So, as far as we can tell, when free agency opens at 2 PM today, the Knicks intend to sign Tyson Chandler to a contract amounting to about $58 million over four years. This is assuming that the poop-flinging going on elsewhere doesn't interfere, which I sure hope it won't (incidentally, discussion of that Chris Paul situation is welcome (including this and this), though I'd appreciate if we could keep it in the appropriate thread and save this one for Chandler stuff this morning). So, what's standing between the Knicks and an interior defensive presence? Well...
They need to get rid of Chauncey Billups. Sorry, Chauncey. Here's Howard Beck on that:
If the Knicks cannot trade Billups, they will use the N.B.A.’s new amnesty provision to remove his $14.2 million salary from the payroll. Billups would still earn the full amount and would be placed on waivers.
Seems pretty straightforward. Again, sorry it has to go like this, Chauncey. Here are very many dollars to soothe your disgruntlement. Now, everyone's saying that Ronny Turiaf has to go as well. This doesn't quite make sense to me, so I'll let Beck provide the details:
The Knicks have about $62 million in committed salaries — about $4 million over the projected cap — and must still sign their rookies, Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrelson. They can cut about $19.6 million by unloading Billups and Turiaf and withdrawing Derrick Brown’s qualifying offer ($1.1 million).
The Knicks would need about $13 million in cap room to give Chandler a four-year, $55.5 million deal.
Why one needs to cut $19.6 million to spend $13 million is beyond me, but I'll assume that the Knicks aren't just wildly detonating payroll and there's a method to these moves. (If you are more than insightful than I am, feel free to explain in the comments. A lot of us are wondering). Anyway, if Billups gets amnestied, ditching Ronny (sorry, Ronny) will require a trade partner. Marc Berman explains that that'll take some finagling:
The holdup is centeralso has to be traded for a draft pick to open the needed cap space to have Chandler start at nearly $14 million per season. According to sources, the Turiaf trade last night was stopping the deal from being consummated. Turiaf has chronic knee issues and may need to pass a physical.
Turiaf would likely be dealt for a draft pick or something, (unless somebody wants to offer the Knicks some point guard depth? Anybody? No? Okay.) which I would imagine is an attainable deal somewhere, right?. Just need to find a willing partner.
So that's what's up today. Oh, and Shelden Williams just signed with the Nets. That's always seemed like a good fit for him. He just seems like a Net, ya know? But hey, good signing, Nets. He's a serviceable player. Best of luck, Shelden. (Not you Shawne! You come back! You were always our favorite Shwilliams! We told you that, right?).
I'll update and create new threads throughout the day. <3.
Update: Howard Beck: "Tyson Chandler deal will be done today, w/Billups amnestied, according to source. Not clear where Turiaf going yet, but he'll be traded."
Update: Beck again: Knicks have about 5 scenarios in play for trading Turiaf to clear more cap room for Tyson Chandler. One of them gets done today, I'm told.
Update: ESPN's Tim McMahon: Tyson Chandler confirms on ESPN 103.3's Ben and Skin Show that he's agreed with the Knicks. NO sign-and-trade with the Mavs.