Of course I would like to see basketball played this year (though admittedly, I can survive without it with Football-Soccer starting in less than a month…), but lets say the entire NBA season is cancelled and lets look at the possibilities such a catastrophe would open for our Knicks – there’s actually a lot to like considering what we can do for the 12-13 season:
Jump, if you still remember how.
1. Cap Space + Free Agents.
According to Hoopshype.com the Knicks will have 3 players under contract for the 2012-2013 season (Amar’e, Carmello and Balkman) totaling at a committed $41 mill (not including TD’s option at just over $2 mill.
According to the last offer the owners gave the players, the salary cap is to increase to $62 mill with an option to exceed it by at least $8 mill. Considering this offer was rejected by the players, and that I’m assuming the actual agreed upon figure should be higher and not lower (in the spirit of reconciliation and compromise which is probably the only way out of this mess). So that gives us a minimum of $27 mill to spend on free-agents.
And who would that free-agent class include? BOTH the 2011 AND the 2012 free-agent class! That means, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler, Nene, Marc Gasol, Levin Love, Westbrook, Nash, Felton, Heinrich, Ray Allen, Garnett, Gallinari, Chandler, Felton, Kaman, Mo Williams, Brook Lopez, among others. As well as our own, Ladry Fields, Turiaf, Billups, etc.
For both the lovers of 3 Stars scenario AND the lovers of a deep and balanced roster, a lockout that would absorb the entire NBA season would be ideal.
Obviously a lot of teams will have cap space in this scenario, but not a lot of teams will already have STAT and MELO already on the team.
2. Draft pick in 2012?
If the NBA season in 2012 does not transpire, I have already read in various places that in order to decide the order of the next draft they will have to conduct a league-wide lottery. This means that the Knicks who would probably be a playoff team next season if the season does happen, will have a chance to be in the lottery. More specifically, they have a theoretical chance to get a top 5 pick. As you may remember our McGrady deal with Houston stipulates that the Rockets will get our 2012 pick only if that pick is outside the top 5.
So from zero chance to have a draft pick in 2012, all of a sudden we now have a small theoretical chance to obtain a very good player in next year’s draft (which is billed as one of the stronger draft classes in recent years).
So there you have it: Two “good” reasons why Knicks fans could feel a little upbeat about a terrible situation.