The New York Knicks made a bold move when they shipped half of their active roster to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. Now the franchise’s front office will be paying for that as it tries to fill out a roster without spending much money.
You see, the Knicks owe roughly $50.94 million to just three players. Anthony ($18.52 million), Amar’e Stoudemire ($18.217 million) and Billups ($14.2 million) take up quite a bit of cap space. Add in Ronny Turiaf ($4.36 million), Renaldo Balkman ($1.675 million), Tony Douglas ($1.145) and three guys making less than $1 million (Bill Walker, Andy Rautins and Landry Fields) and you’ve got a total salary balance of $64.972 million for just nine players (that number does not include 2011 first-round draft pick Iman Shumpert, who has yet to sign a contract).
That would be fine and a workable situation if the Knicks didn’t have major holes to fill, but they do. They desperately need a center and more inside depth overall. The problem? If the Knicks want to be in the mix for any big free agents next summer, they need to keep any free agent contracts they dole out this summer cheap and short. The franchise will be looking for post depth but will reportedly only be offering one-year deals. Obviously that will limit the team’s options. And those options are looking hilarious.
Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote the following sentence without any sense of irony or humor: “Kwame Brown is on (New York’s) radar after having a serviceable season with Charlotte.” Nice to know the Knicks are aiming so high in their search for a center. They should just re-word Madison Square Garden’s slogan to “The World’s Most Famous Arena…Where Serviceable Is Acceptable!”
And since when is averaging 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in 26 minutes per contest “serviceable” for a guy who started 50 games?
The other options for the Knicks aren’t much better. Those names include Tony Battie (who averaged a robust 2.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 9.9 minutes per game for the Philadelphia 76ers), a 38-year-old Kurt Thomas (also known as the NBA’s ultimate retread), Aaron Gray (3.1 points, 4.1 rebounds in 13 minutes per game for New Orleans) and Theo Ratliff, who was last seen rapidly decomposing on the Lakers’ bench.
That’s the best the New York freaking Knicks can do?
I guess when you hitch your wagon to a horrible defensive post player like Amar’e Stoudemire, you need to fill out your roster with awful, cheap depth.
Still, this has to be depressing for Knicks fans. Bringing Anthony in was supposed to make the team a destination for other players looking to chase a title. Instead, it’s looking like the same old Knicks with a two great players and a bunch of misfits.