Off-season Preview: New York Knicks

It was a pretty dismal year for professional basketball in New York City on both fronts. But where as there were no real expectations for Brooklyn the Knicks were projected by most to do……..well better than Brooklyn. And they did, if that’s a consolation but to some expectations were higher even prompting one particular newcomer to the Big Apple to call them a “superteam”. Well, that most certainly didn’t come to fruition and now the Knicks are once again over cap and is held hostage by some pretty awful contracts. But it’s not all gloom and doom, is it?

Needs: Figure out what in the hell to do with Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose.

Wants: Just about everything else.

 

Money Situation

Guaranteed                                          2017-18                                       Insider info
Carmelo Anthony                              $26,243,760                   No-trade clause/trade bonus
Joakim Noah                                      $17,765,000                            12-game suspension
Courtney Lee                                      $11,747,890
Lance Thomas                                    $6,655,325
Kristaps Porzingis                              $4,503,600
Kyle O’Quinn                                       $4,087,500                              Extension eligible
Mindaugas Kuzminskas                     $3,025,035
Willy Hernangomez                            $1,435,750

Non/partial                                           2017-18                                   Guarantee date
Marshall Plumlee                               $1,312,611                                        July 20
Maurice Ndour                                    $1,312,611                                        June 30
Chasson Randle                                  $1,312,611

FA cap hold                                           2017-18                                        FA status
Ron Baker                                            $1,512,611                              Restricted non-Bird
Derrick Rose                                        $30,300,000                                        Bird
Sasha Vujacic                                       $1,471,382                                      Early Bird
Justin Holiday                                      $1,471,382

First-round cap hold                          2017-18
No. 8 selection                                     $3,501,120

Outlook

Okay, this is where it gets all sorts of complicated. The Knicks have the eighth pick in the upcoming draft. Given their sensitive cap situation there are a variety of way they can go. If they choose to pay Derrick Rose (gulp) his $30.3 million hold this summer point guard will most likely not be as much of a pressing issue. However, I think even if they do let Rose walk they probably would try to address the position in free agency. One thing is for sure, with the possibility of them losing at least one of their top three scorers this will definitely be something to lend some attention to. This is why Malik Monk is a great fit for the Knicks. He’s an NBA ready scorer and along with Courtney Lee (you know, if he’s still there) should prove to be a back court that can make life easier for whoever is running the point for New York.

Currently the Knickerbockers are right at $17 million over the cap. But as mentioned earlier the Knicks can create $14 million in space by renouncing Rose and even more if they can come to a buyout agreement with Anthony. However, if they do find a trade partner for him he has a $8.1 million trade kicker that will take a bigger bite out of their already limited space. Other than that they have a handful of cap holds that on average will hit them for an average of $1.4 million a piece. Justin Holiday and Ron Baker are the only ones of this group I can see the Knicks trying to keep. With any remaining space I see them adding depth for the cheap at point guard, at the wings and maybe a backup big since there’s so much uncertainty around Joakim Noah.

Names to watch: Ricky Rubio – PG – Possible Trade, Ramon Sessions – PG – Team Option, Shelvin Mack – PG – Unrestricted, Roy Hibbert – C – Unrestricted, Jerami Grant – SF – Team Option, Ben McLemore – SG – Restricted, Omri Casspi – SF – Unrestricted

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