Billy Hunter said this week that there may not be a 2011-12 season. While that is just posturing at this point, he may be onto something. It seems that there is a much larger group of owners who are willing to sacrifice a season to get the deal they want, than owners who are willing to compromise to save the season.
Now a missed season would suck for us as fans, but probably would be a good thing for the Knicks. Whether that is true or not depends on who Dolan decides to replace Donnie Walsh with, and that guy's skills as a negotiator once an agreement is in place.
Now I am sorry Dizzy, but if the season is missed, D'Antoni will probably be given an extension of at least one year. Dolan actually likes D'Antoni and probably would be willing to give him at least one full season with the team to prove himself.
Now assuming the owners get their hard cap of 62 million, and missing a season would make that possible as it appears that only the Lakers would be over the hard cap and that is only if they pick up a couple of players options, the Knicks would be about 18.7 million under the cap. That number includes salaries for (Amare, Carmelo, Douglas, Balkman, Shumpert, Harrellson, and Jordan). That would give the Knicks 7 players with a minimum of 5 to sign and a max of 8 for a full roster. Here is how you guys can get what you want, but the Team President is going to have to be one hell of a sales man.
1. Convince Chris Paul to sign for 7 Million. Why he could be convinced- Greater exposure in NY could increase his off the court earning potential which could eclipse the money that he gives up in guaranteed salary. He has already stated that he wants to play with Amar'e and Carmelo in NY. D'Antoni (assuming he is retained) has an offense Paul was born to run. Lastly, the Knicks probably give Paul his best chance to win a title, given his potential landing spots, Championships also increase a stars off the court earning potential. Could he be convinced to leave upfront money on the table to come here, I say we have a 60% chance.
2. Sign Marc Gasol for 6 million- One of the reasons we need Paul to leave some money on the table is so we can sign a Center. Now with a missed season Gasol is back in play because he will be an unrestricted free agent. Now he will be an even harder sell than Paul. Memphis will have the ability to offer more money upfront, but he could be had by the Knicks if we sell him hard enough. You know Gasol hates the fact that brother Pau has two rings and he doesn't have any, by joining Paul, Stoudemire, and Anthony in NY the Knicks would instantly become a favorite to win the eastern conference which puts him in position to win a title. New York is an international city, which increases his value as an international endorser, brother Pau saw the value of his off the court income double since coming to LA The same could happen for Marc. Chance of landing Marc Gasol for 6 mil, about 35-40%. Not great, but the odds give a creative personnel guy a punchers chance.
That leaves 5.7 Million to fill 3-5 roster spots.
3. Resign Landry Fields for 1.8 Million. Probably doable, Landry would receive a nearly 1.4 million dollar raise.
That leaves 3.9 Million.
5. Sign Roster filler with the remaining 1.5 mil (3 players at 500K a piece) you know D leaguers undrafted free agent types (hell I will even let you have Earl Barron if you wish!)
Total Knicks salaries = 62 Million.
So you guys get your 3 superstars and a legitimate "young," starting Center. Now Championships are not guaranteed, but that group should be able to take a legitimate run at one.