Tagged: salary cap

Should Lee take the Qualifying Offer?

I’m sure Lee doesn’t want to take the qualifying offer, since it’s much less than he’s hoping to get this year. But if David Lee takes the qualifying offer (it worked out OK for Ben Gordon), the Knicks can sign a max free agent next year and retain Lee (and even overpay him, using his bird rights), only if the Knicks find a taker for Jeffries and get an expiring in return.

The cap hold is 300% of your expiring players’ salary (if that salary is less than the league average). In this case, Lee’s salary under the qualifying offer is $2,682,049. 300% of that is $8,046,147.

And what is Jared Jeffries scheduled to make in 2010? The answer is $6,883,400. Clearly, then, the key in this scenario is to trade Jeffries for an expiring deal that is worth more than Lee’s scheduled cap hold (the Knicks can take back up to 150% more than Jeffries’ salary in a trade, which comes out to $10,325,100).

If the Knicks can pull this off, then they can sign a max guy and overpay to keep Lee next year. Should they overpay to keep Lee? It’s not a good idea to be irresponsible with your cap, so no. But it’s an option.

Lee and the Qualifying Offer

Alan Hahn speculates today that David Lee might take the qualifying offer from the Knicks this summer. Then, when he’s an unrestricted free agent, “for the Knicks, who have his Bird Rights, he could be signed up to a max deal, even if they are over the cap.”

Sure, this is true, and I’ve speculated as much before (like in January, and yes, I know the linked analysis is somewhat flawed too).

Problem is, under the CBA, the Knicks have to sign their own guys first, before signing any outside free agents, or completely renounce their own guys, and lose their bird rights. We know the Knicks won’t be over the cap in 2010 if the plan proceeds as we expect, but in considering the strategy Hahn set forth today (and I set forth in January), you have to factor in the fact that you need a significant amount of space to sign LeBron (or whoever) first, and then sign Lee (enough to fit Lee’s cap hold under the cap after signing LeBron).

The bottom line is, don’t overpay for Lee, bird rights or not.

2010: Consolation Prizes Pretty Good

I’ll be the first to admit that perhaps the Knicks will not land Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, or Amare Stoudamire. That doesn’t mean they can’t put together a sweet team of lesser stars. If you can’t sign any of the four mentioned above, then with the savings, maybe you can sign 3 1/2 players instead of 2 1/2. (Remember that after filling up all their cap space, the Knicks can still sign someone to the full mid-level).

Lets revisit the list of free agents.

  • Joe Johnson
  • Ray Allen
  • Josh Howard
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Kenyon Martin
  • Tracy McGrady
  • Yao Ming
  • Marcus Camby
  • Rudy Gay
  • Richard Jefferson
  • Randy Foye
  • Mike Miller
  • Tyson Chandler
  • Steve Nash
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Brandon Roy

Would anyone be upset if the Knicks came away from the summer of 2010 with a combination of Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Tyson Chandler, and Mike Miller, added to a core of Wilson Chandler, Gallinari, and lets say, Ricky Rubio?

What about a combination of Richard Jefferson, Randy Foye, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Wilson Chandler, Gallinari, and Rubio or Brandon Jennings or Jrue Holiday or Stephen Curry?

Or Joe Johnson, Josh Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby with Wilson Chandler, Gallinari and a draft pick.

Yao Ming, Josh Howard, Mike Miller, Randy Foye, Chandler, Gallinari, Blake Griffin?

Even without catching the big fishes, the Knicks can still field a great team if they stick to the plan.

I’d like to hear some proposals for combinations from our readers…

Chad Ford thinks Jerry Sloan would love David Lee.



Fresh idea for a trade proposal, courtesy of Chad Ford’s chat today:

Brad (SLC): What about Boozer to the Knicks for David Lee and Malik Rose’s expiring deal?

SportsNation Chad Ford: While I’m sure David Lee would be a Jerry Sloan favorite, not sure why the Knicks would do that. Boozer would eat up a bunch of their cap space on a new deal and remember, he’s the guy who screwed the Cavs and LeBron to bolt to Utah. Not sure how LeBron feels about that. 

This sounds like a winner to me. Sure, at first blush you might say, “Wait, that eats into our 2010 cap space”. But if you treat Boozer as one of the marquee free agents you would have picked up in 2010, then it does no such thing. In essence its just spending some of the money early. Boozer is a double double machine, plays D, has an outside J, is an Olympian, and has been an all-star in the West where he’s had to compete with the likes of Duncan, Stoudamire, and Nowitzki for a spot. David Lee can lay claim to one of these things (double doubles), so Boozer is certainly an improvement.

The downside is that he is very injury prone, or as some on this blog might say “damaged goods”, “missing knee”, or “no knee”. This combined with the take of at least one Jazz fan, expressed in the same chat today (below), might make one leery:

andy (vegas): I feel like in 10 years we will look back and laugh that we ever thought softish, jump shooting, injury prone Boozer was more valuable then tough as nails, scrappy, and savvy Milsap…

I also dispute Chad’s idea that Sloan would love Lee. Sloan loves D. Lee doesn’t love D. Potential for conflict.

