ll be in bed. And if that’s the difference in someone coming or not coming, then I don’t want them.”

    When you’ve got his track record, you can pretty much say anything you want.

  24. Brian, the salary cap whisperer, provides yet another really helpful explainer heading into free agency. Thanks for this!

    Getting nervous about $15M for Monroe. Wonderful passer, skilled offensive player, good fit for the Triangle … but the rim protection and defense is such a problem

  25. almost all the FAs short of gasol are going to have a glaring hole in their game…

    if the grizzlies could make their defense work with zach randolph.. and the hornets with al jefferson… there’s hope for monroe… whether or not our coaching staff is up to that task remains to be seen…

  26. What’s Brandan wright going to be valued at actually he should totally be on our radar if he’s cheap

  27. Getting nervous about $15M for Monroe. Wonderful passer, skilled offensive player, good fit for the Triangle … but the rim protection and defense is such a problem

    I’m actually thinking we should go ahead with this. I know it’s a max contract so there aren’t any discounts, but I’ve seen little objective evidence that he’s a bad defender — all the better that he has this terrible reputation that does not obviously have any statistical backing. His Defensive RPM is in the top 12 at his position and his defensive net rating (on/off) is positive (103.7 on, 104.7 off). he’s a great defensive rebounder and gets a fair # of steals (11th in steals/48 among PFs and 5th in steals/foul among PFs). Basically it seems like everyone thinks he’s a bad defender because he didn’t have a lot of blocks. I sort of thought we were beyond one stat defining whether you were good or bad at defense.

  28. @26. It’s been proven that if he’s the only big out there, he’s pretty good. Someone in an earlier thread laid out the advanced stats on that. I think he’ll be fine as our 5.

    EDIT: Of course, as soon as I post it, Frank comes along and lays ’em out again. Thanks Frank!

  29. It concerns me that we seem to be focusing on only one of the two ways cap space can help a rebuilding team, i.e. by signing free agents.

    Rather than outright sign a guy like Afflalo (for instance) to a bad contract just because you have the space, why not find a guy like Afflalo already on a bad contract (like David Lee) and trade for him, picking up a major asset like a first round pick for your trouble? It doesn’t even seem like we are exploring this route, if reports are to be believed (admittedly a huge if).

    I get that the cap is set to go up next year, but surely there are some teams right now who would love to get under it this year, or avoid the luxury tax. That is a far more effective use of cap space for a team in our position.

    The only reason I’d even want to sign a guy is if we get such a great value, like the Paul Millsap deal two years ago, that we could trade said player for more assets later.

  30. I would only sign Greg Monroe, for instance, if it was on a below market deal and the plan was to pump up his value and trade him next season. If we can’t find that sort of value, I hope to god we don’t use the space. Just keep it and pick up assets with it.

  31. If you had a choice:

    A) Greg Monroe on a 4 year max contract

    or

    B) David Lee at 1 year, $15.5mm, plus Kevon Looney and/or future picks

    What would you take if you were Phil?

    I’ll take B all day. And then I’ll do that again next year. We are really bad, and we need to start accumulating. How much do you think the dropoff from Greg Monroe to David Lee for one year is really going to kill this team? But if we do something like B over and over again, we will accelerate the rebuilding process by a lot.

  32. Monroe is the least understood player I’ve ever encountered. IMHO People – and I was one of them – have him wrong on both the offense and the defense. If you take his very productive first 2 years and then ran stats where he played the 5 (no Drummond), his improvement to an elite offensive player is evident. And he’s improved on defense to where he’s average+ but not a shot blocker. Picture Amare on offense but a decent defender. Many people, including Ziller, Gibberman, Herring, Hubert, Seth to name just a few don’t appear to appreciate this. Based on history alone, he projects to have AD-like efficiency/usage in a Triangle featuring spacing. Only a very select few – the 5 or 6 best offensive players in the game – have a better efficiency/usage profile.

  33. I think I am OK with signing Monroe, and OK with not signing him. Boring position, haha. I compiled all the anecdotes and numbers I could find about his defense on P&T ( http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2015/6/29/8864351/a-bunch-of-random-numbers-and-quotes-on-monroes-defense ) if you wanna see it all in one place.

    As evidenced on this thread, more and more people seem to agree that while he’s not gonna be Deandre or Prime Jo Noah on defense, he’s not actually bad at defense either. He’s better at defense than certain centers with actual defensive reputations, like Omer Asik, according to most numbers (see the link for those numbers).

    I Still think certain other centers who may be better at defense can be h ad for cheaper, and that would be fine — RoLo, Koufos, Wright, etc.

    The question I have, as I am too lazy to do more research, is this: are those guys APPRECIABLY better than Monroe on defense according to metrics? Not just in blocks, but all around? Because RoLo, for example is gonna get at least 12 mil, I think. Who knows what koufos would get, but you would presume at least 8 and at most 12. Because if the drop off from Monroe to those dudes on defense isn’t great then you damn sure better spend the extra 3 mil in this hypothetical to get near-elite offense and rebounding from Monroe.

    Just a thought. Hopefully we can just overpay danny green, nab Monroe (or koufos or wright), room exception David West, and call it a night.

  34. It sounds like, by the way, Monroe wants to sign a 2-year deal (perhaps with a player option or 3) so that he has a shot at that new TV money while he’s still in his prime. That makes him less of a bargain (given how small the mini-max is compared to what DeAndre will get), but it also minimizes our exposure. If he turns out to be a classic Good Player On a Bad Team, then we’re not locked into him for too long. And if he plays well enough to earn a raise, that will cause cap issues, but it’ll also mean we have a great player.

  35. What is funny to me is the love Aldridge gets but to the media Monroe is just a whatever get. Yes their offensive games look different but how is LaMarcus better than Monroe? Is it because he takes more shots? Is aldridge a good defender? He’s okay I guess but he is not a rim protector and before Lopez got their people complained about his defense. Does he score it more efficiently? What about rebound, pass, or stl? To LAs credit he does shoot FTs better and they get to the line about the same amount.

    What the heck would happen if Greg plays in an offense suited for him?

