Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 5:22 pm  |  38 responses

The Buy-In for 2010 Is One Max Contract

Well, I’ve got two.

by Matt Lawyue / @mlawyue

In Walsh we trust.

February 18, 2010 will be marked in Knicks history as the day somebody in the organization with a well-constructed plan and goal actually followed through on their word. And I’m not even being sarcastic.

GM Donnie Walsh stated from the beginning his goal was to get the team under the cap for 2010 (check), have as much cap flexibility as possible (check) and put a competitive team on the floor (X…still in progress). After today’s deadline dealing’s, he’s 2/3 of the way there. It was, and still is, going to be a rebuilding process. What they had on the floor didn’t work, so Walsh started from scratch.

He dumped Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, Stephon Marbury, Jerome James, Quentin Richardson and most recently, Nate Robinson, Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries. Boom, roasted.

-- He exiled, to much delight, the man currently coaching Florida International. Boom, roasted.

-- He revamped the suffocating media policy. Boom, roasted.

-- He got the team under the cap. Boom, roasted.

-- He created enough cap space to offer two, max contracts to the free agent class of 2010 this summer. Boom, roasted.

-- He hired Mike D’Antoni to coach the Knicks team in 2010, while developing youngsters like Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Toney Douglas. Boom, roasted.

But the plan has come at a price.

-- All of the rebuilding has left a damaged, horrible squad on the floor. And the fans must suffer for it.

-- There are only four players currently under contract for 2010 (Chandler, Gallinari, Douglas, Eddy Curry. Curry comes off the books in 2011.) If the Knicks sign two max players, there won’t be a lot of extra green to throw around. Whoever signs will be playing for pennies compared to the superstars.

-- Their 2010 draft pick was already lost to Utah, and now they’ve practically given up their 2011 and 2012 picks (Houston can swap picks with them in 2011 unless it’s the first pick of the draft, and have a protected top-five pick in 2012). Rebuilding through the draft isn’t going to happen.

-- Jordan Hill, their 8th pick in the ’09 Draft, is gone. This is where Walsh clearly messed up. Instead of drafting a guard to run D’Antoni’s offense they went with the PF Hill. He’ll probably turn into a decent player, but after Chris Duhon broke down last season, they needed to draft a PG in the guard-rich ’09 Draft. Now that Duhon is floundering worse than ever, this pick is even under more scrutiny than before.

Are the means enough to justify the ends? We don’t know right now. We’ll find out over the summer.

But the bottom line here, Walsh accomplished his goal in order to gamble in the high-stakes, VIP room this summer. All of their money is on Walsh’s ability to wine and dine LeBron James, somebody else and his supporting cast to play for the Knicks.

Does Walsh have enough game to do it? We’ll find out, but God, I hope so.

Should we judge Walsh on his winnings this summer? Absolutely. If he doesn’t come through with the big prize, it’s not going to go over well with Knicks’ fans. You could argue that even if they don’t acquire LeBron or Wade or whomever, they have enough room to assemble a decent squad without a superstar.

If that’s your mentality, that’s fine. But Walsh didn’t blow up this roster just to create another superstar-less one, with the Knicks floundering in the lower rung of the Eastern standings.

From this point on, it’s go big or go home.

In Walsh we trust.

Knickled & Dimed List
– The possibility of this summer ending disastrously.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/NotebookNick NotebookNick

    If they don’t get a big name guy, they’re not worth watching.

  • T-Money

    bron or bust, really…

  • Shem

    I doubt the knicks will get JJ, LeBron, D wade or bosh. Many other teams have higher chances at winning. There is a good chance they will get one quality free agent but maybe not an elite one. If the knicks don’t get any free agent they will be the laughing stock of the L. They’ve been planning for 2010 since probably 07.

  • http://www.realultimatepower.net doyouwantmore

    I predict Joe Johnson and Chris Bosh. And…second round playoff exits for a few years.

  • mike

    it’s not gonna happen for them – putting their eggs all in one basket is not a good idea

  • Robb

    NY deserves better. The Knicks have made to many bad decisions in the last 15 years.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    They just picked up Sergio Rodriguez. I think he can hold down the PG position better than Duhon.