So what do you say? Is Boozer good value in a trade for Lee, the MVP of the 14-22 Knicks?

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

Sunday Scattershot.

1. Alan Hahn reports that the Knicks might look at Jannero Pargo. Pargo played with Duhon in Chicago years back. Signing Pargo would continue the importing of players from those wildly successful late ’90s, early 2000s Bulls teams that has served us so well:

  • Jamal Crawford
  • Eddy Curry
  • Duhon
  • Jalen Rose
  • Antonio Davis
  • JYD

2.  The New York Times speculates that just mentioning that Marbury might join their team has sent the Celtics into a tailspin. I don’t doubt that.

3.  Tommy Dee says “[s]igning Lee doesn’t screw the Knicks if they can move Eddy Curry”. I’ve been saying that for a while now. Since the salary cap increases every year, and Nate is looking like he won’t even command the entire mid-level, the Knicks can sign Lee to about a $12 million dollar contract (salary structure be damned) if they can figure out a way to move Curry, preferably Curry AND Jeffries.



Kidd: Top Free Agents WILL Come to New York

For the doubters of the long term plan, I got some news for you. Jason Kidd says that superstar free agents will flock to the Knicks in the summer of 2010. Here is what he said:

“It’s a great place. That’s one of the best stages on professional sports. When you talk about the likes of those free agents, you can have a better situation being able to not just get one, but get 2 1/2.”

As a reminder, Jason Kidd would know, since he spent the entire summer with these people (2010 free agents in bold): Continue reading

50 Losses Might Be the Only Way to Be Truly Great

We all know that the Post is a muck-raking rag. That comes from its muck-raking management issuing edicts to its muck-raking journalists and editors. Marc Berman will stop at nothing to manufacture a story. According to Steve Adamek, Berman tried to I believe that it was Berman who tried to box Mike D’Antoni into a bad situation by asking him if he’s willing to lose 50 games for the sake of the long term plan.

I don’t recall anyone asking Isiah if he was willing to lose 50 games, though teams under his reign almost always did. My point with that is, at least there is a plan here.

D’Antoni told reporters:

“I think that’s one area, plus there’s no guarantee we wouldn’t be on the same pace if we didn’t make the trades. When made the trades, everybody knows the reasons, keeping the team competitive and we have longer-term goals and plans and objectives.
“Really, that doesn’t enter into the discussion. We’re just going to continue on with what we want to do to get the Knicks at the championship level that they deserve to be. We’re not going to waver from that. It’s not going to be like, in the short term we’ll worry about this. We’re not going to waver from what we said at the very beginning and I’m really comfortable with that.”

Basically, Mike D’Antoni took a roundabout path to yes. He said the Knicks have a long-term plan to be special. Not a short term ambition to be OK.


Of course, I hope the Knicks don’t lose 50 games, but look at any contender and how they got to be that way. The Celtics for example won 24 games the year before they picked up KG and Ray Allen. The 24 win season followed several other mediocre years, during which they stocked up on guys like Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West, and Sebastian Telfair.

The Spurs had to be bad before they got Duncan in 96-97, winning just 20 games before winning the lottery.

The Cavs history is just one big losing season with dashes of mediocrity and first round exits.

Somebody tell me what the Knicks were up to prior to Walt Frazier and also prior to Patrick Ewing…

The list goes on. Almost every good team went through a rebuilding phase to become a contender. The Lakers are the only exception, remarkably having missed the playoffs just five times in their history.

In the NBA you are rewarded for being good with championships and you are rewarded for being bad with draft picks. Still, you can mess it all up with bad management. For instance, you could already be bad or mediocre, then add salary to the point of being capped out, and give away draft picks in exchange for limited, losing players.

The only way to come back from a scenario like that is to completely reset. The Knicks embarked on the above described scenario for 8 years. They are fortunate that it will probably only take them 2 years (one and two-thirds now) to reset.

Update: Jon informed, me, and he’s right, that Steve Adamek never said that it was Berman that asked the question. I just assumed that, figuring, who else could it have been. So I can’t tell you whether it was Berman or not, and if it wasn’t, I apologize.

Steph for J.O. trade?

Chris Alvino, via a Cleveland newspaper,  reports that the Raptors are willing to move Jermaine O’Neal. He throws out a Steph for Jermaine swap. This would indeed work under the cap. Toronto benefits because they get the cap space they wanted out of Jermaine a year early. The Knicks benefit because they get a defensive big man, even though he’s slowed down to a plodding crawl. Despite posted numbers far below hes career averages, O’Neal is still averaging about 2 blocks a game. Don’t forget the Donnie Walsh – Jermaine O’Neal connection. It wasn’t until Donnie left that the Pacers trade O’Neal. What would you guys think of such a deal?