After coming to terms on a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets for Marcus Camby, the Knicks still have Dan Gadzuric and his $1,352,181 contract to play with. I’ve had people ask me about including other player’s, notably Renaldo Balkman and Mike Bibby, salary in a deal, but teams are not allowed to trade players they’ve released, even if they’re still getting paid (Balkman) and Mike Bibby would have to agree to a non-guaranteed deal just to help the Knicks (unlikely).
So, if the Knicks can find a suitor, they can take back up to $2,128,271 in first-year salary, but just offering Gadzuric. They can supplement that offer with sweeteners to entice teams to do the Knicks a favor. Along with Gadzuric’s deal, the Knicks can offer around $1 million in cash, the rights to Ahmad Nivins, Georgios Printezis or Kostas Papanikolaou, or second round picks.
In the Camby deal, the Knicks traded their 2014 and 2015 second round picks, and since they traded their 2013 second rounder to Washington, they’d have to trade and have the teams stash one or a combination of the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020 second rounders (you can trade picks up to 7 years in the future). They could also try selling teams on the Sacremento Kings’ top-55 protected second rounder, which the Knicks acquired in 2010, but I doubt a team will want that.
But, first, the Knicks will need to set their eyes on a target in the $2 million price range. Despite re-signing JR Smith to a contract, the Knicks only have one shooting guard on the roster. They need another, so let’s take a look at a few potential fits.
- Randy Foye – The local product from Villanova has never lived up to his top ten selection in 2006, other than a 16 points per game season in 2008-09. He’s spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, mostly in a reserve role. After Chauncey Billups suffered a season ending ACL injury, Foye was thrust into the starting lineup. For the season, he averaged 11 points per game, but upped that number during April to 15.2. Despite his small stature, Foye excels in the mid-range game and is an excellent foul shooter.
- Out of this group, it’s likely that Foye will demand the most money. I would be shocked if the Knicks could snatch him up for about $2 million, as I thought he would fetch $4-6 million(he made $4,250,000 last year). The one advantage the Knicks have with Foye, however, is that he is represented by CAA, and as you may or may not know, CAA *runs* New York.
- Jodie Meeks – After seeing his numbers increase each season since his rookie year, Meeks regressed a bit last season. He saw his minutes reduced from 27 t0 24 per game, dropping his scoring average, field goal and three-point percentage. He did continue to be a great free throw shooter, making 0ver 90% of his attempts. He gives you nothing on defense, but is the type of catch and shoot player the Knicks are in need of.
- Last season, Meeks made a little more than $850,000, and the 76ers chose not to offer Meeks a qualifying offer of $2,695,391. It’s been noted that as the marque free-agents start to sign, the money for the lesser known guys will start to dry up. While Meeks could demand more than the $2 million the Knicks could offer him, it’s unlikely he’ll demand that much more. To me, Meeks should be the Knicks’ top target right now, as he has the skill-set to compliment their roster and sits in their price range. The only problem might be convincing the division rival 76ers to participate in a sign-and-trade.
- Marco Belinelli – Belinelli is coming off a career high in scoring, averaging 11.8 points for the post-CP3 Hornets. He is a career 39% shooter from beyond the arc and it was just two seasons ago that he shot over 40% from three-point land. His defense is mediocre at best, but again, he is the type of catch and shoot player the Knicks need alongside Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
- Last season, Belinelli made $3,377,604. From a sign-and-trade stand point, the Hornets might be the best possible team to work with, as they’re in limbo and their front office would be happy to pick up some draft picks and/or international rights. I wouldn’t be shocked if Belinelli made his way over-seas, but if the Knicks could focus in on Belinelli and convince him to join the Knicks while taking a pay cut from last year, he would help spread the floor with his shooting.
- Deshawn Stevenson – Whoops, it slipped my mind that Stevenson was included in the Joe Johnson sign-and-trade.
After winning a championship with the Mavericks in 2011, Stevenson had a nightmare season in New Jersey last year. He shot under 30% for the second time in three years. More alarming, his three-point percentage dropped from 38% to 28%. He is still one of the league’s better wing defenders but gives little value past that with his atrocious shooting. DeShawn made $2.5 million last season, but as his career winds down, he’s likely to prefer joining a contender than hunting for money. Like with Meeks, the Knicks might have a hard time convincing the cross-town Nets to help facilitate a deal. Stevenson would bring some grit, defense and the ability to can an open jumper. He be a great stop-gap shooting guard while Shumpert recovers, as well as a nice veteran to have come playoff time.
- Michael Redd – Playing healthy for the first time since 2007-08, Redd showed some flashes of what once made him the league’s top shooter. However, for the most part, Redd continues to be a guy whose best days are behind him. He shot just 40% from the floor and 32% from beyond the arc, a far cry from his career percentages of 44% and 38%. He’s never been known for his defense and his injury history suggests a guy the Knicks should stay far from, but he could be serviceable until Shumper returns.
- In my mind, Redd is a very attainable guard. He’s been around for a while, coming off a successful year, following injury, and seems he could contribute. Like all other deals, the Knicks could offer him a contract valued up to $2,128,271 in first-year salary, and while I’m not sure he would even demand more than the veteran minimum, if the Knicks want to lock him up, it’s likely they can, by offering Gadzuric’s deal.
- Gerald Green – Overshadowed by Linsanity, Green enjoyed a revival to his NBA career. After stops in Houston, Minnesota and Dallas were he played sparingly, Green caught on with the Nets last season and produced. In 31 games, he averaged a career high in points (12.9) and had the best shooting stretch of his career, shooting 48% from the floor and 39% from downtown. At just 26 years of age, Green could still be a contributor in the league and his athleticism gives him the tools to be a solid defender. With potential wings of Green and White, Knicks fans could tune into a dunk contents every night… Without knowing it.
- Last season, Green made very little. He’s still young, and after his break-through year last season, he’s likely looking for the biggest deal he can get. Even though he proved to be spectacular last season, teams might still have some question marks surrounding him, allowing for Greene to slip into the Knicks’ price range. Again, convincing the Nets to help out the Knicks, especially with someone they hoped to keep, will be difficult.
Also, some have asked, but the Knicks will not have the bi-annual exception this year because you cannot go over the luxury tax apron at any point in the season, and the Knicks will. But, if they were able to woo a free-agent with the bi-annual, they should be able to convince them to come for just north of $2 million.
After Gadzuric is traded (or not), the only remaining contract the Knicks can offer is the veteran’s minimum.
As always, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments.