Knicks May Make Surprise Moves

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The New York Knicks may be surprise players in this years free agency and not just because they have trade chips. All season long it was speculated the Knicks would try and do sign-and-trade deals with Nate Robinson and David Lee. That could still happen but its also looking like both players could still be playing at the Garden. The Knicks are also rumored to be in the Jason Kidd sweepstakes and of course looking at the big man Marcin Gortat.

I’m not sure which news today is more surprising. There have been reports that the Knicks and Kidd are scheduled to meet tomorrow. There’s also reports that the Knicks may be willing to offer Lee a six-year contract. So you see both are eye openers and I can’t decide which caught me more off guard.

First waking up this morning I turned on ESPN, the first story I saw was that the Knicks were meeting with Jason Kidd. First words out of my mouth were WTF, so I quickly went online to get details. The NY Post says that the Knicks hope their location is enough to reel in the triple-double machine. Kidd’s kids still live in the New York area and there hope is that he wants to be around them more.

They have to lean on that because all they can offer is the teams mid-level exception. Even with his career winding down its doubtful a player of his talent will sign for just that. Last season he averaged over 9 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists a game so he can still produce at a high level. For a system like Mike D’Antoni’s which rewards all around players, he’d be a perfect fit. The real question would be what happens to Chris Duhon then?


The other surprise came while I was reading about Kidd. The articles said the Donnie Walsh would like to keep Lee, but only at a price that doesn’t mortgage the teams chances for summer 2010. Makes total sense, it’s something I’ve thought for a long time. Lee led the league in double-doubles and is a talent that you can’t let just walk away. BUT at the same time with the upcoming free agent class you have to prioritize.

The same NY Post article indicates that Walsh would be willing to offer around $7 million a year over six seasons. A pretty good deal, especially in this economy but there are plenty of teams who can offer more. Walsh is willing to bet they won’t. “He’ll have to prove it,” Walsh said.

Walsh has that leverage to say that as the Knicks can match any offer Lee receives. That leverage could also lead to Walsh calling up a club and saying I’m keeping him unless you give me so and so’s expiring contract. Win-win scenario for the Knicks, even thou I believe the bigger win would be keeping Lee.

Don’t let the drafting of Jordan Hill and trade for Darko fool you, they’re back-up plans should the Knicks let Lee walk.

In other Knick news, Nate Robinson might be willing to sign his qualifying one year offer. This would be outstanding news for the club. Yes, they drafted Toney Douglas to replace him but who knows if he’ll be able to provide the same output as Nate in just his rookie year.

The Post says there are sources that Nate feels the summer of 2010 would be better for him financially, and he may be willing to wait a year to hit the market. That makes total sense in my opinion. Many teams are tightening up right now with the current economy, and once again because of the next free agent class. There’s going to be so much money available next year that Nate could really score a big payday with another solid season.

I’ll tell you one thing, if the Knicks can sign Kidd, keep Lee and Nate, and add Gortat it could be a special season. The Knicks would have enough talent to be very competitive in the Eastern Conference, probably playoff worthy again. The best part would be they’d make all these moves and still be in a favorable cap situation for 2010.

A playoff berth this year would put Madison Square Garden back on the map as a tough road game. The place would be absolutely electric with the Knicks being competitive again. And even more so when fans consider the future may be a lot brighter then the past decade.

Displaying 7 Comments
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  1. David says:

    wow, im really surprised that someone was actaully able to make sense of the knicks current situation. i really agree with almost everything you said except maybe keeping nate. right now he is a 5-9 shooting guard, but yet he is very popular around the league because he can flat out score, something the knicks dont really need, they have plenty of people that can score. i think they should be looking to work a sign and trade with nate that would at least get them a really solid young role player that will b there for the long run, who knows if kid falls thorugh i say ship nate to minnesota for rubio as fast as u can.

  2. Paul Raymond says:

    Ha, thanks Dave! The problem I see with trading Nate is that I don’t think they’ll get any young player in return. It would most likely be a player that will come off the books like he would if he stays one more year.

  3. Whatwillknicksdo says:

    Nice article, but how can the Knicks sign Gortat and Kidd while keeping all of those pieces? Both players are likely going to demand the whole MLE if not more.

  4. Anthony DeCesare says:

    If this is just a 2 team race between the Mavs and Knicks for Kidd, then Kidd may just choose the Knicks, lets face it, the mavs are a team on the decline,the west just got a whole lot harder with Artest going to the Lakers and Hedo maybe going to Portland, the Knicks potential upside could be much higher in year’s 2 and 3 of Kidd’s contract, then it would be in Dallas. We already know about the family reasons with kidd to choose the Knicks, the 2 offers are not all that different, Kidd could make up the difference in money with a couple endorsement deals in a snap of a finger in NY. Also remember u sign Kidd and are able to trade Jefferies’ contract to say Washington for a expiring contract like Mike James or something, your cap is then the same as it was before u went after Kidd. One to thing to watch as far as Lee is concerned. If hedo signs in Portland, u could see a sign and trade where Lee goes to Portland for SG Rudy Fernandez. Also u could see Jefferies go with Nate robinson in a sign and trade to Sacramento for Kenny Thomas’ expiring contract, a deal that almost occured this past trade deadline. And the Mavs just further screwed up their cap situation by signing Gorat to the full mid-level exception for 5 yrs. This Kidd situation is primed for it to blow up in Cuban’s face. U could see Mobley’s expiring contract along with say either Larry Hughes or Al Harrington go to the Rockets for Tracy McGrady. Lastly, I’ll believe it when I see it that anybody would trade for Eddy Curry for any reason, whether it’s to the Rockets or anybody else.

  5. lissette says:

    The knicks have plenty of options this season. They should keep Lee because he is the reason why the knicks even won the games they won. Trade Robinson if you get kidd because toney douglas is just as good as Nate. If they can get Gortat then that would be a plus for Lee because then he could play his natural power forward position. trade Curry and Jefferies because they are washed up. Next season I think the Knicks could be a playoff contender.

  6. Don PLural says:

    Knicks need to reward Lee for his hard work
    the guy is a winner on a losing team. We can build around him.
    Keep him Donnie

  7. tyler says:

    ok who ever says we dont neeed nate is dumb ok if we have nate we have a solid scorer of the bench at any time in the game he can now play point so him and duhan as our pgs we play chadler and dauglas as our sg and sf harrington and gallinari at pf hill and milicic then center we hve lee and curry
    we and this is our starting linup at pg duhan at sg chandler at sf harrington at pf hill at c lee thts a solid line up then we got good reinforcements of the bench with nate douglas gallinari and curry then we jst throw in hughesand jeffries somewhere bc we gaata trade jeffries some how but hughes we dnt need so the knicks will be compatitive with this team and we hve to make the playoffs other wise were giving up great player to chicago even we marbarry leaves he still hurts us wow

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