"...You've heard tons about the infamous memo dispatched by the league office in July warning teams that the salary cap for the 2010-11 season could drop from the current $57.7 million all the way down to somewhere between $50.4 million and $53.6 million.A lot of what's happening is depending on if the owners agree to let Victor Prokhorov and his 9.5 million dollar net worth into the league. There has been talk of some shady things surrounding Prokhorov, and with discussions about tainted referees still lingering, it's going to be interesting to see if the league can knowingly expose itself to the threat of more bad publicity. If the deal goes through then the Nets have to obviously be considered major players in the Lebron sweepstakes.
What hasn't been widely publicized is that more teams than not, at this early stage, expect next season's cap to wind up closer to the higher figure.
The NBA's public position on the matter has not changed. Commissioner David Stern re-iterated again last week in briefings with reporters leading into opening night that his number-crunchers continue to forecast overall league revenue in 2009-10 to decline from 2.5 to 5 percent.
Yet as one Eastern Conference executive told ESPN.com this week: "We are projecting a number somewhere in the 52-to-53 million range. We had been working off the doomsday 50.4 [million] number, but now … we think 53.6 [million] could be very realistic..."
The Knicks are second, behind the Nets, in cap space.
"...2. NEW YORKObviously, Stein forgot to mention the possibility of moving Jared Jeffries off the books for an expiring, as well as Curry...
$53.6 million salary cap: $23.4 million in cap space
$50 million salary cap: $19.8 million in cap space
What it means: It's worldwide common knowledge, as D-Wade noted, that the Knicks' original free-agent fantasy was signing LeBron along with another max player (such as Wade or Chris Bosh) in the summer of 2010 to start over under coach Mike D'Antoni, who is beloved by James, Wade and several other members of Team USA from their time with the national team. But with first-year salaries for the big names expected to be in the $16 million range, New York can only afford one max player … unless it can (gulp) move Eddy Curry for an expiring contract during the season. This, furthermore, is a best-case scenario for the Knicks that assumes unrestricted free agents-to-be David Lee and Nate Robinson are no longer on the payroll..."