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Props Slaps
 8 years ago '04        #7401
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Marc Berman

I got to commend Chris Duhon. Most pro athletes are excuse-makers. When they fail, there's usually an excuse. When they get benched, it's always somebody's fault.

Not Duhon. When the Duhon Era ended last week at the trade deadline, with the Spanish playmaker Sergio Rodriguez brought aboard, Duhon never put the blame anywhere but on himself. He's run the show here for more than a season-and-a-half and wasn't able to turn around the losing culture supposedly set by Stephon Marbury. (How wrong has that turned out to be?)

Duhon, a DNP for three games now, is taking the demotion like a man. No snide comments or read-between-the-lines statements.

Duhon told The Post at the morning shootaround Friday at Verizon Center, "I understand what's going on. I had my opportunity. Now it's time for other guys.'

"I just couldn't get out of (the slump),'' Duhon added. "I had enough time. I just didn't get out of it. I had every opportunity. He's got to see what's going to help them win in the future.''

Duhon is a class act. Even Marbury will agree to that. During that wild training camp in 2009, Duhon was nothing but supportive of Marbury – to his face and to the media.

As I wrote in the paper today, Duhon now has more pull with President Obama than D'Antoni. He arranged a mini-tour of the White House yesterday for the team, but only Al Harrington, a.ssistant Herb Williams and a handful of Knick staffers made the journey. Duhon is best friends with President Obama's top aide, Reggie Love and they met President Obama in the Oval Office.

Next season Duhon won't be back here but his class will be remembered.
 8 years ago '04        #7402
Jae_Hood_354 135 heat pts135
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what channel is tonights game on i cant find it
 02-27-2010, 09:02 PM         #7403
IAmazeMyself 
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Why do Sergio and Walker have more combined shots than Gallo and Wilson?
 02-28-2010, 12:45 PM         #7404
Rhymes4Days 
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Knicks vs Grizzlies highlights
 8 years ago '07        #7405
Truth B T0ld 3 heat pts
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$5,556 | Props total: 339 339
Douglas needs more minutes...
 8 years ago '04        #7406
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,287 | Props total: 3814 3814
Alan Hahn

It was in November after the Lakers had defeated the Knicks at Staples Center when a couple of us New York writers asked Kobe Bryant to stop for a chat after being peppered with Thanksgiving questions -- "Who carves the turkey in the Bryant home?"...(seriously) -- from the LA press.

After going over the usual subject (playing in New York, the Knicks 2010 plans and LeBron James), I posed a hypothetical that asked how he would weight things if he were in LeBron's situation.

"I know what you're asking," Kobe said with a grin, "but I'm not going to answer that one."

It seemed innocent enough to ask him mainly because, though Bryant also has an opt-out this summer, it's all but given he will re-sign with the Lakers. Right?

Then came this story from HoopsHype, written by Roland Lazenby, who is hardly a pimple-faced graduate student playing with trade machines in his parents' basement. He's written a few dozen books, several involving subjects such as the Lakers, Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. So we'll consider his resources are at least reasonable when he cites that "overtures have been made" between Jackson and James.

As the story goes, LeBron could go to the Lakers (since they don't have salary cap space, we figure it would have to be a sign-and-trade scenario in which the Cavs are agreeable to get pieces such as Andrew Bynum...try to contain your excitement, Cleveland) and then Bryant is the one who becomes the prized unrestricted free agent looking for a new home. [We'll dismiss the idea that the two could be teammates. Only as muppets do we see these alpha dogs ever working together over an 82-game schedule.]

Lazenby could be doing Jackson's dirty work here, causing a stir that puts some heat on Lakers owner Jerry Buss to re-sign him. Jackson, like Bryant, has yet to sign an extension and regardless of what Buss does, Jackson plans to coach next season somewhere. In fact, one possible destination Lazenby offers is New York, in the seat of Jackson's most respected mentor, Red Holzman.

Let's remind everyone here that Mike D'Antoni still has three more years left on his contract. It is almost impossible to imagine the Knicks would dump D'Antoni after he signed on for a plan that involved slashing payroll and losing for two seasons for a rebuild in 2010. But I'll allow that D'Antoni has a shrewd agent in Warren LeGarie, who may work out an escape for his client to take the Chicago Bulls job -- which was on the table for him in April 2008 -- just to get away from the New York media. No one would want to be around this place if the 2010 Plan yielded an unimpressive return.

But that's getting way ahead of a conversation here that has already gone too far.

So if you follow the math, the possible results include:

-- Kobe opts out, Lakers work out sign-and-trade for LeBron, who agrees only after Buss offers Jackson an extension. Kobe signs with Knicks. Nike is pleased because they have their two main stars in two major markets.

-- Lakers decide not to offer Jackson an extension. Knicks work out buyout for D'Antoni, who leaves to coach Bulls (who fire Vinny Del Negro) and hire Jackson. LeBron leaves Cleveland to join Jackson in New York. Nike is pleased because they have their two main stars in two major markets.

-- Lakers win their second championship and Buss extends Jackson, Kobe. LeBron leaves Cleveland to play for the Knicks. Nike is pleased because they have their two main stars in two major markets.

-- LeBron wins championship, stays in Cleveland. Lakers lose in Finals and decide to keep Kobe, Jackson. Nike is pleased because they still have their main star in a major market and LeBron has a championship. And because he signed a three-year deal, he'll be a free agent again in 2013.

I'll add this last option, since it wasn't mentioned anywhere else:

-- Jackson decides it's time to leave the Lakers. Accepts ridiculous, unprecedented contract from new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Then lures LeBron to Brooklyn. With Jackson gone, Bryant re-considers his future in LA and, as a free agent, signs with D'Antoni and the Knicks.

Imagine that, New York.
 8 years ago '04        #7407
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Tracy McGrady said he would be willing to recruit LeBron James and other free agents this summer, even though he will be a free agent as well with an uncertain future.

"I would like to play with a lot of those guys that are going to be a free agent," McGrady said. "And I'm sure this is a very attractive place to play. You have the bright lights, big stage every night. You've got the most passionate fans in basketball. And this is the mecca of basketball. This is it. So very attractive place, and I'm sure a lot of guys will definitely consider that."
 8 years ago '04        #7408
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Arm Tellem

Tracy McGrady never set out to become an NBA player. His intention was always to pitch for the New York Yankees. But a funny thing happened to him on his way to Gotham. He got sidetracked in Toronto, Orlando and Houston. It turned out to be a 13-year trek.

I've been T-Mac's agent ever since he turned pro. Before the Raptors drafted him out of high school in the first round of the 1997 draft, he camped out in the guest room of my home in Los Angeles. He was just 18, but he comported himself with a calm dignity that seemed to radiate from a lamp in his spine. What impressed me most about him was his emotional generosity: He established an easy rapport with my three young sons, whom he enlisted in a kind of conspiracy against seriousness.

Everyday after his workouts he would wait for Eric (then six), Matty (10) and Mike (13) to get home from school so he could take them on in Wiffle ball. And it was quite a sight to watch the 6'8" Tracy try to get one of his herky-jerky cutters past Eric, all 3'8" of him. Pretending he was facing Andy Pettitte in Game 7 of the World Series, Eric would swat at T-Mac's pitches with his hollow, lemony plastic bat. The impact of Wiffle ball on Wiffle bat produced a peculiar Wiffle thunk savored by Wiffloisseurs like me.

It's hard to believe that Eric is now 18 and about to enter college, and that T-Mac is 30, a seven-time All-Star and a two-time NBA scoring champ. With all his success, he's still grounded and an all-around solid guy. And, happily, he finally got to New York.

The most recent leg of his Big Apple-ward journey began in the summer of 2004, when he and I forced a trade to the Rockets. The idea was that playing alongside a consummate big man like Yao Ming would make an unbeatable combination -- the Lone Star equivalent of Kobe and Shaq. Unfortunately, injuries intervened, and the two were never on the court together for any significant amount of time.

With Yao out for the current season and Tracy coming back from knee surgery, the Rockets decided to rebuild. Realistically, Tracy, whose contract is about to expire, had no future with Houston. Considering the lack of player movement in the NBA -- and the fact that free agents are free in name only -- getting traded to the right team was critical. Tracy had to land where he would have a chance to play and might actually be re-signed, or at least re-signed and traded. He needed the opportunity to show he still has productive years ahead of him.

His salary is $23 million, the highest (with Kobe Bryant and Jermaine O'Neal) in the league. Which made a trade that much more difficult. To match it, many players would have to be involved in a deal. Contending teams were unwilling to break up their nucleus mid-season for a player who had missed almost an entire campaign.

After much discussion, T-Mac focused on the Knicks. He loves New York - the fans, the Garden, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni and his stick-to-his-principles-come-hell-or-high-water fast-break approach. And he's positively crazy about the team's young talent -- Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and all-star David Lee.

The Knicks shared the love and swapped for Tracy on Feb. 18. His impact has been immediate and somewhat staggering: T-Mac's debut gave the MSG network its largest audience for a Knicks game in more than a year. Viewership is up nearly 80 percent and merchandise sales -- mostly T-shirts and jerseys -- at Tracy's first home game rose 40 percent. In the week since he came aboard, the team website has recorded more page views than during any comparable span since 2005.

Bernard King was the Knicks' last genuinely exciting superstar, and they let him go in 1987. Today, after years of wadding their roster with overpaid, underachieving players, the franchise once known for "heart and hustle" is in the midst of its ninth straight losing season. Previous front-office regimes have been hard pressed to make prudent decisions while expected to win now. Basically, the long-term future of the franchise was mortgaged and frittered away in a frenzy of trading and deal-making that only made the Knicks worse. In N.B.A. parlance, the players they acquired -- often for valuable draft picks -- were just good enough to lose with.

It's vital for the health of the NBA that New York field a lively, contending team. A formidable franchise in the city would boost league TV ratings and merchandising prospects. The Knicks could do for basketball what the Yankees have done for baseball. From a marketing standpoint, the Yanks are this country's greatest sporting brand. If the NBA wants to be a true global game, the Knicks must be worth showcasing, too.

But the Knicks are in a tough spot. To improve in the NBA, they have had to shuffle their roster to clear payroll and create salary-cap room. Under cap rules, to sign two marquee free agents this summer at the starting maximum salary of $17 million or so -- say, LeBron James and Chris Bosh - the Knicks must renounce the rights to all their free agents. They would also have to renounce the rights to Lee and terminate his Bird Rights, an exemption that lets a team re-sign its own player for any amount up to the maximum allowed salary, even if it's over the cap. Plus, the team would forfeit its midlevel exception, a slot worth some $6 million. If the Knicks do snag two max-level stars, their only remaining players will be Gallinari, Chandler, Toney Douglas and the ever-enigmatic Eddie Curry. Any other newcomers would have to settle for the NBA minimum.

In baseball, the Yankees can outbid competitors for free agents. The Knicks don't have that option. NBA rules dictate that they can't even offer a free agent as many guaranteed years or as much money as his current team. The only lure left: the chance to play in New York. Will Show-Me-The-Lights-On-Broadway trump Show-Me-The Money? We'll soon see.

Whatever happens, the Andy Pettitte of Wiffle ball hopes the Knicks save a little space for him.
 8 years ago '04        #7409
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Marc Berman

CLEVELAND – Tracy McGrady already began his recruiting pitch to LeBron James after he was traded to the Knicks Feb. 18th.

T-Mac and LeBron have been in communication. "He's a good friend,'' McGrady said at the morning shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena. "He wanted to see me back on the basketball court and congratulate me on being back. I sent him an email that said: "I'm in the Big Apple. I'll see you here next season.''

LeBron's response was a "LOL.''

Anything bad that happens to Cleveland is good for the Knicks, so the Cavs announcing this morning Shaquille O'Neal is out about eight weeks because of his thumb surgery isn't the worst thing for Donnie Walsh's July 1st bid. Shaq will miss the first round of the playoffs and if the Cavaliers are stunned early, the chances of LeBron's departure goes way up.

McGrady can see a scenario of LeBron leaving if they win a title or if they got knocked out early this spring.

"(He) could go either way,'' McGrady said. "On one hand, he could say I gave you all something you never had, what you wanted. On the other hand, I've been here seven years, I tried and it just didn't happen. I want to start fresh. It could go either way. Nobody knows what the guy is thinking. Let's just sit back and enjoy and wait till July 1st.''

Despite his sore knee, McGrady expects some time on James tonight, with Wilson Chandler not making the trip because of personal reasons.

"It's what you really get up for,'' McGrady said. "He's a great player. The things he does on basketball court is unbelievable. He's a rare talent. A guy whose 250, 6-8, faster than most of the guards in this league and very powerful. God was like, I'm going to make you the perfect basketball player, the perfect body. He ought to be on his knees every night thanking the Lord.''

--

C Eddy Curry was working out at the arena before the morning shootaround with a bevy of trainers. The trades have left the Knicks bare at center and D'Antoni admits "When he's back, he'll play.''

Curry, who had knee surgery in January, is on the verge of returning to practice. He will get one last audition before the Knicks decide whether to try to buy him out and save another $1 million towards the cap. Last time the media saw Curry was nearly a month ago in Cleveland and he told The Post he could have delayed the surgery until after the season, but felt there was no reason to endure the discomfort since he was out of the playing picture.
 8 years ago '04        #7410
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Wizards Waive Mike James

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE BRING MY n*gga HOME!

we could stop using House as PG and keep him on the 2 and have James run the 1.......since we're just trying out players to decide whose a keeper, let him get that final spot and give him a try
 8 years ago '07        #7411
Truth B T0ld 3 heat pts
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 Born_Loser said:

we could stop using House as PG and keep him on the 2 and have James run the 1.......since we're just trying out players to decide whose a keeper, let him get that final spot and give him a try
orrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, we could just give douglas the minutes he deserves and stop wasting PT on bum a.ss veterans
 8 years ago '04        #7412
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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 Truth B T0ld said:
orrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, we could just give douglas the minutes he deserves and stop wasting PT on bum a.ss veterans
or you can quit whining and bring in another candidate for next year unless you want to overwork another dude on 1 position like we did Duhon....better having him out there running the point, instead of having House do that
 8 years ago '04        #7413
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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we're gonna need bench players next season ppl....guess with specialty skills are what help teams win, wouldn't mind having firepower from long range from House and James coming off the bench next year, but we need a front court bulldog, someone who can intimidate
 8 years ago '04        #7414
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Skywalker 2.0
 8 years ago '04        #7415
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Alan Hahn

LeBron James made it clear he wasn't going to address any specific questions about free agency. But he did address the most glaring issue with one of his potential suitors this summer after the Knicks put forth a total sell-out performance on defense in a 124-93 loss here in Cleveland to LeBron's Cavs.

The Knicks gave up 66 points in the paint and 33 of Cleveland's 51 field goals were scored there. They attacked David Lee almost as if that was the game-plan, but also scored plenty of easy baskets by merely sprinting up the floor well ahead of the Knicks (22 fast-break points).

Lee played right along with the scouting report on the Knicks by not laying a hip on anyone when a shot went up. Anderson Varejeo hustled his way to six offensive rebounds in 16:17. There was very little physical contact Lee made in the game as the Cavs continually headed to the rim undaunted. He had two fouls in 33:12, one was a deliberate foul on LeBron as he attempted one of several fast break dunks.

Lee has to compete better here, but let's also acknowledge that it's become a well-known fact that he is completely out of position defensively as a center at the NBA level. And it seems LeBron is quite aware of that fact, not only because of the ease in which his team scored in this game, but also because it is obvious to anyone who has any idea about this game that Lee doesn't have the kind of attributes to survive as a undersized five-man: muscle, meanness or major hops.

So in a way, LeBron seemed to take all of this into consideration when he was cryptically asked if he could ever see himself playing for a team that cared so little about defense.

"I've yet to play for a team that doesn't like defense in my career," he said. "But it's not about individuals first. Individuals have to take the responsibility to guard the guy in front of him and that makes it a lot easier as a team."

In other words, when Eddie House started barking at Lee for not being there to stop Delonte West after he had just blown by House for a layup, the true issue from LeBron's perspective was that House didn't keep West in front of him.

But, yes, it would be nice if Lee had the type of personality that brought the wood every now and then, just to send a message. But that's just like hoping Al Harrington would be more interested in playing team-concept offense. Sometimes a player is what he is, no matter what you ask of him.

The main thing that people -- LeBron included -- need to remember is that the Knicks of today bear no resemblance to what the Knicks of 2010-11 will be. Of the nine players who were in this game for the Knicks, perhaps three (Danilo Gallinari, Toney Douglas and maybe Bill Walker) are expected back next season. Lee is not a given, considering that he will be getting offers elsewhere and may be more inclined to find a more stable environment, not to mention a team that has a legitimate center. Wilson Chandler should be included on the list but he did not play in the game because he was home tending to a personal family situation.

LeBron has a great situation here in Cleveland. The players around him are all ready, willing and able to play at a high level to match his standard. They follow his lead, willingly accept roles and emphasize the team concept. The environment within that locker room is as perfect as you can get. And that is all attributable to one player: LeBron.

Remove him from this equation, not for a few games, but for an entire season, and you will see that standard drop. It's only natural. Great players, the best of them, make the talent around them play to another level.

So don't believe that supporting cast is that great of a concern for LeBron when he does finally reach the point where he will consider New York. He's well-aware that the roster will be an empty canvas. He's also aware that whatever players they do build around him -- and specifically for him -- will immediately raise their level to meet his.

Like when Kevin Garnett arrived in Boston, LeBron and great players at his level believe their impact will be enough to change the culture.

* * *

* - Mike D'Antoni was asked if the slash-and-burn strategy to clear cap space for 2010 is worth suffering these losses for two very long seasons. "I'll tell you next year," he said. "I can't tell you right now. Right now it's pretty frustrating for everybody. This is what we're doing. We'll see how it works out."

D'Antoni has looked overwhelmed for most of this season dealing with a daily hailstorm of issues from complaining players worried about their playing time to criticisms for coaching strategy and, of course, his team's awful defensive efforts on most nights since about mid-January.

One thing fans need to understand is that his hiring was part of Donnie Walsh's 2010 Plan. D'Antoni was supposed to only add to the lure of New York, along with the Garden and Madison Avenue. His player-friendly system, his proven ability to coach and handle star players, were meant for 2010, not to coach an incongruent roster of expiring contracts without a true go-to player, a bona fide leader or any legitimate sense of collective loyalty.

D'Antoni knew coming into the job that these first two years would be a challenge, but what has to be concerning is how much has this experience tainted his image, if not his own self-confidence as a coach?

Consider that Doc Rivers, who had some success previously as a coach in Orlando, was on the verge of being fired in Boston before the trades for KG and Ray Allen changed everything.

* - It was pretty much an awful night for everyone in a Knicks uniform, except for Bill Walker. He had a career-high 21 points and made 9 of 14 from the floor with five rebounds in 35:24. The Knicks really like the potential of Walker, who will continue to get plenty of looks as the season winds down. It could be enough to earn a contract for next season. One observation: Walker definitely needs to cut his body fat before next season. He's solidly built, but very loose in the cage. For a player with a history of knee issues, that kind of extra weight is detrimental.

* - Speaking of which, Eddy Curry will start seeing burn once he's cleared to play. D'Antoni a.ssured this when asked about it before the game. "We'd like to get him back to where he's playing and have him finish out the year strong," D'Antoni said. "That would be really good. That would definitely be the plan."

Curry seemed mildly amused by the fact that he was asked to react to D'Antoni's promise for playing time. Remember, Curry was livid when D'Antoni pulled him from the rotation in December when Curry was trying to play his way into game shape and it negatively impacted the offense. D'Antoni had told Curry he would stay with him through the process of getting his game back, but then couldn't afford to give him those 5-to-10 minutes a night when they caused such a problem in the offense.

Of course now the wins and losses don't mean as much, so if Curry slows things down, it doesn't have as much of an impact.

"He said it," Curry replied of D'Antoni's new promise. "Coach doesn't lie so, he said it."

Can you just feel his excitement?
 8 years ago '04        #7416
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Alan Hahn

CLEVELAND - When Tracy McGrady was traded to the Knicks on Feb. 18, LeBron James sent him a congratulatory message. McGrady responded via e-mail, "Well, I'm in the Big Apple, so I'll see you here next season."

James could only laugh. Anything more or less would have revealed too much information and that's something LeBron has protected carefully during the last two years, as the will-he-or-won't-he debate has reached Brett Favre levels.

McGrady, as several of the game's top stars, won't even venture a guess on James' plans. Even if James wins a championship here for this title-starved town, McGrady doesn't think it's a given James will stay.

"It could go either way," McGrady said before last night's loss to the Cavs. "On one hand, he could say, 'I gave y'all what y'all never had. What y'all wanted.' On the other hand, he could say, 'Well, I've been here for seven years and I've tried and it just didn't happen and I want to start fresh.' It could go either way. I don't know. Nobody knows what the guy's thinking . . . His own circle doesn't know."

James' teammates can't venture a guess, though there are theories. Mo Williams would like to believe that it would be tough for James to leave if the Cavs win a title. Antawn Jamison, who recently was acquired from the Wizards to bolster a championship run this season, hopes that is true. He has two more years on his contract.

From the moment he joined the Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - McGrady openly has talked about James and the prospect of playing with him at the Garden next season. He said Monday that he is a fan of James and believes the feeling is mutual. He recalled seeing James as a high schooler in attendance at his playoff games in Orlando. Now McGrady finds himself watching with awe.

"The things that he does on the basketball court are unbelievable," McGrady said. "He is a rare talent. A guy that can be 250 [pounds], 6-8, damn near faster than most of the guards in this league, very powerful. I mean, God just . . . said, 'I'm going to make you the perfect basketball player with the perfect body and everything.' He oughta be on his knees every night thanking the Lord because he has a gift."

Curry will play

Mike D'Antoni said Eddy Curry, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Jan. 18, will get minutes once he is cleared to play, which could be in about a week. "We'd like to get him back to where he's playing and have him finish out the year strong," D'Antoni said. "That would be really good. That would definitely be the plan." Curry was frustrated in December when D'Antoni pulled him from the rotation while he tried to get himself into game shape. Curry, who has one year left on his contract, wasn't sure if he would be back as a Knick next season. "I hope so, I don't know," he said. "It's kind of early to tell. We'll see what happens."
 03-02-2010, 01:56 AM         #7417
IAmazeMyself 
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Thread is officially dead, R.I.P.
 8 years ago '04        #7418
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Fans are frequently tripped up by the idea of cap room. The premise is pretty straightforward – there's a salary cap, and if the team's payroll is at or above this amount, they don't have any money to spend on free agents. But if they're below it, they do. In practice it's not so simple. Teams below the cap have less cap room than it might appear, and can actually be considered to be over the cap. Let's take a look at how all this works.

First the basics: the NBA has a "soft" cap, which means teams can be over it and still function – albeit with restrictions. In fact, a team being over the cap (especially during the season) is far more common than being under it. There are mechanisms called exceptions which allow teams to sign players or make trades while they are over the cap. For example, the Mid-Level exception allows teams over the cap to sign a player or players for up to five years starting at the league average salary. Another well known exception is Bird rights, which allow teams to re-sign their own players while they are above the cap. See question 19 of my FAQ for a complete list of these exceptions.

The system is designed so that teams may have either cap room or exceptions, but never both at the same time. In order to accomplish this, the league applies the following rules:

• When a team is below the cap, they add additional amounts to their team salary. This includes the value of any unused exceptions, the scale amount for any unsigned first round draft pick, a cap hold for any free agent to which the team has Bird rights, and a charge for any roster spots otherwise unaccounted for. This keeps the team from using its cap room on other teams' free agents, spending right up to the salary cap, and then using their exceptions and Bird rights to spend above the cap. A team really has cap room only when their payroll and all these extra charges add up to a value that is below the cap. See question 14 of my FAQ for a complete list of cap holds and roster charges.

• An exception is a mechanism that lets a team function while they're over the cap – a concept that doesn't apply when the team is below the cap. So if the team is ever far enough under the cap that their payroll plus all these added charges are still under the cap, then they don't get their exceptions. If they start out above the cap per these rules and they later drop below the cap, then they lose any unused exceptions.

• A team can renounce its exceptions or free agents at any time. By renouncing an exception a team gives up its right to use that exception, but potentially gains an equivalent amount of cap room (if the team is under the cap without the exception). When a free agent is renounced the team clears the player's cap hold off their books, but gives up its right to sign the player using the Bird exception.

Let's look at an example to see what this all means and how the rules prevent a team from having cap room and exceptions at the same time. We'll use the Knicks as an example, and a.ssume the cap comes in at $53 million this summer.

Assuming Eddy Curry picks up his option for next season (which is a given), the Knicks will have four players under contract – Curry, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas, totaling $17.78 million. They also have Bill Walker signed through 2011-12, but his contract is not guaranteed as long as he is waived by July 7. Since the Knicks will be trying to sign free agents this summer, Walker will likely be waived.

Sergio Rodriquez will be a restricted free agent if the Knicks make a qualifying offer for $2.34 million. If they do, this amount will count on the Knicks' cap. Let's a.ssume for this example that the Knicks extend Rodriguez a qualifying offer and make him a restricted free agent.

The Knicks will have eight unrestricted free agents this July, and these players also continue to count against the team's cap until the player re-signs, signs somewhere else, or is renounced. The exact amount of a free agent's cap hold depends on his previous salary and the type of free agent he is – see question 30 of my FAQ if you want all the details. The Knicks' unrestricted free agents (with their cap hold amounts) will be Tracy McGrady ($23.61 million), Al Harrington ($15.04 million), Cuttino Mobley ($14.25 million), David Lee ($10.5 million), Chris Duhon ($7.84 million), Eddie House ($5.87 million), J.R. Giddens ($1.10 million) and Jonathan Bender ($0.85 million). In all, a whopping $79.06 million will be added to the Knicks' cap to account for these players.

Finally, the Knicks also have two trade exceptions from deals they made near the trade deadline – one valued at $2.48 from the Jordan Hill trade, and another valued at $0.79 million from the Darko Milicic trade. In all, $3.27 million is added to the Knicks' cap to account for these trade exceptions.

Add up the players under contract, the qualifying offer to Rodriguez, the cap holds for their free agents, and the value of their trade exceptions, and you get a total of $102.45 million. But wait, there's more! Since this total is higher than our $53 million cap, the Knicks also get their Bi-Annual ($2.08 million) and Mid-Level (approximately $5.73 million) exceptions. This brings their total to approximately $110.26 million.

Let's stop a moment to reflect on the dichotomy – the Knicks will have $17.78 million in actual contracts, yet their cap figure will be well over $100 million.

Here is where you might say, "Wait a minute! I thought the Knicks were supposed to have nearly enough cap room to sign two maximum free agents." The answer is that they CAN have enough cap room to go after free agents like LeBron James, but they won't be able to do so unless they first do some maneuvering.

Let's first look at how they might gain as much cap room as they possibly can. Suppose they renounce McGrady, Harrington, Mobley, Lee, Duhon, House, Giddens and Bender, and that they withdraw their qualifying offer to Rodriguez (prior to July 23). The cap holds for all of the aforementioned players will come off their books, reducing their cap amount by $81.40 million. At this point they will have only four roster spots spoken for, so they have to incur a roster charge for eight additional spots. A single roster charge is equal to the rookie minimum salary ($473,604 this summer), so the Knicks' cap is charged a total of $3.79 million. All told, their team salary is reduced to $32.65 million -- but since this total is below the $53 million cap, they lose their exceptions. Their Mid-Level, Bi-Annual and trade exceptions drop off the books, removing another $11.08 million. Their actual team salary is therefore $21.57 million if they renounce everyone they can renounce.

With a $53 million cap and a $21.57 million team salary, the Knicks will have about $31.43 million in cap room. If they sign a player like LeBron James for $16.57 million, they will then have just $15.33 million to fill out the rest of their roster – and they will have no exceptions and no Bird rights to any of their free agents. Fortunately there are alternative strategies.

One alternative might be to clear as much cap room as possible while hanging onto David Lee. If we go through the same process as before but leave Lee's $10.5 million cap hit on the books, the Knicks team salary would be $31.60 million, leaving them $21.40 million to spend on free agents (note that they would have seven roster charges with this scenario, not eight). After signing a maximum free agent for $16.57 million they would be left with just $4.83 million to fill out their roster, but they would still have David Lee's Bird rights. They could, for example, sign a free agent for $4.83 million, then sign Lee for any amount up to the maximum, and finally fill out the rest of their roster with minimum salary contracts.

A third strategy might be to take advantage of temporarily being over the cap, which gives them the use of their exceptions. If they first sign two players with their Mid-Level and Bi-Annual exceptions, and THEN renounce their free agents, they would have $25.59 million in committed salaries, and six roster charges totaling $2.84 million, giving them a total of $28.43 million, Their trade exceptions would drop off the books, and they would be left with $24.57 million in cap room. After signing a maximum free agent for $16.57 million they'd have $8.00 million left for the rest of their roster – but they'd have a free agent signed to a maximum contract, players signed with their Mid-Level and Bi-Annual exceptions, AND an additional $8 million in cap room to show for it.

A fourth option would be to use their Mid-Level exception, then renounce all of their free agents except Lee. This would leave them with $23.51 million in salaries, Lee's $10.5 million cap hold, and six roster charges totaling $2.84 million, for a total of $36.85 million. They would have $16.15 million in cap room – slightly less than they'd need for a maximum offer to LeBron James, but perhaps they could adjust for this by spending slightly less than the full $5.73 million to sign a mid-level player. Spending $5.31 million on a mid-level player would leave them with enough cap room to give the maximum to James. So all told, with this scenario they'd keep Lee, sign a maximum free agent such as James, sign one additional player for slightly less than the mid-level, and still have to fill out the rest of their roster with minimum salary players.

