In the calm before the annual NBA free agency storm, lets reset the #Knicks payroll for 2013-14:
The Knicks roster has seven players officially under contract for guaranteed salaries in 2013-14:
Amar'e Stoudemire - $21,679,893
Carmelo Anthony - $21,490,000
Tyson Chandler - $14,100,538
Raymond Felton - $ 4,180,000
Marcus Camby - $ 3,383,773
Steve Novak - $ 3,750,001
Iman Shumpert - $ 1,797,600
[FYI: Projected Cap: $58.5 million]
We assume the team will sign first round pick Tim Hardaway Jr. His first year rookie salary is $997,300. That brings the total to $71,379,105, which will push the team just over the projected luxury tax threshold of $70M.
Now, for the cold water.
Free Agent cap holds:
J.R. Smith $3,648,387 (Early Bird- 130%)
Chris Copeland $ 988,872 (Qualifying Offer)
Pablo Prigioni $ 988,872 (Qualifying Offer)
Payroll total: $77,005,236 (11 players)
That puts the team well over the $4 million luxury tax apron, which means, under the new CBA rules, the team CAN NOT execute a sign-and-trade for any free agents. So put away the trade machine while dreaming of Chris Paul, Dwight Howard or Andre Iguodala.
Now, while we expect the team will use the Taxpayer's Mid-Level Exception ($3.1 million) in some form (i.e.: would need it to re-sign Copeland), let's round it out with an $80,1005,236 payroll for a 12-man roster.
What's left are three roster spots that basically can only be filled with minimum salary contracts, be it undrafted rookies or veteran's minimums.
Or, of course, the team could trade one large contract for multiple contracts. Such trades have to be within 120% of the value of the outgoing contract(s), which means, technically, the team can take on more salary via trade.
So understand the Knicks' options are limited. They will need to focus on their own free agents first and see what is left available to them once the dust has settled on free agency. Keep in mind that there will be teams looking to trade this summer as the CBA's new luxury tax brackets