  36. if the grizzlies could make their defense work with zach randolph.. and the hornets with al jefferson… there’s hope for monroe… whether or not our coaching staff is up to that task remains to be seen…

    Could the Grizzlies have made it work with Zach Randolph if you swapped Marc Gasol for Melo?

    We already have a frontcourt player whose defensive deficiencies need to be covered. I hate the idea of pairing two of them together without a single other + defender on the team, let alone a ++ defender like the ones that helped cover for Randolph and Jeffereson in your scenario above.

    Whether or not Monroe is underrated, I feel confident that a defensive frontcourt of Melo and Monroe is going to be very bad and will negate any gains from pairing them together on offense.

  37. ? I’m pretty sure that we have very good defensive players in galloway and possibly grant. Monroe is an average defender who isnt good at blocking but if porzingis is as good blocking the weak side as he is alleged to be that shouldnt be too much of an issue by next year when he’s developed a bit. I’m almost 100% sure we’re going to be signing an excellent defensive wing player this offseason. while our defense wont be elite it’s not going to be the dumpster fire that it was this year either I imagine.

    a starting lineup of:
    Corey Joseph/Grant/Galloway
    Danny Green/galloway/grant
    Melo
    Porzingis
    Monroe

    doesnt seem too awful. If you put calderon as the starting guard then the defense seems mediocre at worst–especially given the synergy between kristaps and monroes defensive skills. This is assuming porzingis can contribute in blocks immediately which i guess is a total unknown.

    But you can easily imagine a scenario where porzingis plays off the bench the first year and we have a good defensive pf like west, hansbrough, wright or even melo at the 4, and aminu at the 3, which, paired with some combo of grant galloway and joseph, seems like a solid defensive starting 5. It doesn’t seem like you can unequivocally say that Melo/Monroe is going to be a defensive train wreck and you definitely can’t say that it’ll outweigh the offensive benefits until we have more data and information about our future team roster.

  38. I feel confident right now saying that a front line of Melo, Monroe, and Porzingis is going to be a disaster defensively. I don’t think we need to blow a max contract just to accumulate the data necessary to prove it.

  39. Whether or not Monroe is underrated, I feel confident that a defensive frontcourt of Melo and Monroe is going to be very bad and will negate any gains from pairing them together on offense.

    Despite evidence that Monroe *may* be passable on D, this might be true too. But again, my question is — how much better on D are RoLo, Koufos, and Wright than him, according to metrics? I say that not to snarkily defend Monroe, but out of actual curiosity. I don’t have synergy so I can’t access all the good stuff. IDK if one of the writers here has access, but that’d be a good post — evaluating just how good at defense the big man options on the market are.

    RoLo and Monro had the same DRTG for example, and that’s with RoLo playing with LMA Batum and Wes (tho with Lillard too, to be fair lol). Koufos, on the other hand, had a DRTG of 99 last yr and 101 the year before (with memphis’ defense) so we can safely say he’s better, I think.

    I just wanna compile more evidence about the other big man options on defense to know HOW big the gap between them and Monroe is. If it’s not that big then this shouldn’t even be a debate, imo, esp if Monroe wants 2 years.

  40. Whether or not Monroe is underrated, I feel confident that a defensive frontcourt of Melo and Monroe is going to be very bad and will negate any gains from pairing them together on offense.

    The idea should be to have an initial front-court of Monroe and maybe Ajinca and then eventually Zinger/Monroe would play the 4/5. It’s not so much Monroe at the 5 as it is making sure that others in front-court could hit mid-range shots. I also don’t think Monroe at 5 and Melo at the 4 would be Armageddon if you had 3 good defenders on the floor. Yeah, if it’s Calderon and Melo, then that’s a problem but that shouldn’t be how we build a team.

    It sounds like, by the way, Monroe wants to sign a 2-year deal (perhaps with a player option or 3) so that he has a shot at that new TV money while he’s still in his prime. That makes him less of a bargain (given how small the mini-max is compared to what DeAndre will get), but it also minimizes our exposure.

    If he doesn’t pan out, he’s limited to 3 years. If he does, we have early bird rights under existing CBA which would allow us to offer him 1.75 times current salary. That would be 30+ million but we could go over the cap to sign him. If he opts out to get 36m instead of 31m, well what are you gonna do? These figures are so staggering I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around them.

  41. Monroe was a terrible defender as of 2 years ago. That’s how he got his reputation. Last year he was good against the pick and roll, and in general. He plays smart to make up for his defensive deficiencies that’s a player I want. He doesn’t block shots because he wants to contest without fouling. He rarely ever fouls.

    I put up a number of links touting his defense a few threads ago.

  42. What I’m saying is that we don’t have a particularly good reason to assume that porzingis is going to start at the 4, at least not yet. If he starts theyll have a terrible defense but thats not monroes fault so much as it is fisher’s fault for not managing his rotations correctly, right? like zanzibar said if you have 3 plus defenders on the floor (we have one in galloway, maybe one in grant, and one/two of biyombo aminu ajinca crowder joseph green carroll splitter etc. from free agency) it seems quite possible that we can field a competent defense next year.

    Im not saying i wouldnt do the david lee trade for kevon looney plus whatever(because I definitely would), I just dont think phil is planning on that this season so im not treating it as a possibility.

    If the plan is to spend our cap in the interest of getting free agents and not expirings for rebuilding, you could do way worse than monroe + whoever

  43. I’m not sure why we think Melo plus Monroe will be a disaster. We’re talking about 2 mediocre defenders, not Bargs, amare or THJr.

  44. SB Nation thinks we’re gonna land Monroe for 2/30mm, Afflalo 4/44 and West for 2/12. Uhm, that’s $32 in space gone…can you use the room exemption to partially complete a contract?

  45. SB Nation thinks we’re gonna land Monroe for 2/30mm, Afflalo 4/44 and West for 2/12. Uhm, that’s $32 in space gone…can you use the room exemption to partially complete a contract?

    We can make the contracts back end heavy in order to make it fit this year. I assume that’s what they mean (granted I don’t know exactly how much would be saved this year).

  46. That’s the kind of think that strikes me as terrible. You can find players as good as Monroe, Afflalo, and West on current teams, and they will give you assets to take them AND you won’t be commited for as long a term.

