The New York Knicks find themselves in an interesting situation with Carmelo Anthony no longer on the roster but cap space still limited.
According to ESPN’s NBA insider Ian Begley, the Knicks project to have around $3 million in cap space for the next two offseasons. Of course, a lot can happen between now and then, but based on current figures it would be hard for the team to make a splash without making a move or two first.
Begley reports that New York could make a move involving various players on the team, including Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah (via ESPN):
“People who have spoken to members of the Knicks’ front office lately have come away with the impression that the club would be open to trading Lee for the right return. On the Noah front, the Knicks — under Phil Jackson — asked teams if they would take Noah in a deal in most of the conversations they had about potential [Kristaps] Porzingis trades during the spring and summer, according to sources.”
Lee will make $36.6 million over the next three seasons while Noah is due $55 million. The Knicks previously shopped Lee prior to start of this year’s free agency period, according to our own Alex Kennedy.
Begley describes Noah’s contract as one of the most “untradeable” in the NBA. If the team decided to waive Noah using the stretch provision, they would alleviate cap space for 2019 but it would negatively impact them for three more years.
Other potential trade candidates are big men Kyle O’Quinn and Lance Thomas.
“Teams have expressed interest in O’Quinn and Thomas in the weeks leading up to the preseason, per league sources. If the Knicks don’t make a trade to create cap space in the next two summers, the club might have to wait until the summer of 2020 to make an impact in free agency.”
O’Quinn and Thomas are seemingly more expendable with New York recently landing Enes Kanter.
Meanwhile, Porzingis may play center more often for the Knicks next year. If the team can free up cap space in a trade, expect the front office to jump at an available opportunity.
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