Well, after 10 days of waiting, NBA free agency is finally picking up. LeBron James to Cleveland and, now, we have Jeremy Lin heading to Los Angeles!
At first glance, this trade might not appear to be a big deal, but taking a little deeper of a dive, this is big for the Knicks.
First off, Carmelo Anthony’s path to the Los Angeles Lakers is all but dead. The main selling point for the Lakers was their max offer, which will be taken off the table as soon as the Lin deal is official. Simply put, Lakers can’t pay Lin and Melo.
Secondly, the 76ers are now, once again, a potential suitor for Amare Stoudemire’s contract. We know the 76ers plan to tank this year, but they want to acquire as many assets as possible while doing so. As such, after missing out on Lin and a first round pick, they will likely be open to discussing Stoudemire + an asset.
Thirdly, Knicks are back in the driver’s seat. Assuming Chicago and New York are the two teams Anthony is deciding between, Melo no longer has the Lakers’ max offer to float over the Knicks’ head. If he wants to go to Chicago, he’ll need the Knicks to sign-and-trade him, unless he’s truly content taking a severe pay-cut. If he wants to go to New York, Knicks could, if they wanted, lower their offer slightly (albeit they would come across as assholes), as any offer over $75 million would top the Bulls’.
All in all, 76ers are, once again, potential trade partners for Stoudemire or Bargnani, Melo to Lakers is dead, and Knicks will either end up with Melo or a decent mix of assets from the Bulls.
SummerKnicks in one hour!