    Fortunately, it’s SB Nation, so it’s probably made up.

  47. Also: a team’s ability to extract assets for absorbing bad contracts into space is likely to go down drastically next year, as next year pretty much everyone will have cap room and bad contracts may not look as bad.

  48. Here’s some statistics on Aldridge that would scare the shit out of me if I were a GM considering a max deal:

    Last season, 37% of his FG attempts came from between 16 feet and the 3 point line, and 23% from between 10-16 feet. He made 42% and 39% of those shots, respectively. And in case you think that’s an aberration, the year before he took 42%of his shots from between 16 feet and the 3 point line.

    I want no part of this guy, maybe the Spurs can utilize him effectively.

  49. We’re also looking at Pat Beverly apparently, per Alex Kennedy. He’d be a decent get but I don’t know about going with Beverly, Calderon, Grant, and Galloway. Seems too small of a backcourt.

  50. If Monroe only wants a two year deal you’d think he’d sign somewhere he’d be the primary offensive option. As pointz=$$$ it’d put him in a better position for a really big payday down the road. I’m fine with signing him I’ll just be mildly surprised if he chooses the Knicks over some of the other teams interested in him like Boston or Portland (if LA leaves) where he’d get more touches.

  51. Toronto is rumored to want to move Derozan. I’d rather trade for Derozan’s last year of his deal than sign Afflalo for four years. I do want Monroe, though, because I’m confident he’s going to improve to an elite offensive talent in the triangle offense.

  52. If Golden State wanted to give us Ezeli or Looney to dump David Lee, I’d take that in a heartbeat.

    Lee’s “bad contract” only affects us for a year — a year where he’ll help improve the team.

    All of the Knicks problems will not be solved in one offseason. They need to improve pretty significantly this year, to put themselves in line to *actually* reel in useful free agents in upcoming offseasons. Nobody who is legitimately great is going to come play for the Knicks when they’re coming off their worst season in history.

    In any event, as Zach Lowe points out somewhat indirectly, it’s going to be hard to “overpay” this year. Tier A and B guys who want max money? They will either be looking for very short term deals (which is great no matter how you slice it) OR they will be signed to a “bargain” max deal given the skyrocketing that max contracts are due to undergo in a couple of years (which is great).

    So even though I am decidedly meh on Greg Monroe, if he wants to come for a 2-year max contract because he’s betting on himself playing great and staying healthy over the next 2 years, that sounds like a pretty great deal to me.

    Personally, I’d like to see the Knicks aggressively target shooting and defense. I’d rather try to get a defensive big (DJ, Chandler, Asik) and then throw down for a DeMarre Carroll or Danny Green. Wes Matthews would be amazing too, if healthy, but he’s such a gamble coming off an Achilles.

  53. Don’t forget that we possibly have Labeyrie and Thanasis signing with the Knicks this year. I’m skeptical Labeyrie makes it, but Thanasis probably does.

  54. I’d like to see the Knicks aggressively target shooting and defense. I’d rather try to get a defensive big (DJ, Chandler, Asik)

    We will talk to DJ but he probably ain’t coming through that tunnel. Chandler is obviously not going to return — if he doesn’t re up in Dallas, Milwuakee will take him in a heartbeat. Asik actually is not as good defensively as Monroe last year. He’s a great shot blocker but helpless on anything else, I think, which is why he was tremendous on the bulls as well as Houston when their perimeter guys and fast bigs could cover for him.

    Again…how good at defense are our other FA Center options, *really*? Gimme Wright or Koufos and go for SERIOUS bang for buck if we gonna forgo Monroe, not a midway option like RoLo or Asik where they may not even really be better than him at defense.

  55. I would only sign Greg Monroe, for instance, if it was on a below market deal and the plan was to pump up his value and trade him next season. If we can’t find that sort of value, I hope to god we don’t use the space. Just keep it and pick up assets with it.

    why do you think he’s so bad at $15MM?

  56. That’s the kind of think that strikes me as terrible. You can find players as good as Monroe, Afflalo, and West on current teams, and they will give you assets to take them AND you won’t be commited for as long a term.

    Monroe>>>Lee. Monroe is one of the most efficient shot creators in the league (a very scarce resource) and he’s better than Lee on defense. Why would we want to rely on an aging Melo to be our only real shot creator? If we whiff on players like Monroe/Green/Carroll/Ajinca, then I would consider taking Lee and Looney. Houston apparently is also looking to free cap. I do fear that Phil will take West and/or Afflalo if he strikes out on his first choices. I think there are enough good players out there this free agency that we shouldn’t be looking at renting space but I’m kind of wary of some of the players Phil may be targeting.

    If Monroe only wants a two year deal you’d think he’d sign somewhere he’d be the primary offensive option.

    I think he might fear that such a team might do what Pistons did after his first couple of years. He knows Knicks are committed to Triangle and Zinger so it’s not as much of a risk.

  57. why do you think he’s so bad at $15MM?

    I don’t, I was concerned about years. That was before I realized he was looking for 2-3 years. Now that I see he wants short term it’s less of a concern.

    I wouldn’t hate signing him. I do think he and Melo would comprise a terrible defensive frontcourt. But Monroe on a 2-3 year $15mm deal could eventually fetch more in a trade than we might get now by absorbing a bad deal.

    I sure would prefer to help the Warriors dump Lee, though.

  58. I’m all for signing Monroe. I think he is the best big available for us in free agency period. His age makes him a better option than Gasol or an overrated Aldridge, and if we went for a defensive center like Jordan or Asik we would not have enough shot creators on this team. By signing Monroe it makes 3 and d players like Green and Carroll great options and offensively limited PG’s like Galloway and Grant (or maybe even Beverley or Joseph) good fits. Carmelo cannot be the only dynamic offensive player. We need two shot creators and then shooters around them. We’re not getting a dynamic PG or wing to pair with Melo and Porzingis is a couple years away from being anything more than a role player so Monroe is the best fit.

    I think the Bjelica rumor is really encouraging. He would be perfect as a stretch four to play between Carmelo and Monroe. He has averaged between 9.5 and 12.3 rebs/40 over the last three seasons while shooting over 40% from 3 in two of those seasons. He was MVP of euroleague which tells me he is not bad defensively and he is an outstanding passer. Watching clips he reminds me a bit of David Lee with more range, less rebounding (but not much less) and better defense. On top of all this the contract that is being discussed is on the 3/12 range which is a total deal.

    My perfect offseason would be: Monroe 2/30, Green 4/40, Bjelica 3/12, and then stretch Calderon and sign Beverley or somehow trade Calderon and sign Beverley and Ajinca with his capspace.

    Beverley
    Green
    Carmelo
    Bjelica
    Monroe

    With Grant, Galloway, Porzingis and Aldrich (of Ajinca if we trade Calderon) off the bench.

  59. I think a real option is sending a 1st with Calderon if that’s what it would cost. Who knows maybe they can do it for cash and two 2s. IF they trade Calderon without taking back salary they create around $36.7m to spend on 3 players and $37.1m to spend on 4 players

    My plan for if they traded Calderon would be.

    Monroe
    Green/Carroll/ Harris(wings)
    Joseph

    Then use the TPE from Jose to do a S&T for Bjelica. Maybe give the Wolves two of the three 2nd rounders they have plus Cash(if not used). They also have the draft rights to Labeyrie and Thanasis to use too.

    That would possibly get the team several young players with experience. IF the Knicks could get Monroe to take a contract starting at $14m since he wants to have a short contract would be all the better.

    Say they get those players to sign contracts starting at $14m, $12, and $7m that would create almost $4m to use to sign one more player and that’s not counting the room exception money.

    Another option would be to use the Joseph money on Ajinca and C.J. Watson. With Watson you get a veteran PG that provides you the shooting that you lose with Calderon. Then you still have $4m plus to sign more FAs. Then again the $4m might be used to sweeten the deals for Monroe, a (wing), and Ajinca/Watson combo. Basically the Knicks would sign to players at $15m with close to $7m left over.

    So is the opportunity for the Knicks to come away with:

    Greg Monroe
    Green
    Ajinca
    Watson
    Bjelica

    worth a 1st rd pick and the 2nd rounder that would come in a S&T?

  60. Zach Lowe’s article really crystallizes that there essentially won’t be any “bad” deals for teams this offseason. Everything will look cheap in 2 years and will be tradeable. Get anyone reasonable and unlikely to fall o at as long a contract as you can

    And since the rookie scale isn’t changing along with the explosion in the cap, we absolutely can’t trade any more 1st round picks…

  61. Ummm…it’s starting look like I might have to eat at least one foot and maybe an ankle; there are reports that the Spurs might give splitter and mills to the cavs for just the Brandon Haywood trade exception. if it’s true, this is something we should definitely do. Splitter is 31 and injury prone, but he is an excellent defender and finisher and has only two affordable contract years. Mills has a cheap little contract and isn’t 100 years old.

  62. There might not be any crippling deals, but signing Afflalo and West at the prices being floated around would strike me as bad deals just for the potential opportunity cost alone.

  63. Ummm…it’s starting look like I might have to eat at least one foot and maybe an ankle; there are reports that the Spurs might give splitter and mills to the cavs for just the Brandon Haywood trade exception. if it’s true, this is something we should definitely do. Splitter is 31 and injury prone, but he is an excellent defender and finisher and has only two affordable contract years. Mills has a cheap little contract and isn’t 100 years old.

    Another thing I’d rather do than give my cap space to the likes of Afflalo and West.

    This doesn’t even take into account how a team like Philly makes out like a bandit at the trade deadline every year simply by having the cap space to facilitate a three-team deal at the trade deadline.

    Why can’t we be that team one time? We need so much, I say keep the flexibility.

  64. I feel confident right now saying that a front line of Melo, Monroe, and Porzingis is going to be a disaster defensively. I don’t think we need to blow a max contract just to accumulate the data necessary to prove it.

    Totally disagree. Melo is an average defender – good when he’s motivated, weak when he’s not. Not a liability. The numbers say that Monroe is actually pretty good. No, he is not a rim protector, but I do believe that will be one of Porzingis’s strengths. I do not believe the Zinger will play more than 20 minutes per game next year, but that’s why you pick up good two-way players like Danny Green and a good help big like Anjica. Prevent penetration, have a good help defender for when it happens.

    A completely reasonable FA haul we could actually afford (as opposed to some of the scenarios people here laid out that far exceed the $30 mil Cronin explains would be available) would be:

    Monroe at $15 mil
    Green at $12 mil
    Ajinca at $3 mil

    BIGS:
    Monroe
    Porzingis
    Ajinca
    Cole

    WINGS:
    Melo
    Early
    LThomas

    GUARDS:
    Calderon
    Green
    Grant
    Galloway

    With the exception of Calderon, that’s a decent defensive lineup. And on offense, it should be elite. Melo can play some 4 and Green some 3, the Zinger might be anything from a 3 to a 5, and may effectively play different positions on O and D. Still, we’d need another great wing – but that’s a good team, and we have another max to offer the subsequent year.

  65. Phil should get in there and tell Spurs he was planning to offer 9m to Cory Joseph but he’ll refrain if they give us Splitter/Mills in exchange for Early/Labyrie/Greek or some 2nd round picks or whatever. .

  66. First, thanks Brian for the cap info. I came close to those numbers after pouring over the CBA FAQ but you nailed it. (Damn that document for making me feel like an idiot).

    Here we are on the eve of the free agent frenzy and I feel like we did our due diligence. Should we call Phil and tell him “Hey pal, we’ve got this!”? I feel ready and we’ve forming solid opinions.

    My thoughts are that we start by getting a Big and a Wing . Monroe seems to be the Big. We have targets in Carroll, Matthews, Green, Afflalo for the Wing. Figure Monroe @ $15.5 and Afflalo @ $8M which leaves us about $5.5M for a third free agent.

  67. 27.
    djphan
    June 30, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    if the grizzlies could make their defense work with zach randolph.. and the hornets with al jefferson… there’s hope for monroe… whether or not our coaching staff is up to that task remains to be seen…

    +100
    Monroe is not perfect, but he is a good start. Let’s face it, he’s a big improvement over anyone they currently have. He can score and he’s young enough that we can hope he’ll improve.