Note that while a team can never have cap room and exceptions at the same time, the Knicks are in position to be one of the few teams that has both in the same offseason.

Also note that there is no specific date by which free agents need to be renounced. They can put off renouncing their free agents until the last moment, which keeps their options open as long as possible. Renouncing is only necessary when they need to clear the cap room to sign a free agent. This means they can come to a verbal agreement with a player, then renounce their own free agents, and finally sign the player with their newfound cap room. If they strike out in the free agent market, they can still come to terms with their own players.

The only exception to this is their restricted free agent, Rodriguez. As long as their qualifying offer is outstanding, Rodriguez is free to accept it. If he does, the Knicks are locked into a one-year contract with him for the amount of his qualifying offer. If they feel Rodriguez is worth the risk, they can leave his qualifying offer on the table. If not, then they don't have to submit a qualifying offer at all (which would make him an unrestricted free agent rather than restricted). They can also walk the middle ground – submitting a qualifying offer, but withdrawing it if they need to reclaim the cap room. If they decide to withdraw it, they must do so by July 23 – after that date, the qualifying offer can't be withdrawn without Rodriguez' consent.

In summary, even a seemingly straightforward concept like cap room has nuances that can get very complicated. As outlined here, these nuances provide teams with options, and a crafty GM can navigate these options to make the best moves that will equip his team for the upcoming season and beyond.
 8 years ago '04        #7419
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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[pic - click to view]



Anthony Rieber

The big man could dress for Wednesday night's game at MSG against Detroit

Eddy Curry of the Knicks

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - The morning after a 31-point loss to the Cavaliers, the Knicks went through a hard practice. That wasn't much of a surprise.

The surprise was the big man huffing and puffing in the middle of it all. Eddy Curry, out since Jan. 18 left knee surgery, made his return to practice and could dress for Wednesday's game at the Garden against the Pistons.

Coach Mike D'Antoni said he was not expecting to see the 7-foot center on the court on Tuesday. D'Antoni didn't seem to have much use for Curry when he was healthy, but the Knicks' deadline-day dealing has left them with a small lineup and in need of some size on the floor.

"If he keeps making progress from this point, it should be pretty shortly he should be on the court," D'Antoni said. "We do need a big body. We need him to be productive. I'm sure he needs it too. We all have mutual interests. That will be our goal, to try to do that in the next 20 games or so."

Curry, who did not speak to the media on Tuesday, talked to reporters on Monday in Cleveland.

"I think I'm close, I think I'm close," he said Monday. "I'm on the court now shooting, doing a little bit of light running, so I don't think it'll be too much longer . . . I'll come back as soon as I can. As soon as I can play without hurting the team, I'll come back."

Curry has appeared in seven games (62 minutes) this season. He has one more year on his contract at $11 million. Asked on Monday if he felt he had a future with the Knicks, he said: "I don't know. I hope so, but I don't know. It's kind of early to tell. So we'll see."

D'Antoni said Tuesday's "spirited" practice was not a punishment for the team after the poor showing in Cleveland.

"We'd still be here if I was punishing them," he said. "They understood that we gave up a little bit. We just felt like it was too big of a monumental task and didn't compete hard enough. Tomorrow night we're going to have to show we have a lot of f!ght left in us."

If not, it could be unpleasant at the Garden. Knicks fans have been patient with the long-term plan, but could the focus turn to the job D'Antoni is doing?

"I haven't had a good year, that's for sure," he said. "What's fair is fair."

Notes & quotes: Wilson Chandler, out for personal reasons, will rejoin the team on Friday, D'Antoni said . . . Former Nets coach Lawrence Frank watched practice with team president Donnie Walsh.
 8 years ago '04        #7420
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni says he'll definitely play center Eddy Curry when he's ready to return to the court.

Many believed that New York would buyout Curry's contract in order to save $1 million in cap space.

"I don't know. I hope so," Curry said of remaining with the Knicks. "But I don't know. It's kind of early to tell. We'll see what happens."

The Knicks don't have a traditional center on their roster.

"When he's ready, he'll play," D'Antoni said. "It should be a good opportunity. I think it's a huge head start on summer."
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