Tagged: Carlos Boozer

Does Donnie Know A Secret About 2010?

If the Knicks start next season with Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer as their primary 2010 free agent additions I will be underwhelmed. I mean, they did give up a lot to be able to clear enough cap space this summer to be far enough under the cap to sign two max free agents. As loyal commenter Italian Stallion and Twitter agitator ( 😉 ) @LoveThoseKnicks often remind me, the Knicks could have kept all the assets they traded in the McGrady deal and still had max cap space in 2011 (assuming the cap mechanics stay the same) without giving Houston the right to swap ’11 picks, their ’12 pick and Jordan Hill.

The argument carries some weight. And I’ll admit that aside from the picks, losing Jordan Hill alone stung. My counterargument is always that:

  1. The Knicks lost a net of 1 draft pick in the deal, which is the 2012 draft pick. The Knicks retain their ’11 pick, and if the Knicks vastly improve this summer, there is a strong chance that Houston will not invoke its option to swap. And if that is how things play out, the Knicks won’t miss their 2012 pick too much either. (Here the argument devolves into Stallion and @LoveThoseKnicks saying something like, “But the Knicks lose a pick.” To which I respond, “They can just buy another one in the late round.” To which Stallion or @LoveThoseKnicks will reply, “Well then they could have had two picks because they can buy one anyway.” To which I respond, “Well then they can buy two picks.” And this continues for awhile.)
  2. Aside from everything in point 1, I still think clearing the extra cap space in the TMac deal was a worthy risk. A calculated risk. Some might say it was a gamble. Still worth it from where I’m sitting if it increases your chances of getting a better player than you otherwise might’ve if you just had room for one player.

But Stallion and @LoveThoseKnicks make a good point and I have to acknowledge it. If you think of the TMac trade as “mortgaging the Knicks’ future” or a colossal gamble then you have to wonder why Donnie did it. By all accounts Donnie is a shrewd, calculating, patient and opportunistic executive. If the TMac trade was just a roll of the dice then you have to wonder why he would do something so uncharacteristic.

I’ve often tried to think of it this way and I come to the conclusion that Donnie must know that he can do something special this off-season. At least I hope so. In a chat today, Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com expressed similar sentiments:

Rob (NY)

Any credence to the rumor that if Knick’s sign J Johnson, LBJ is more likely to come to MSG?

Chris Sheridan

(3:20 PM)

No credence that that rumor, but you get the distinct impression that word was somehow passed to the Knicks that having enough cap room for just one max player was not going to cut it for a certain free agent, which was why they were willing to throw so much into the Jeffries deal to get McGrady’s contract. I ask this: Why would anyone in their right mind trade away what amounts to three No. 1 picks just to clear cap room? It’s just plain crazy … unless there is a confidence among the Knicks their Plan A will succeed.

So I ask you, if you’re Donnie Walsh, and William Wesley approaches you and says, “Donnie, enough cap space for one max contract isn’t going to cut it. You need to have room for two.” What do you do?

Oh, and Chris, the Knicks traded one draft pick.

Nate Coming Back? Lee to the Jazz?

Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Nate Robinson will take a one year, $5 million offer from the Knicks. That’s about as good as Nate could have hoped for on the open market in terms of money, but I think we should expect to see Nate in me-first mode as he tries to “get his”. When has that not been the case though?

I think this re-signing means one of several things. Either the Knicks aren’t bringing on Sessions, or they think Douglas isn’t quite ready, or Hughes is a goner.

Also, The Deseret News reported that the Knicks and Jazz are in sign-and-trade talks for David Lee, with Boozer coming the other way. I’d be in favor, but I just don’t see it. The Jazz are trying to clear salary, not add it, and that’s what they would be doing if they traded for Lee. Lee would be a base-year compensation player, which to my understanding means that his salary is halved for purposes of a trade, but not with respect to the salary cap hit the team trading for him takes.

Let’s assume the Jazz want to sign Lee for $10 million. For trade purposes that gets cut to $5 million. Boozer is making about $12 million. To make the trade work the Jazz would have to take on Jeffries. Or Hughes, but if Hughes were included the Jazz would also have to throw in Matt Harpring. Either way, the Jazz are taking in more salary, by a significant amount, than they are sending out. One way around this problem would be for the Knicks to trade the $4 million exemption for Kyle Korver in a separate trade (it can’t be combined with a player), but do the Jazz really want to lose Boozer, Korver, and maybe Harpring just for Lee?

If the Knicks trade for Boozer, I think involving a third team makes more sense.

***

Finally, on an unrelated note, I know some people out there don’t want me to write about Marbury, but have you seen Marbury TV? It’s hysterical. Right now he’s talking about how he’s going to build a house with some kind of roller coaster that takes you from the front gate to the garage at 200 miles per hour. “Talk to me! Is that dope or what??!?!”

