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News » New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-07-25

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-07-25

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-07-25
When the NBA sent out a memo to its teams on July 7 with the salary cap information for the 2009-10 season, it also included an attachment with some precautionary projections for 2010-11.

The league said it was possible that the $58 million cap could drop 2.5 to five percent, which would be as much as $8 million. And at that point, with cap flexibility in 2010 the primary goal, Knicks president Donnie Walsh hit the pause button on his plans to upgrade the roster this summer.

Walsh made his three-year offer to free agent Jason Kidd before the cap projections were released. In some ways, he was relieved Kidd didn't take it because, even for the full mid-level ($5.8 million), it would have eaten a chunk of the cap space he carved out after making a pair of dramatic salary-dump trades last November.

But restricted free agents David Lee and Nate Robinson are still unsigned, and Walsh desperately needs to upgrade the roster after a 32-win season -- especially now that recent deals have made the East more competitive. Thus, Walsh has to figure out how to take care of matters this summer while maintaining the ability to at least be able to make one maximum contract offer to one of the potential high-end free agents (read: LeBron James) next summer.

It appears as if Walsh's preference is to find a short-term fix that will not impact the 2010 plan, so that's why the mid-level isn't quite burning a hole in his pocket. Among options Walsh has been exploring to upgrade the point guard position include unrestricted free agent Jamaal Tinsley and restricted free agent Ramon Sessions. Of the pair, only Sessions, 23, would likely get a multi-year offer from the Knicks.

The Knicks have about $28 million in contracts for 2010-11, and they'd love to find takers for Eddy Curry ($11.2 million) and Jared Jeffries ($6.8 million) between now and then.

Curry, who has dedicated himself to fitness and nutrition this summer after a nightmarish season in 2008-09, could have some trade value if he gets off to a strong start this season. But, again, the Knicks would have to take back an expiring contract to wipe Curry's salary off the books in 2010. Walsh doesn't expect there to be many teams looking to help the big-market Knicks.

And all of this could be a major risk, especially if James and the others, such as Dwyane Wade, sign extensions this summer to avoid the free agency frenzy in 2010. Steve Nash, believed to be a target of the Knicks, already took himself off the market when he signed a two-year extension with the Phoenix Suns in late July.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: July 25, 2009


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