  68. I’m fine with Carroll instead of Green. May even be better, as we seem to have enough solutions at guard (and then could offer the minimum to Shved as well).

    I would not be happy with Afflalo.

    I would also not be happy with LMA.

    I don’t think I’d gamble on Wes Matthews. Achilles injuries are tricky, and we have better options (I hope!).

  69. Agree with Rama – yes on Shved – he played pretty well from what I saw last year. Seems like a good affordable bench option in the backcourt .
    Carroll would be a very good fit at the 3 allowing Melo to play the 4
    No on LMA – too expensive, too old, not a god fit
    Afflalo – meh. I wouldn’t be too happy or too mad. Not sure what he has left, last year’s performance was somewhat uninspiring

  70. Another important point. This is the year to max out players you think are “core”. After the huge cap bumps in 2016 and 2017, they will become bargains and very easy to trade.

  71. Afflalo is a guy I’d sign only if we strike out on Green and Carroll, but at 7-8/year he’s not terrible. We do need somebody who can play the 2 and 3.

    Re: Calderon I don’t think we’re going to get rid of him. I get the sense that Phil likes him and his style of play does hypothetically fit well in our system. If we did though, how much cap space do we save this year by stretching him?

  72. Patty Mills TS% dropped 100 points last year. Am I missing something here?

    No both Mills’ and Beverley’s performance dropped significantly after returning from injury. Is it temporary? Maybe but that’s why I’d prefer Joseph or CJ Watson over those two. But it looks like Spurs will try to retain Joseph so we may have to cross DGreen and Joseph off our shopping list.

    Ok how about this? Sign Monroe, waive Calderon, and take Lee and Looney?

  73. Patty Mills TS% dropped 100 points last year. Am I missing something here?

    Yes. He had a shitty 800 minutes coming off an injury. But he is in his prime and has a 55.4% career TS in 4000+ career minutes shooting 39% from 3 and 84% FTs. He has two years on a very cheap $3.5m contract.

    TS% is volatile and 801 minutes is like a bad 20 game stretch for a full time player. In 112 playoff minutes, his TS was 74.4%. In fact, if you combine the regular season and the playoffs his TS% last year jumps all the way to .526. He can pass a bit and isn’t nearly as bad a defender/rebounder as his size would indicate. Remember, $3.5 million, two yeras. No-brainer asset, especially for a team like us.

  74. What about Looney is so good that you’d want to watch a Melo, Lee, Monroe front court next year? I struggle to think of a more redundant grouping.

  75. The problem with Mills is I think the spurs are trying to package Diaw not Splitter with Mills in the Cavs trade. For Cleveland getting Mills is worth absorbing Diaw’s contract for us it is not.

  76. No-brainer asset, especially for a team like us.

    You mean because no brains are involved?

  77. I’ve always said, there’s no better way to prove how little you need validation than to say so in all caps beneath a giant selfie.

  78. What about Looney is so good that you’d want to watch a Melo, Lee, Monroe front court next year? I struggle to think of a more redundant grouping.

    That would only be if Carroll/Green/Ajinca/Joseph/Koufos couldn’t be acquired. The benefit is that Looney would be a trade chip later this season or next summer. That would give us more flexibility in terms of ways we could acquire players. Having oodles of cap is not always the best situation and I don’t want to sign players like West and Afflalo.

  79. Mills is not as good as CoJo (who seems to have caught on with the twitterati), but he’s on such a small contract that he’d be worth the money. If the Spurs land LMA, resign Kawahi, bring back Duncan-are they going to have any money left to match a 3/24 offer for Joseph?

  80. I think you guys are over-stating what Brian says we have avail here.

    We have 6 players. We have $29M to sign 3 guys. 1 more guy gets the room exception at $2.7M. That’s 10 guys. 2 other get the minimum.

    Monroe at max will be almost $16M. If your 2nd FA takes $12M (Green) you have $1.5M left. You aren’t getting a 3rd decent guy.
    -You aren’t getting Monroe and Green and Joseph.
    -You aren’t getting Monroe and Green and Ajinca, Watson or Bjelica
    -GS will give up Lee and avoid the tax only IF they keep Ezuli. You aren’t getting him in a deal that is purely financial by them.
    -You aren’t trading Calderon unless you either take more $$ back or give up a 1. Giving up a 1 would be a huge, huge mistake. that’s a lottery pick, so that you can afford the likes of Joseph.
    -Leaving yourself only the minimum means some of the guys from last year (Schved, Cole!!, Amundson) might find a better deal elsewhere

  81. What about Looney is so good that you’d want to watch a Melo, Lee, Monroe front court next year? I struggle to think of a more redundant grouping.

    Better question:

    why don’t we look past next year? Every possible combination of players we put on the court next year is probably going to be bad.

    When you’re a rebuilding team devoid of assets, that is 3-5 years away from being able to contend in a playoff series, I say you have to take every chance you have to turn one asset into two assets.

    (nless the one asset can actually substantially improve your lot. If we were talking about DeAndre Jordan here, I’d say let’s do it. But we’re talking about assembling a Melo-Monroe frontcourt.)

    Again, Monroe may be good value, so I’m not against him. But let’s not go all the way here and build a team around him, Melo, and Afflalo. That team still probably isn’t even a playoff team in the east. Whereas if you maintain some flexibility, you might be able to pick up a first round pick and another quality asset over the next 12 months.

  82. Marc Stein ?@ESPNSteinLine 12m12 minutes ago

    And word is Rondo, wherever he goes next, could well go the one-year-contract route as he looks to rebound from bumpy season with Celts/Mavs

    Think we could swing this? Rondo/Calderon start, Grant/Galloway off the bench?

  83. Afflalo is a guy I’d sign only if we strike out on Green and Carroll, but at 7-8/year he’s not terrible. We do need somebody who can play the 2 and 3.

    Afflalo is actually pretty bad. He hasn’t been good since he left Denver.

  84. If the Spurs land LMA, resign Kawahi, bring back Duncan-are they going to have any money left to match a 3/24 offer for Joseph?

    They could go over the cap to sign him as an RFA and Spotrac shows about a 3m QO cap hold. That’s why Phil could put some pressure on them by making an offer to Joseph on July 8 if LMA situation is not resolved (I think it would be though). But you may be referring to whether owner wants to spend the money at all, a different issue?

