Following an arguably unexpected dismal season, the Knicks are gearing up to make major improvements this coming summer. As the New York Post alludes to, using the Stretch provision on Jose Calderon would give them extra cap space.
Ridding themselves of Calderon would allow the Knicks to benefit if things go in their favor. They'd have more flexibility to chase the pipedream that is acquiring a superstar like Kevin Durant or even LeBron James.
Of course, much of their oh so desired cap room will also depend on whether the likes of Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams exercise their player options for next season.
But the harsh reality is that as the Knicks continue to falter, the appeal of joining such an organization and accepting the pressure of being looked at as a potential savior is not very desirable. Just ask Carmelo Anthony.
Still, using the Stretch provision on Calderon would give the Knicks more options, regardless of how likely or unlikely they may be. It would free them of a rather unproductive player and present them with dead weight on their payroll, even if paying smaller allotments over time would be less daunting and arguably less shameful than paying Calderon an undeserved salary next season.
This is a major decision to ponder. It would, theoretically, come right after the NBA Draft but right before the Knicks begin targeting free agent hopefuls. If they cash in on a desirable target (even one not named Durant or James), such a decision will pay off. If they strike out, the Knicks would not only be left without a key point guard in their rotation, they'd also be paying for one they aren't able to reap any benefits from.
Unfortunately, perhaps Calderon's failure to thrive, produce, and lead has left them without another choice in the matter. Striking out would be unfortunate, but not letting him go may result in too many 'what if' like questions from all around. Paying his salary off in future years to come may result in dead weight on the payroll, but as it is, Calderon doesn't represent much more than that when he hits the hardwood anyway.
Parting ways with the point guard would, at the very least, open up possibilities, and the Knicks may need to take that chance. After all, the team they have with him leading the way isn't a very good one. And they might not be much more worse off without him, regardless of who steps into his shoes.