On Friday, I examined the Knicks' salary cap situation heading into the offseason and explained the obstacles facing the team as it looks to retain its own free agents and bring in more talent. With the help of CBA expert Larry Coon, ESPN.com's Jared Zwerling explores the same topic more extensively. While our conclusions were similar, Zwerling was able to add some details on the thinking of the club and its free agents. Here are the highlights:
- A source tells Zwerling that J.R. Smith's father Earl is going to try to convince his son to stay in New York but that "it's very clear that the money is the biggest factor with him." In fact, Smith chose the Knicks over the Clippers in free agency this past season because he was financially broke and the Knicks had more money to offer, according to Zwerling.
- One source on Jeremy Lin: "He's going to be in New York next year regardless, unless they decide they're not going to match him because [Steve] Nash is going to come in at $5 million or something like that. But Nash is a pipe dream. I think that they keep Lin, just because of his popularity."
- If Lin re-signs in New York, the Knicks will be hard-pressed to retain Landry Fields. Zwerling hears from a source that Fields may get a $5MM-per-year offer, not because he's necessarily worth that, but because teams often have to overpay to pry restricted free agents away.