It's coming! At midnight on July 1st, which is tonight, NBA teams can start to sign free agents. Here is the complete list of free agents. I'm going to break down the needs and possible signings for our New York Knicks.
Before I get into anything else, currently, they have 8 guys under contract for next season:
Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire, Renaldo Balkman, Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas, and the non-guaranteed contracts of Jerome Jordan and Josh Harrellson. Lin and Novak have Bird Rights, so their contracts won't affect the cap. Balkman is no longer with the team, but his contract will be accounted for. The luxury tax threshold is around $70 million, and the Knicks are at $63 million in salaries right now. James Dolan will be more than willing to pay the luxury tax, so this isn't much of an issue, but they will have to take lower salary contracts next year.
The Knickerbockers need three things, a backup point guard (sorry Toney Douglas), a backup big man (not you Jorts), and more scoring off the bench with the departure of J.R. Smith.
Steve Nash is an obvious fit at the point guard position, allowing Jeremy Lin to back him up for a year or two and gain valuable experience. It would be very hard to sign him and address our other needs without Dolan paying the league too much money, but he has experience from the hellacious 2005-06 season, so it would be fine. Other options include: Goran Dragic, Andre Miller, Aaron Brooks, George Hill, Ramon Sessions, and the possible return of Raymond Felton.
Rebounding and an inside presence off the bench is a key to success in the NBA. This is something that the Knicks lacked last year. If they can add a big man, then that will give extra opportunities on the offensive end and prevent second chance points by the opponent's offense. Within the Knicks' price-range Marreese Speights is an option. Chris Kaman and Kris Humphries are the ideal choices, but they will both get offers to be key starters on a different team. Ersan Ilyasova and Ryan Anderson are both big men when shoot 3s, taking care of the bench scoring issue. Other options include: JaVale McGee (please come to NY?), Boris Diaw, Ben "No, I Refuse To Retire" Wallace, Lou Amundson, and Reggie Evans. The defense of Jared Jeffries will probably entice the Knicks to re-sign him, possibly in addition to one of these guys.
J.R. Smith is declining his player option for this season, so he most likely won't be back next year. Jason Terry and Ray Allen are the best on the market right now, but will most likely get more money somewhere else. The defense of Danny Green makes him really attractive to every team and I really hope that he can come to the Knicks. Other options include: Marco Belinelli, Mickael Pietrus, Jamal Crawford(The Return), Nick Young, Grant Hill, Michael Redd, and DeSean Stevenson.
They probably won't get a big, but the other two holes will probably be addressed.
This trade will take care of the bench scoring issue, clear up $5 million in cap space, and get rid of the ginormous contract of Amar'e, whose play hasn't been worth that pay.
But of course, that's never going to happen.
Watch out later for my Brooklyn Nets free agency breakdown.