  85. Marc Stein ?@ESPNSteinLine 12m12 minutes ago

    And word is Rondo, wherever he goes next, could well go the one-year-contract route as he looks to rebound from bumpy season with Celts/Mavs

    Think we could swing this? Rondo/Calderon start, Grant/Galloway off the bench?

    If Isaiah was our GM, he’d do it in a heartbeat. If I was the GM, he would be the very last guy in the NBA I’d want on my team

  86. No Afflalo, no Rondo. No anyone whose name ends in O.

    I think you guys are over-stating what Brian says we have avail here.

    I said Monroe at $15m, Green at $12m, Ajinca at $3m. Close enough to $30m, especially if you just use the room exception for Ajinca. Do you think he’s getting more than $3m?

  87. If I was the GM, he would be the very last guy in the NBA I’d want on my team

    Have you forgotten Bargs already??

  88. im pretty sure my math in post 3 checks out and those are clearly the best options to an objective, non-fanboy basketball genius like myself

  89. Afflalo is bad bad bad and there is no possible world in which we should be signing him. sadly in the actual world thats probably what will end up happening

  90. Aflallo was an outstanding complementary offensive player alongside Melo and Billups when his usage was in the 15 percentage range.

    But he’s always been a below average defender. He’s since been exposed in higher usage environments.

    IF limited to spot-ups 3s and attacking close-outs, I think he could be a net positive player.

    But John Jenkins can probably do those things at the same level for a 1/3 to a 1/4 of the price.

    Frankly, I think Ricky Ledo or Shved have a chance to contribute at AA’s level.

    Of course Melo wants to be surrounded by players he’s comfortable with and he’s seen play their part at a high level, but this is not an instance where that should matter.

  91. If you can get Ajinca, Green and Monroe in one off-season, that’s going to make the Knicks competitive next year and will keep them in strong position moving forward.

  92. if the grizzlies could make their defense work with zach randolph.. and the hornets with al jefferson… there’s hope for monroe… whether or not our coaching staff is up to that task remains to be seen…

    Well, Tony Allen is probably the best perimeter defender of his generation. And Marc Gasol was defensive player of the year two years ago. So stick Monroe in there and, sure, you’ll probably have a solid defensive team. But I’m not sure where the Knicks would be getting two all world defenders from, so I don’t think the Grizzlies model is all that helpful here.

    No Afflalo, no Rondo. No anyone whose name ends in O.

    Greg “Extra E” Monroe?

  93. @90 – I agree that Joseph+Monroe+Green is out, unless we waive and stretch Calderon (which unfortunately is never happening) or he only goes for 4-5 million which is unlikely and most likely matched by the Spurs.

    We could however afford Bjelica+Monroe+Green pretty easily.
    Our cap space if we sign three players is 29.1 million
    Monroe starts at 15.75 million so that leaves 13.35 million
    Rumors have Green getting a contract in the 4 years 40-45 million range that means with raises his contract would start around 8-9 million leaving 4-5 million to sign our final piece.
    Bjelica is rumored to be looking at a contract in the 3 years 12 million range well under the 4-5 million we will have left after signing Monroe and Green.

    It even gives us a little wiggle room if Green wants $50 million over 4 years or Bjelica wants $15 million over 3.

  94. The Knicks don’t need to build a great defense next year to become competitive again and start the foundation of a very good-great team.

    Signing Monroe and a wing like Carroll or Green, and with some of the presumed rotation players already on the roster, the Knicks will be good enough on defense to win more basketball games than they lose next season.

  95. I’d be very very surprised if we make any move for a point guard type. We already have 3 under contract (Grant, Calderon, Galloway), and a 4th who will come cheap and already knows the system to some extent (Shved). Our needs are clearly at the 5 and the 2, and I can’t imagine we won’t spend the vast majority of our cap space on those 2 positions. So I’d put the dreams of Corey Joseph and Rondo (blech) out of your heads. I also think Galloway could give you 80% of Patrick Beverley for 15% the price.

    $15.8M for Monroe
    $12M for Danny Green or Demarre Carroll

    If no DG or DC then give Jared Dudley a shortish contract for about $6MM (assuming he opts out in the next 7 hours) and try to pick up Ajinca with the rest. If no Ajinca then bring back Cole. Or bring back Cole regardless.

    if no Monroe then try to get Lopez or Koufos.

  96. I don’t get the hate for Afflalo. He’s a savy veteran and a pal of Melo. He’s a decent defender and can score. No. He’s not great. I would rather have a young Kobe Bryant. There are actually a number of free agents I would rather have. But I’m not going to flip out if we sign him.

  97. No Afflalo, no Rondo. No anyone whose name ends in O.

    No Jerebko, Biyombo, or Udo-h, ?

  98. No Jerebko, Biyombo, or Udo-h, ?

    Nej, Vê, and Ne.

    Monro”e” is just barely acceptable.

  99. I’d be very very surprised if we make any move for a point guard type. We already have 3 under contract (Grant, Calderon, Galloway), and a 4th who will come cheap and already knows the system to some extent (Shved)

    Calderon is old and might get hurt. Grant is a rookie. Galloway and Shved both played about half their minutes at the 2 (and I’d argue that’s where they really should be). We can certainly get by those guys, but there’s nothing there that would make me ignore PG if a good one was available.

    Also, +1 to Kevin

  100. What minute range can Cole be trusted to handle? There’s no doubt his numbers will look really good again when he’s not one of the top options on offense, and I think his defensive impact is pretty clear, but it’s hard to build around a guy you can’t trust to get in shape for a consistent amount of time.

  101. I’d agree with DRed. Our PG’s are promising but far from a sure thing. I can easily see our PG being a repeat of last year’s SG’s.

