Knicks Open To Using Cap Room To Take On Unwanted Contracts

As one of a small handful of NBA teams projected to have significant cap room this fall, the Knicks are in position to make a splash on the free agent market. However, the club is also open to using its cap space to take on other teams’ unwanted contracts in trades, according to Ian Begley of

Since the Knicks have so many players with options or non-guaranteed salaries for 2020/21, it remains to be seen exactly how much cap space they’ll have. Begley suggests the number could exceed $60MM, but that seems unrealistic to me. Something in the $25-40MM range should be doable though, and that would give New York more flexibility this fall than all but one or two other franchises.

Teams willing to accommodate other clubs’ “salary dumps” are generally rewarded with draft picks or young players. Last summer, for instance, the Clippers got a first-round pick for taking on Maurice Harkless; the Grizzlies got one for absorbing Andre Iguodala‘s $17MM+ salary; and the Hawks got a pair of first-rounders for taking Allen Crabbe and sending Taurean Prince to Brooklyn.

The Knicks didn’t take advantage of those opportunities in 2019, opting instead to use their space on second- and third-tier free agent signings. However, Leon Rose has since replaced Steve Mills as the head of basketball operations. And in 2020, there may be even more opportunities for Rose and the Knicks to take on undesirable contracts — if the tax line remains unchanged at $132.6MM, several clubs that didn’t expect to be taxpayers will be near or over that threshold and may be looking to shed salary.

In addition to their own future first-round picks, the Knicks also control the Clippers’ 2020 pick and a pair of future Mavs’ first-rounders. Accommodating a salary dump or two would allow New York to continue stockpiling draft assets and could give the team extra ammunition to eventually put together a trade package for a star.

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34 thoughts on “Knicks Open To Using Cap Room To Take On Unwanted Contracts

    • fantasyman99

      Like this .. Good spot for a guy like Knox to fall into his Iguadala like game without having to worry about scoring

    • Strike Four

      I think Draymond might get traded this offseason, and he could be going to NY, if not the Lakers, maybe in separate deals.

      Wiggins and Green and the 2 pick for the 8th pick and a couple later round future picks might get done tbh. Allows GSW space to go crazy in FA, which might be the best way to find the best people to play with the Splash Bros to win 5 more rings with.

      Giannis, AD and the Splash Bros? Could happen if Green and his contract get moved.

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          I remember around this time last year when they were all mad at Barkley when he said their team was going to miss the playoffs.

        • hiflew

          You don’t have to if you can fit them under the cap organically. I don’t think NY would have enough space for both, but if they declined a couple of options and renounced a couple of others they could easily fit one or the other without matching salary.

      • piechucker

        Why would the Warriors 3 starters in Green, Wiggins and pick 2 (who would also start) for 1 starter (pick 8) and a couple late draft picks. These trade ideas are so so so bad. Even if it was an even trade there’s no way the Warriors are trading Green, unless they’re getting a star in return.

    • piechucker

      Wiggins is better than Knox and #2 is much better than #27. You can’t be serious. Why are the Warriors salary dumping when they’ll still be over the salary cap so still can’t sign free agents and now don’t have assets to trade for a good player with their trade exceptions. This is possibly the worst trade proposal I’ve ever seen.

      • It’s a three year lock at $30m per and add the luxury tax on top of that. Not moving him will lock them in as this is the best they can put on the floor for at least three years, which is why they’re looking to move him.

  1. So the knicks are getting smart and rebuilding for the future by obtaining draft picks. That instant playoff team doesn’t exist. this is exactly what the Knicks should be doing a rebuild for the future.

    • hiflew

      That’s true. Now they can add even more Renaldo Balkmans, Jordan Hills, Kevin Knoxes, and Frank Ntikilinas.

  2. Sillivan

    Knicks would be in deep trouble if they use cap to take over 20 million unwanted contract

  3. antsmith7

    Warriors need to dump Wiggins to Knicks. Give them number 2 and take back 8.

    • Tatsumaki

      Lmao your not getting 8 wiggins contract is terrible you might get back clippers pick at best.

  4. Strike Four

    Nah, the “salary dump” would be Draymond to the Knicks plus picks, Wiggins either stays or goes in a Giannis/Embiid/guy who makes everyone say “they broke the league”- style trade.

    At that point GSW could even get into the AD sweeps.

    Light years, baby. This team is different, your entry-level brains can’t wrap themselves around the moves GSW are about to make, and all I know it ends with me laughing my butt off at Rockets superfans.

    • wagner13

      “Entry-level brains.” No offense dude, but do you realize what a condescending jerk you sound like right now? You’re the one making a bunch of assumptions very unlikely to happen. I’m sorry that people on this website happen to be fans of teams other than your precious Warriors.

      Honestly, I know plenty of smart Golden State fans, so I don’t think this guy’s narcissism applies to you. There’s always a few rotten apples

  5. mcmillankmm

    I think it’s a smart move for the Knicks rather than blow the cap space this summer on a mid level FA

  6. Knicks aren’t taking Wiggins or Green. Both contracts go out too many years. Wiggins also has a history with Thibs which is not positive.

    I don’t see the Warriors as a Knick trade partner. Salary dumps are about cap space (GSW wouldn’t be able to create much regardless) or avoiding/ minimizing luxury tax (doesn’t appear to be a GSW priority).

    • Sillivan

      Good points
      Wiggins for 8th pick, who says no?
      Warriors say no
      Wiggins 22 pts, 4 rebs and 4 assists
      8th pick projected 5 points 2 rebs 0 assist

    • Wiggins contract is 3 years, and I’m sure he can be moved in his final year as an expiring contract. Furthermore, Wiggins re-upped with Minny while Thibs was there and Thibs didn’t object. Not sure there’s a rift there.

      • Not sure there’s a rift, but he was noted – with Towns – as a guy who didn’t defend. Establishing a culture, a guy in his prime at his salary has to be central to it, not someone they carry. The 3 years covered by Wiggins contract is the 3 year period within which they’d be looking to add FAs, with decreasing cap space each year (and trading him likely won’t mean complete relief for his salary). At 92 mm (minus what we send back), you have to really like this player as a building block.

  7. biffpocoroba

    I’m not so sure GSW wouldn’t think about moving Green to the Knicks as a salary dump move, and giving up that protected 2021 first-rounder and other picks to make it work out for the Knicks.

    I agree they may not include Wiggins in that transaction, but they’d still have him and that #2 pick this year for other moves.

    • I don’t see that from GSW’s standpoint, as it wouldn’t open up cap space for them, although they’d have another TPE in the 22 mm range. Lose a very good player plus a valuable draft pick for a TPE-? Tax saving too, but I don’t think that’s a big concern for this season.

      From the Knicks standpoint, it would be about his willingness to finish his career with a rebuilding team. He’s signed for 3 more, plus a player option, so he isn’t like he’ll just be bought out.

  8. Jason Lancaster

    The teams most likely to take the Knicks up on this offer are small markets. I guarantee the Knicks aren’t willing to consider taking on players like Horford or Eric Gordon – they expect to be a “free agent destination” in 2021.

    My guess is that they take on smaller, shorter contracts in exchange for a late first. Trevor Ariza or Dennis Schroeder seem like possibles; Both teams need to cut costs, both players are decent enough to have some future trade value (probably not, but maybe). NY gets a late first, and then maybe they trade them again before the all-star break for another asset.

    Also, Thibs loves these older veteran players (which is why he shouldn’t be coaching the Knicks, but I digress).

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