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What is the Best Way to Rebuild the New York Knicks?

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The wisest play for this franchise is probably not to spend near max money on a shooting guard approaching the wrong side of 30. I’ve always maintained that the 2010 plan was a worthy endeavor even if the Knicks didn’t catch the big fish because of the flexibility that the cap space would provide.

So why waste it on Joe Johnson? I watched the playoffs this year and I was mortified. I didn’t want the Knicks to sign him. That got away from me a little bit. So did my disfavor for Amare. I’ve written at least three or four posts regarding how the Knicks should avoid him like the plague. Those guys played for D’Antoni in Phoenix and won 60 games but little else (though they were robbed once), with an MVP point guard. Will they fair better here with uh, someone, as their point guard?

It was probably the euphoria of the moment. After having my hopes of Bosh/LeBron consistently dimmed over the last several weeks, I was excited that the Knicks might get somebody.

Unless the Knicks can sign those two and also get Chris Paul without trading Gallinari, I don’t think it makes sense to squander the cap space Donnie has earned. There’s a smarter way.

Instead, the Knicks should focus on the multiple spendthrift organizations with serious money problems. The Hornets have two starting point guards and too many salary commitments. The Knicks should intervene in a way that preserves their hard earned cap flexibility by taking a short term yet expensive contract off the Hornets’ hands and extracting Darren Collison as the price. For example, the Knicks can absorb Darius Songalia or  Peja, guys who both expire next summer, and save the Hornets anywhere from $5 to $11 million this year.

That would eat up some cap space, sure. But short term. The Knicks would get it all back for 2011.

Similarly the Knicks could take on TJ Ford, who has been relegated to the Eddy Curry spot on the Pacers’ bench, and save them $8.5 million. They would of course have to include Paul George. Would the Pacers consider it? They’re hemorrhaging cash and it’s common knowledge that they are in bad fiscal shape.

Would the Nuggets part with Ty Lawson if the Knicks took on Kenyon Martin as well?

I think the Warriors would probably like to erase Dan Gadzuric off their books. The Knicks should oblige if they are willing to throw in Stephen Curry Anthony Randolph.

There are doubtless other similar moves the Knicks can pull off and they have the flexibility to pull off more than one of them. None of them would damage the Knicks salary cap space for 2011. In fact the Knicks could pull off any or a combination of these types of moves and still have almost 3 max space for 2011.

I lost sight of the big picture and I have some of my commenters to thank for pointing out that there is a smarter way.


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