  102. bringing cole back is a no brainer to me… i just don’t think the knicks brass agrees…

  103. @105
    Yes – Monroe + Carroll or Green = a good start to improve dramatically next year

  104. I really don’t understand the hate for a guy who is liked by stats in Greg Monroe. WS/48 gives him a .153, WP/48 gives him a .222, and his defensive numbers aren’t bad. The guy is a legit all star waiting to happen in our system, and will probably be the best player on our team next year if he chooses to sign with us. I think most people who are opposed to him are opposed to him because he’s been associated with the Knicks for a year plus now. This isn’t an aging volume scoring only offense basketball player. This is a 25 year old who contributes with his scoring, passing, rebounding, and defense. If we get him, we should be happy.

  105. I certainly am OK with signing Monroe, i.e. not a hater at all, but not excited about it. At the 5 he is a defensive liability and Melo is as well. Porzingis will be soft for a couple of years at best. I love tough, gritty defense and can’t imagine guys like Calderon, Grant, Early, Melo, Porzingis or Monroe stopping anyone, either inside or outside.

    I’d rather go West, Lopez and either Green, Matthews or Carroll. Or forget West, and maybe even Lopez, sign just a wing (other than Afflalo unless he takes like $5 or $6 million per) and let the young guys play. There will be some wings in the D-league that deserve a shot later on in the season. Keep te cap room and hope some team gets desperate enough to free up space at the trade deadline. Don’t just spend the money for the sake of spending it. Afflalo is a MLE guy at best right now, overpaying him is crazy.

  106. I think we all agree that Afflalo at anything more than 6 per is a waste.
    I also think Phil wants to focus on post players first and foremost, hence Monroe.
    I like how young Monroe is, and even though he’s not worth 15k, he can improve and/or become a useful asset.
    All these guys seem way too expensive for what they are. I just can’t imagine West at more than 8 or 9 per. In that case, I’d be ok with a Melo/West/Monroe front court. Very beefy.
    Jordan won’t happen, and I can’t see Phil going for Lopez.

  107. Monroe is one of the most efficient shot creators in the league (a very scarce resource)

    He’s okay but this is really overdoing it. Even if you take Drummond out of the picture like many want and use only non-Drummond minutes, what is Monroe’s TS% of the last 3 years? 54.6%. That’s not even top 50 in the league (guys with >3K minutes, 15pts/36, TS > 54.6).* He was very efficient last year in ~1000 minutes with Drummond on the bench but 1000 minute chunks are false whispers.

    *Coincidentally, it’s exactly the same as Afflalo’s 54.6% TS over the last 3 years at almost exactly the same pts / 36.

  108. NY should absolutely help other teams clear cap space for all these middling FA’s that are being fought over. That is their clearest path to true championship contention.

  109. Let’s be honest here fellas, anyone we sign is going to be an improvement ha ha. I have gradually warmed to Monroe, especially now that he’s looking for a relatively short deal. Defensive short comings can be remedied (see Kyle Korver), as it’s probably one of the easier skills to improve so I am not too concerned on that front.

    As far as wings go, if we can nab Green that is a huge win in my books. I doubt Carroll is going anywhere, as I think the Hawks will pay him. Wes Matthews could be had for cheap, but post achilles is a huge risk, and one I am not sure I want the team to take.

    I think last years squad had some good back up pieces that we should bring back. The issue was they couldn’t be trusted to play significant roles, so we potentially have already got the filler (that knows the system) covered.

  110. @119 – Normally I would agree with you, but the salaries of players signed this year almost need to have a 120% bump because of the way that next year’s cap jumps so significantly. It’s the one year that you can overspend and feel good about. Even if the Knicks max out now, they’ll gain 22M in space next year and then an additional $19M the following year! Suddenly an $10M contract which is 15% of your team cap becomes 11.2% in 2016 and then 9.3 in 2017. The conclusion is that this year you overpay.

    BTW, that’s why the Monroe deal makes sense. Unlike the more experienced free agent centers, he’s still at the 25% max cap level. Many of the others are at the 30% max. So paying Monroe the max $15.7M is a $3M savings over the others who’ll get $18.8M.

    Another thing about Monroe that is a plus is his youth. I don’t think he’s a finished product. He’s just entering his prime.

  111. Why didn’t SVG trade Monroe at the deadline. Pistons were going nowhere and they have no long term use for him. Wouldn’t the celtics, who seem to want him now, have given up a few of their 1,000,000 draft picks for his bird rights?

  112. “It’s not gonna happen,” Stan Van Gundy said last Wednesday. “I don’t know where Greg’s head will be in the offseason, but we’re still hopeful of Greg Monroe for the long term. And with him going into free agency, you won’t get a lot, maybe a pick. I’m not gonna walk in that locker room and give up a piece like that and then tell the guys we’re trying to make the playoffs. They deserve the chance to ride this out. You never say never to anything, but I can tell you about 99.9 percent, Greg Monroe’s not going anywhere.

  113. I’m not gonna walk in that locker room and give up a piece like that and then tell the guys we’re trying to make the playoffs. They deserve the chance to ride this out.

    Plus qualifying offer guys lose their bird rights upon a trade and can veto trades.

  114. Another guy who will probably be on the trading block is Josh McRoberts. Assuming he’s healthy he would be a great fit for us as a multidimensional big man who can pass and shoot. And he’s signed to an MLE that started last year, maxes out at 6MM in 2017 — that is a cheap contract. His leaving Charlotte was one of the main reasons their offense fell off a cliff last year.

  115. Two sentences grabbed me on the Ovidijus Galdikas wikipedia page:

    In August 2013, the New York Knicks again showed interest in Galdikas, describing him as a ‘diamond in the rough’ and the ‘third best Lithuanian center after Jonas Valan?i?nas and Donatas Motiej?nas.

    Prior to becoming famous for his actions on the court, Galdikas appeared in the Lithuanian media because of his relationship with and subsequent marriage to an underage girl to avoid facing charges for statutory rape. He was 19 at the time and his wife, at 15 years old, was the youngest bride in Lithuania in 2008

  116. FWIW, there’s an old Baltic aphorism that it’s better to be the third best center in Lithuania than the second best center in Estonia.

  117. I love DeAndre Jordan but also there is something inside me that believe that instead of offering him the max, I would just settle for cheaper Asik, R.Lopez, or Biyombo.
    Then we can do it ala Mavericks where we are flexible and in play for free agents every year not the typical knicks where we have money every 5 years,

  118. According to Marc Berman, Mike Woodson tweeted about the possibility of losing Jordan –“He’s a big part of what we do…” I miss Woodson.

