2010 Cap Competition

By now everyone knows the Knicks are trying their hardest to get under the cap for 2010. The free agent class is terrific, so why wouldn’t they. Trouble is, everyone knows the free agent class is terrific, and lots of teams are employing the same strategy. Here are the teams that represent the Knicks main competition (in alphabetical order):

Atlanta:  The Hawks have Josh Smith signed to a big contract that extends past 2010, Al Horford, Mo Evans, and Acie Law also extend past 2010, but their contracts are not cap destroyers. The Hawks should be able to make a run at 2010 free agents.

Cleveland: The Cavs have Mo Williams, Delonte West, Boobie Gibson, JJ Hickson and Darnell Jackson under contract in 2010. They should be able to make a run at a top free agent.

Houston: The Rockets have Shane Battier, Joey Dorsey, Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes and Aaron Brooks signed through 2010. Not a lot of cap space eaten up by those guys.

Miami: The Heat have James Jones, Michael Beasley, Mario “super nintendo” Chalmers, and Daequan Cook signed through 2010. Watch out for the Heat.

Minnesota: The T-Wolves should have some cap room, with Al Jefferson and several guys with smaller contracts extending through 2010 (Ryan Gomes, Kevin Love, Ronnie Brewer, Sebastian Telfair).

Oklahoma City: The Thunder have Nick Collison, Nenad Kristic, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Jeff Green under contract through 2010. Most of these are rookie contracts. They should have space.

Portland: The Blazers only have a few guys under contract through 2010, but they probably wont have cap space, since they have to make decisions on Aldridge and Brandon Roy.

Spurs: The Spurs have basically only a couple marginal contracts on the books past 2010. Except of course for Duncan and Parker, who are already their two max guys. They might have some room, but I don’t see them as major competition for the top prizes.

Utah: If the Jazz can move Kirilenko for an expiring deal, they’d be in real good shape, with just Deron Williams taking up significant cap space in 2010.

Of course, some teams are still jockeying for position in the 2010 race and can get themselves in good position through trades (Toronto – if they trade Kapono for an expiring – and Chicago – if they can move Hinrich – for example). Some, like the Clippers, Warriors and Pacers, have not shot.

7 comments

  1. Jon

    It’s an interesting list. I think the biggest threats are Miami and, if Lebron stays there, Cleveland. And Atlanta could also a big-time sleeper because players absolutely love the ATL.

  2. ez

    Good post Dan.

    I would be surprised if lebron signed anyplace besides cleveland or new york.

    D-Wade I could see in Miami, NY, Atlanta or less likely Houston. I don’t think those other markets would be appealing.

    If the knicks don’t sign wade or lebron i think they should be patient and wait for the opportunity to present itself down the road to land a superstar. Any other combination of mere mortal stars (bosh, redd, dirk, johnson etc) would almost certainly make the knicks a solid playoff team right away, however history has shown that more often that not you need the superstar to win titles. I for one am interested in winning titles, and am willing to be patient provided the knicks continue to bring in solid young players to rebuild.

    Now if they can only get some ping pong balls to bounce their way!

  3. Dan L

    Thing is, the ping pong balls did bounce our way recently, in 2006. They had to surrender that pick. Granted there were only 2 stars in that draft, Brandon Roy and Rondo. If the Knicks hadn’t traded for Curry, maybe they could’ve wound up with Roy. They could’ve had Rondo regardless, but would he be the same player if he came up under Steph and Jamal as he is now having cut his teeth under Ray Allen, KG and Peirce?

    Point is, we already had the second pick once in recent years. Think lightning will strike again?

  4. ez

    In 2006 they had the second worst record in the nba, it wasn’t exactly lightning striking. So yes I do.

  5. JLS125

    if LeBron and/or D-Wade re-sign with their original teams, they should build a team that can get into the playoffs and compete without having to overpay for the players. If they continue to be prudent with their finances there will come a time when the appropriate opportunity will present itself.

    I also wouldn’t mind taking on Stoudemire and another superstar on the team if/when the situation presents itself. If we could get a low post player that can create their own shots in the low block I think that would go a long way for the Knicks. I think an above-average low post player, a winning attitude, and a team leader is essential to the Knicks. If they can get all 3, then we should see immediate [and tangible] improvement…

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