  • md33

    I think Bosh and JJ on the same team in NYC would be pretty sweet to watch; and it would probably leave them with just enough cash to sign some decent role players to fill in the gaps.

  • MBE18

    I hope Donnie knows something that none else knows. If they don’t get LeBron, it may possibly be another miserable 3-5 years of New York Knicks basketball!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    if Lebron wins the chip this season (and it’s a very strong possibility) there’s no way he’s bolting the cavs. If I were walsh, I would’ve traded all my assets to the Lakers :)

  • LA Huey

    I predict LBJ will stay put, Wade will go to Chicago (or stay if Boozer or Amare signs), and Bosh stays (or goes to Dallas/Houston in a sign-and-trade). That leaves NYK with JJ, whatever is left of T-Mac, and whomever Miami leaves them with.

  • fut.

    6 Months later…New York signs TMac and Gil to max contracts.

  • Shem

    Just want you to know CB4′s new dvd theme song is REP TDOT TILL THEY BURY ME, may not mean much.. just saying

  • mikeyv

    why would anyone wanna go to NY? even if thwy get two big name free agents there’s really not a strong supporting cast. it could be a start but most of those big names are winners and are used to winning and I doubt they would wanna be on a garb team that won’t win for a few seasons

  • vanillagorrila

    yeah serg should be as decent or better than duhon and for a fraction of the cost.

  • Matt

    It’s amazing to see that with such inferior talent from a few years ago the knicks are still winning at the same pace. Oh, Jennings really would’ve been perfect

  • neaorin

    30 million is not enough for two max players. LeBron / Wade / Bosh / Johnson make 15 million each right now and all of them will want a raise. LeBron has already said he won’t take less than the max. The second “max player” would have to be a 10-12 million guy, someone like Boozer. Or just re-sign David Lee.

  • therighttoremainsalient

    I think, the Knicks could get Amar`e in the off season. It seems stoudemire craves the lime light a bit. A massive pay figure, the largest media circus and the chance to be the bonafide MAN on a team… he’ll look good in the NYK uni’s too (we know he already can wear orange)…

  • madis

    So TMac is back in “Orlando”, only he won’t lead the league in scoring anymore and won’t even get to that first round

  • http://www.behindtheb.blogspot.com Sam Raphael Chadwick

    The Knicks have done really well to all that cap space, however I think D-Wade will go to Chicago and Lebron might stay basically leaving the Knicks with players who havent proved themselves good enough to win big and if they sign one they might not be able to build a good enough team around that 1 player

  • http://www.jewelzlopez.com -Mas-

    Chandler, Galinari, Douglas,
    Keep Lee, Maybe T-Mac can still play
    Rodriguez if going to surprise the Big Apple fans.
    Those guys plus 1 MAX and 2 not so max contracts.
    A couple of second round steals.
    That doesn’t sound like Championship material but with a good coach and a good 2011 free agent class it sounds like a good start.

  • http://www.fantasticfansite.com Fontaine

    Lebron stays in Clev, Wade to Chicago, Joe Johnson and Bosh to the Knicks. I’m living in a “Fan”tasy land, but as a fan, i have to wish.


    Thank you MAS! People act like the Knicks have no picks this year just because its not a firstrounder,they have two second round picks and best believe there will be steals in the second round. Knicks just have to really do their homework this time. And they only gave up one pick in this trade, the 2012 pick, but its top 5 protected. Which shouldnt matter anyway because we should be contending by then. We swapped picks in 2011, so we still have a pick were just gonna trade places with H-TOWN unless our pick is number 1 we keep it.

  • http://www.jewelzlopez.com -Mas-

    Your welcome…Anyone gonna be at MSG monday night vs the Bucks?
    I’m gonna be there with my Spain flag and my “Nueva York” jersey.
    PS. Newark is a good fit for the Nets.

  • kwame

    i doubt the knicks will get wade or lebron…wut they need is a pg and a pf…so if there is a superstar pg that will entice bosh or amare to go to the knicks. then theyll b set

  • PrettyBoyPeeWee

    The Only Person I See Go’n 2 NY Is Joe Johnson, Bron Stay’n In Cleveland, D-Wade Go’n 2 Chi-Town, Bosh Might Join Him In Chi-Town Or Miami Or He Might Go To 1 Of The Texas Teams, Boozer Go’n 2 Miami, Amare Might Go 2 Miami, But As Far As NY Who Cares They Team Gone Suck The Have No Players Who Wanna Play 4 Pennies Wen U Gave All Yo Money To 2 Guys For Max Contracts, Its About The Money, Location(Home-Town) , Being The Start Player, Endorsements,And Chance 2 Win A Title

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Just for the record. Jordan Hill was never going to be a descent player. Unless he came with a fast forward button. Dude runs in slow motion, come on…

  • Kent Kanada

    That’s A Lot Of Proper Nouns…

  • TyMo

    “There are only four players currently under contract for 2010…If the Knicks sign two max players, there won’t be a lot of extra green to throw around.” This is exactly why they’re not getting the big guns this offseason. Bron and Bosh don’t want to play 2-on-5 every night. They might get guys who are all about the money, but that’s not going to get them wins.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Question: Why would Joe Johnson leave Atlanta?
    He has:
    * an all-star PF/C in Horford
    * a super versatile SF/PF in Josh Smith
    * the (likely) 6th man of the year in Crawford
    * a reliable, solid PG in Bibby
    * a defensive-minded coach who shaves his eyebrows
    * a team that has an identity and good chemistry with a decent bench
    He would be leaving the team that “believed in him” by throwing all that money at him in 04/5, he’s the Captain, the leader and the franchise player. The Hawks have put a team around him since 04 from scratch basically. This Hawks team is challenging for the top of their division for the first time in, well, forever almost.
    He’d be turning his back on an organisation which has basically parallelled his career.
    He’d be leaving for.. what exactly? Money?
    Atlanta is a BIG city, he’d generate basically the same amount of money in NY as he would in ATL. Is an extra $1million a season worth of jersey sales going to cover the cost of moving his family, his house etc?
    Is it going to cover the cost of winning?

  • ThatGuy


    No seriously hes not If only the pistons had cap space

  • JMac

    @ThatGuy and Hursty: yeah if he left, it would only be because of the money. he has nothing to run away from in the ATL, great teammates, great Mr. Potato Head as his coach, but if the Knicks offer him a max contract that ATL cant match, wouldn’t he give it a second thought?
    Then, if with an Amare or Bosh acquisition, it makes his decision that much harder to come by (im assuming LeBron and Wade dont come to the Big Apple)

  • matt

    Jazz, with the Ronnie Brewer trade, have said they want to make a Boozer extension. Look out, NY. Would he rather be on a team 2nd place in the West or completely rebuilding in NYC?

  • Not Ballin Anymore

    I hv watch the NY Knicks go from Frazier, Monroe, Reed, Bradley DB, Cazzie, and Dick Barnett to a bunch of No-name high-paid No-ballers w/Bad Mgmt to blame for it all. They can NOT PAY any smart good-ballplayer to come there to rebuild for the next WHAT? (3-5 years):>( Leb, Wade, JJ, BosHie, Amare all want RINGS (NBA RINGS) NOW!! not when they turn grey and come of the bench for 6 minutes. NOT!!! goin to happen in NYC.
    Sorry Knick fans… that’s why I left NYC in 07.
    Can’t never make the right moves, except
    MY YANKEES…..Amen

  • Not Ballin Anymore

    Any good baller the Knicks had as youth-ful high-flyin youngsters where traded for old-heads w/exp.
    ex. (Trevor Ariza)…Paid High $$ or took over HIGH contract, to see them FF-LOPP in the Big Apple under media pressure and fan scrutiny. They could not take the heat and they ran out the kitchen. No one in mgmt cares about the fans in NYC who pay for those HIGH-Priced tickets to see Losers aka Crybaby Marbury….

  • ThatGuy

    He wont leave because two players cant win a championship He has Josh Smith and Al Horford Marvin is starting to become a consistent 3 point shooter that can also drive and he has Jeff Teauge being mentored by Mike Bibby he wont leave because of the money

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    I have no idea where JJ will end up, but all I know is that he didn’t sign the contract extension…