No, I’m going to keep writing about Steph, thank you very much.

The Problem With Boozer, or Odom, or Paul, or Roy, or Miller, or Lee

There are currently impact players available, potentially available, or unhappy with their current situation.

Boozer, Miller and Odom appear to be available. Additionally, Chris Paul indicated that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Hornets traded him (though I, and Chris Alvin0 would be).

Meanwhile, Brandon Roy has expressed dissatisfaction with the Blazers for not extending him a max contract extension this summer.

Finally, as we all know, David Lee wants a big bucks extension that the Knicks aren’t willing to provide.

For this exercise, lets just assume that the Knicks have the talent to land any of these players (other than Lee) in a trade, which is pretty questionable.

Out of all of these players, the ones that haveto interest Donnie Walsh the most for this coming season are Miller and Boozer. This isn’t because Miller and Boozer are the best players of the bunch, but because they are a excellent players with either an expiring contract (Boozer) or the apparent willingness to sign for one year (Miller).

The problem of taking on any of these other players is that without unloading Jeffries or Curry, the Knicks are damaging themselves for the Summer of 2010 (they already have to some extent, through the draft). Donnie has indicated strongly that he just won’t shell out significant money on a free agent in a deal that goes past this upcoming season. If the Knicks bring in any of these guys other than Miller for a year or Boozer, they have to clear out salary. This probably includes Lee, who is asking for about a $8-$10 million raise over his previous, cap-friendly salary.

The offseason has a ways to go, but I just don’t see a deal being made for Odom (as Isola suggested today) or anyone else, including Lee, if the deal goes beyond this year, unless Jeffries or Curry are part of it.

Knicks Want Boozer

Berman reports that Donnie Walsh has expressed an interest in Carlos Boozer, but isn’t sure he can get a deal done stating, “I’m not sure we have anybody they want”. Well one thing they want is cap space so they could re-sign Millsap. To that end Mobley would work, since most of his contract will be covered by insurance. The Jazz would probably want some talent as well.

The Knicks are also going to be crowded up front, as Tommy Dee reminds us. Where are all of the minutes going to come from at the 4/5 for Lee, Hill, Milicic, Curry, Chandler, Gallo, Harrington, and Jeffries? That’s even without Boozer.

So which of these guys would go in a hypothetical Boozer trade? If it’s anyone making more or similar money to Boozer, you can forget about the Jazz taking them on, so Curry and Harrington and possibly Lee are off the table. Would the Jazz take a Jeffries/Mobley deal? I think they could do way better. Would the Knicks give up Jordan Hill? Should they?

If they wouldn’t, and the Knicks wind up with Boozer, there will most likely be a third team involved.

ESPN.com: Knicks Have Interest in Boozer

ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard and Marc Stein are reporting today that the Utah Jazz intend to match Portland’s offer to Paul Millsap but, to do so, must first offload Carlos Boozer and the $12.6 million he’s due next season. No surprise there.

What is a little bit surprising, though, is that Broussard and Stein (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue like Woodward and Bernstein) are also reporting that the Knicks are among the teams that have interest in acquiring Boozer.

Boozer is an expiring deal so trading for him certainly makes sense from the Mission-2010 perspective but it would also give the Knicks ownership of the bird rights of one of the elite 2010 free agents. It’s not clear that Boozer would be a perfect fit in SSOL but, since the commitment would only be for a year, the Knicks would basically be getting a free look without a whole lot of risk.

The problem is that, since Utah’s greatest need in any Boozer trade is to free up cap space to re-sign Millsap, the Knicks don’t have a whole lot to offer them straight up. Any trade would have to be a three team deal (at least). I think I might have a solution, though.

While the Blazers decided to extend an offer to Millsap, they’ve also shown a lot of past interest in David Lee. Here’s what I propose: First, Utah matches Millsap. Then, the Knicks, Blazers and Jazz execute a three way deal whereby the Blazers acquire a signed-and-traded Lee (and another small contract to make the money work), the Knicks get Boozer and the Jazz get Travis Outlaw and a big, fat trade exception. In fact, if the Knicks also offered Jordan Hill or Wilson Chandler to the Jazz in this deal perhaps they can reacquire their 2010 first round pick. I’m pretty sure (85-90%) that this works under the cap.

UPDATE: I now realize that this trade fails to take into consideration that Lee would become a BYC player after signing the contract. To my understanding, that means that his deal has to be slashed in half when calculating the cap consequences in a trade. So he’d have to be paired with another contract going back to Portland to make it work under the cap. I think Lee and Cuttino Mobley’s deal might get it done.

Thoughts?