Someone brought up ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan in an earlier comment. If you have not read it, then do it now (or after you finish reading my post). Sheridan, who I am convinced is a Knick fan, talks about Commissioner Stern's "bomb" that the payroll will not increase in two years. Sheridan points out that even without resigning Lee and Nate, the Knicks still might not be able to sign two free agents to max deals in 2010. Essentially, Sheridan points out that Curry's contract might be the absolute killer (nothing new there).
If Curry's contract cannot be moved, then so be it. LeBron James is the key to that off-season. Two big free agents would be great, but LeBron is the absolute key. Would I be completely against signing James in 2010 and then signing another superstar in 2011 when Curry and Jeffries come off the books? I have not looked at the free agents available that off-season, but I am sure that there has to be someone who can be had. Why deal Lee, and to a lesser extent Nate, if there is no guarantee that we will be able to sign two big free agents in 2010?
Also, another commenter (KnicksFanInPlano) led me to a link from the Sacramento Bee that talked about interest from the Knicks for either Miller and/or John Salmons . via the Bee:
"The interest in the center remains lukewarm leaguewide, but sources said he remains on New York's radar. The Knicks have indicated that they are interested in Miller or swingman John Salmons, with the potential players coming to Sacramento including Malik Rose ($7.6 million expiring contract), Nate Robinson ($2 million expiring contract) and Jerome James ($6.2 million this season, player option for $6.6 million next). New York also is believed to have told the Kings it has no intention of trading exiled guard Stephon Marbury and his $20.8 million expiring contract."
First of all, how can we not deal Marbury if we can get a legit starter for him that will not ruin our long-term plan? Plenty of people will say that the Knicks should simply let the contract expire and open up a roster space for next year. As far as I am concerned, that would be the only reason not to deal Marbury. If the Knicks would like to add another young player to the mix, then they might be better off with the open roster spot. As of right now, the Knicks should have 4 open roster spaces for next year in Marbury, Rose, Roberson, and Mobley. If Jerome James retires, that is five.
I truly believe that Dolan has to be a spender in this market. It is not my money, but I trust that Donnie knows what he is doing and that he can turn Dolan's money into value. If the Knicks can get Bobby Jackson and Miller for Marbury, that has to be done!
As far as John Salmons goes, I think that he can be a real player in the D'Antoni system. He reminds me a bit of Raja Bell. However, there have been reports about Salmons' poor attitude. That attitude might have to do with his uncertain future, or it might simply be that he is a troublemaker. I have never met him, so I cannot tell you that. I can, however, attest to his talent. He is a good scoring two guard that has a good all-around game. His salary extends into 2010, but at a fairly low rate. If Walsh can somehow ship Jeffries in that deal, I would make it happen. Chad Ford said today in his chat that the Knicks insist on the Kings taking on Jeffries and the Kings want Nate Robinson. To me, the question becomes whether or not you would deal John Salmons for Nate Robinson? If so, then throw Jeffries and Mikki Moore into the equation and get the deal done.