  119. I’m still incredibly skeptical that DeAndre would want to come here, but let’s pretend that his interest is real. He would do wonders for this roster on the defensive end, especially if Melo and (in time) Zinger are the primary forwards. But he’s in no way a triangle big man. He’s a pick and roll player just like Tyson was, and just like Jerian Grant appears to be. If he signs here, does that mean Phil is raising the white flag on the triangle experiment in favor of simply getting the best talent on the roster, or is he going to insist on Fish shoving round pegs into square holes?

  120. Yeah, I posted about ovidijus playing on the SL squad a few days ago.

    To follow up on the young wife story supposedly she lied about her age and some other things. It was some noise about him last year on some other boards

  121. He’s okay but this is really overdoing it. Even if you take Drummond out of the picture like many want and use only non-Drummond minutes, what is Monroe’s TS% of the last 3 years? 54.6%.

    But then you have excluded his two most productive seasons when he posted .575% and .563% on 15% and 23% usage respectively playing center. So if you expand it to include all non-Drummond minutes I suspect it would be at least .560 TS%. Unfortunately, nbawowy does not go back that far to allow us get a 5 year TS%/usage in one query.

    Also when you look at the non-Drummond data over your compressed time frame, you find that while Drummond was taking a consistent % of shots at the rim, his overall shot selection was skewed farther away from the basket compared to his time under Van Gundy. Maybe that’s just noise or maybe that’s just better coaching compared to Cheeks who lasted one season.

  122. Unfortunately, nbawowy does not go back that far to allow us get a 5 year TS%/usage in one query.

    I have the #s. In his total career without Drummond he is actually 55.6%. But even this is kind of misleading in that his rookie year career high TS%. As a rookie, Monroe was basically only shooting at the rim, scoring only 12 per 36. He went from 74% of his shots at the rim to the 50s after his rookie year. Look, he is a reasonably efficient scorer who can spin in both directions and uses his body well to protect the ball and draw fouls. But he is a weak mid-range shooter ,and in a lot of minutes the numbers even without Drummond just don’t say that he’s one of the most efficient shot creators in the league. He’s a pretty good scorer, a good rebounder, a so-so passer, and a mediocre defender with near zero rim protection bonus. That’s worth something, but it’s probably not going to be a bargain at $15-$16m.

  123. So, any predictions on the first guy that the Knicks will actually sign to a deal?

  124. Love this quote from Pop re: free agency:

    “I’m not calling anyone at midnight. I’ll be in bed. And if that’s the difference in someone coming or not coming, then I don’t want them.”

    When you’ve got his track record, you can pretty much say anything you want.

    I’m kind of saddened by this. It’ll only be 10 pm in San Antonio, and I fancied Pop to be an NCIS: New Orleans fan.

  125. his career PER is 19.7 at age 25… i am willing to bet good money that the knicks probably won’t be able to land a player this young and this good for the next two years in free agency at least… and he’d be our best free agent signing since… well ever…

  126. But he is a weak mid-range shooter ,and in a lot of minutes the numbers even without Drummond just don’t say that he’s one of the most efficient shot creators in the league.

    He’s a terrible outside shooter. But this past season (compared to the previous two) he reduced the percentage of outside shots he took while maintaining a high usage compared to other years. In 2014-15, 21% of his FGA were jump shots; in 2013-14, 28% were jump shots; in 2012-13, 30% were jump shots. All of those numbers were when Drummond was not on the floor. When Drummond was on the floor, 35% of his FGA in 2012-13 were jump shots; 36% in 2013-14; 26% in 2014-15.

    What made this season different is that he lowered his absolute jump shot% of FGA regardless of whether Drummond was on the floor but it was still roughly proportionate. Was that due to Van Gundy? Or maybe because it’s a contract year? The Triangle will impose some discipline where he will operate at the right elbow and lower right block instead of floating around and bricking jump shots. Wouldn’t one expect that given proper spacing and reduced jump shooting, he would be able to replicate the results of this past season? In other words, maybe those 1000 minutes weren’t really noise so much as Monroe just taking more efficient shots when given the space? We’ll probably find out next season.

  127. Yeah, if Monroe will chill out with the mid range jump shot bullshit he’ll be worth the money easy. Spacing the floor is dope and all that, but hitting 25% of your shots from a certain area is a big hint that you should stop taking them. Too bad DeAndre Jordan didn’t take a bunch of terrible jump shots-then he’d be worth the max

  128. it’s not inconceivable that monroe develops his mid range in the next cpl years… he’s at the age where pf’s start sliding their game further out from the paint….

    when they hit their prime is when they are still a force inside and then develop that shot consistently… amare went ballistic on the league in his age 25 season…

  129. Yeah, if Monroe will chill out with the mid range jump shot bullshit he’ll be worth the money easy. Spacing the floor is dope and all that, but hitting 25% of your shots from a certain area is a big hint that you should stop taking them.

    Shades of Josh Smith on the same team no less. Spacing alone definitely helped Monroe’s TS% but to get to that elite level he had to take even greater advantage of the spacing which meant further altering his shot distribution. One understands though why high usage players over the course of a whole season might take lower efficiency, less physically demanding shots. I really just care that in the playoffs he’s gonna be .580 TS guy and not .555 TS chucker guy.

    It’s kind of strange he’s such a lousy spot-up jump shooter when his FT% is decent. Difference between a set shot and jump shot. Still, I would think a shooting coach should be able to help him given how terrible he is.

  130. FWIW, there’s an old Baltic aphorism that it’s better to be the third best center in Lithuania than the second best center in Estonia.

    Best line of the thread.

    As for DeAndre, sure, we should offer him the max, except he isn’t leaving LA. Whatever Van Gundy says, the word has been that Monroe is gone.

  131. Hats off.
    Golf clap.

    Perfectly done, Mr. Cronin.
    Much better than today’s column in the New York Times (for example, Marc Gasol ain’t going nowhere.)

  132. Now they’re talking to Landry Fields ??!!??! Wow, now my expectations have really taken a turn for the worse. Have Mercy, I thought the idea was to try to sign better players than they had last year.

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