In: Jason Kidd. James "The Flight" White
Out: Actually... no one yet.
In Not Really Limbo : Jeremy Lin. (actually we can call this Linbo.)
In Serious Limbo: Landry Fields
Grade so far: Incomplete, but pretty good. I don't much understand the James White signing, but figure the Knicks' Euro scouts know something. As far as Kidd, well, he's formerly a top NBA point guard on the downside of his career, and he's not Steve Nash. But on the plus side, he seems interested in mentoring Lin (who the Knicks continue to insist they will bring back whatever the cost), and he understands the concept of defense and defensive culture and what teams need to do to win it all. And we didn't lose Shump. A Shump for Nash exchange would have brought a dose of offensive brilliance to our squad, but would have damaged the defensive culture. The Kidd signing actually enhances the defensive culture and I think that's essential to winning it all. So I'm good with it.
What next, say you?
Let's look at the facts
1. The Knicks got their backup point guard.
2. In doing so, the Knicks are down to vets minimum deals, unless they can work out a sign and trade involving some combo of Gadzooks/TD/Panjeromium/Jorts.
3. Non-capped out teams can offer big $$ to desirable young free agents
4. Capped out, non-apron teams will have a 5 million mid-level to offer the free agents out there
5. Capped out apron teams will have the 3 million mid-level that we probably just used.
Conclusion: Everyone wants the Knicks to make some more splash here...but it may turn out that matching Landry is the best way to bring the best possible player in for the next couple of seasons. Yes, the Raptors offer is probably more than he's worth. But Landry played well when Lin was playing, he does the little things well, is a good rebounder, and there's a decent chance that he could get his rookie year shot back, and if he does, he's probably better than anyone we could bring in with our meager resources at this point. Yes, matching Landry would give us an enormous luxury tax bill in 2014-2015. But Dolan doesn't mind doling out money, does he? He can also be kind of a vindictive sonofabitch when he feels someone's trying to cheat him, and for all we know he may feel that way about Toronto's move. On the other hand he may feel that way about Fields. On the other hand he may express his vindictiveness toward Fields by refusing to let him leave.
I'm not saying it's going to happen, but depending on how the sign and trade talks go, and how the Knicks' negotiations with other free agents go over the next week, I'd say matching Landry is still very much on the table.