With Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler set to make around $53 million combined next season, the Knicks will need to find cheap free agents to pursue next summer in order to improve their roster.
One exception to this rule would be to offer a player the Mid-Level Exception, but the Knicks are expected to use most, if not all, of it to re-sign starting point guard Jeremy Lin.
With that option off the table, the Knicks will only be able to sign players to minimum deals.
Here are five cheap free agents the New York Knicks must pursue this summer.
The Knicks desperately need to sign at least two point guards this offseason since Jeremy Lin, Baron Davis and Mike Bibby are all becoming free agents.
The Knicks are expected to re-sign Lin at all costs, which means they just need a cheap backup who can substitute in for him or start in his place in case he gets injured again.
John Lucas III proved this season that he is quite suitable for that role, since Derrick Rose was hampered with injuries all season long.
Lucas III may have only played in 49 games this season, averaging under 15 minutes per game, but he definitely stepped up whenever he was given sufficient playing time. In games where Lucas played at least 20 minutes, his scoring average jumped up to 14.6 points per game.
Since Lucas III has never really been given a fair shot at playing yet, the Knicks may be able to steal him for cheap.
The Knicks may also need to fill their sixth man role, since their current sixth man J.R. Smith has a player option in his contract that allows him to become a free agent this offseason.
There’s no better way for the Knicks to overcome this huge loss than to add one of the greatest shooters of all-time, Ray Allen. At this point in his life, Allen will most likely want a reserve role with a contender in order to prolong his career while also giving him a few more chances at earning another championship ring.
Since Allen understands he is past his prime and approaching the end of his career, the Knicks should definitely try to sign him for the veteran’s minimum.
Antawn Jamison has been an extremely efficient scorer and rebounder for his entire career, but has never been able to find himself on a winning team. In his 14-year career, Jamison has made the playoffs six times, but has never made it past the second round.
Since Jamison has already declared that he will not return to Cleveland next season, you can be certain he will be signing with a contender in the offseason, even if it means taking less money or a decreased role to do so.
Jamison would be a great fit for the Knicks if he would agree to come off the bench and back up Amar’e Stoudemire. He plays a very similar style on offense, but crashes the boards much harder than Stoudemire does.
If they don’t, the Knicks need to jump all over him. Camby, now 38 and entering his 17th NBA season, can still be a dominant rebounder and shot blocker, even at his age.
The Knicks struggled mightily to find someone to substitute in for Tyson Chandler last season and need another legitimate interior defender on their roster. Camby may be the only player available in free agency with this attribute who also might be willing to sign for the veteran’s minimum contract.
Before the surgery, Green would have been way too expensive for the Knicks to afford, but his value must have dropped significantly after he had such a serious operation performed on him.
Signing Green to a small contract would be a complete steal for any team, not just the Knicks. He has proven he can be an excellent scorer in this league, averaging nearly 14 points per game for his career, but will also be a huge risk since his heart condition could potentially come back and be an issue again.
The Knicks need to take a chance and seriously consider signing Green, as he may be the only player with a high talent level that the Knicks can afford for the next few offseasons.