I know it's 20/20 hindsight, but why, oh why, didn't we use our amnesty on Amare instead of Billups???
At the end of last season, the team made the decision to pick up Billups' option year -- I think at around $10 million or so. They did it, I assume, for two reasons: 1) we had no other viable point guards, and 2) an expiring contract has at least some degree of trade value -- especially a player like Billups, who can help a contender.
Then, in December, the new CBA gets ratified, and it contains the wonderful "amnesty" clause. You can basically remove any contract you wish from your team, with the only catches being a) you still have to pay the player the dollars, and b) the player can go to any team they wish.
All of a sudden, Tyson Chandler, a free agent, is on the Knicks radar. This is a wonderful thing in both foresight and hindsight. However, cap room is needed. Amnesty to the rescue! But who to we amnesty to make room for Chandler? Billups, and his expiring contract.
Think about it. What if we used amnesty to get rid of Amare's albatross of a contract? We'd still get Chandler with the space we cleared from Amare's contract; we would have had Billups until he blew his achilles; but he would come off the books after this season and open us up for a Deron Williams type of free agent. The possibilities we would have had with all the Amare cap room are endless.
Instead, we're stuck paying max dollars to an Amare that in no way resembles the player he once was; we have him and Chandler clogging up the offensive paint; and we have no cap room in sight.
I wish I could say I was smart enough to have envisioned this beforehand. I can't claim that. But I can wish that our management team was smart enough to have seen a possibility like that, rather than wasting that precious one-time amnesty on a player who was gone after this season anyway.