The draft still isn’t for another month, free agency still (presumably) isn’t until shortly after that, and the NBA and NBPA still haven’t even agreed to a cap figure for next season yet.
And yet, rumors are swirling from multiple plugged-in NBA people that, even without fully knowing how much money there will be to spend, some NBA teams are already coming to deals with free agents. From Brian Windhorst and Bobby Marks of ESPN, via NBA Sports:
I have already heard of a deal that’s been agreed to. Who knows whether it’s true or not?
I had one agent – because I was talking about his free agent and salary projections, right? And he said, “Hey, you’re really low. I’ve already got two offers from two different teams.”
And also this nugget from Keith Smith of Yahoo:
Multiple teams are asking the NBA for clarity on offseason dates. Because of how tight windows are, teams would like some direction on dates beyond just the November 18 NBA Draft. There are rumors circulating that some free agents have already reached agreements for next season.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 26, 2020
Why is this relevant to the Knicks? Well, assuming the salary cap holds at around $110 million (which is no guarantee), the Knicks should have around $48.2 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. That’s second to only the Atlanta Hawks in projected space, meaning that if the Knicks choose to, they could be big spenders in free agency this year.
That said, things seem to be trending towards a depressed market this offseason, so the Knicks might actually be able to get good value out of that cap space. For instance, Bobby Marks recently wrote a column breaking down what he believes some of the values of free agents could be this offseason, and here’s where a number of potential Knicks targets clocked in:
Fred VanVleet: $18-20 million
Joe Harris: $14-16 million
Damyean Dotson: Veteran’s minimum
Danilo Gallinari: $14-16 million
Davis Bertans: $12-14 million
Jerami Grant: $12-14 million
Christian Wood: $10-12 million
If anyone might be privy to breaking NBA tampering rules, making behind-the-scenes deals, and keeping the players’ agents silent about the transgression, presumably former CAA super agent and new Knicks President Leon Rose would be the man to do it.