Now that Dwight Howard has been traded, it looks like most teams are now at what you see is what you get stage of the offseason.
No division in the NBA has improved as much as the Atlantic Division has, and with good reason as the teams in the Atlantic made it a point this offseason to spend a ton of money. For an example of how much money every team in the Atlantic spent, all five teams in the division spent more than any team in the Southeast Division.
Where do the Knicks stack up in money spend on free agency? Let’s take a look. (Note: The Salary figures reflect free agent spending only and not contracts brought on via trade)
Brooklyn Nets: $243.053MM (Keith Bogans, Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez, Jerry Stackhouse, Mirza Teletovic, Gerald Wallace, C.J. Watson, Deron Williams)
No team in the NBA went on a spending spree like the Nets did, throwing money around as if it were Monopoly money.
The $98 million they gave to Williams was way more than any contract any team handed out to any player during the offseason. Besides spending about $200 million on Williams, Wallace, and Lopez alone, the Nets signed Evans, Humphries, and Teletovic worth more than the minimum, AND took on Joe Johnson’s remaining $89 million via trade.
All in all the Nets added about $350 million to their payroll in the matter of a couple of weeks.
Boston Celtics: $133.606MM (Brandon Bass, Dionte Christmas, Jason Collins, Keyon Dooling, Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Jamar Smith, Jason Terry, Chris Wilcox)
Boston has committed almost $100MM to new deals, including $15MM+ each to Bass, Garnett, Lee, and Terry and they had the cap room to do so, but after all of the spending, are the Celtics any closer to winning a title. However that’s a fair question to ask any team in this division?
New York Knicks: $61.976MM (Ronnie Brewer, Marcus Camby, Chris Copeland, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Steve Novak, Pablo Prigioni, Chris Smith, J.R. Smith, James White)
The Knicks had no cap space and didn’t bring Jeremy Lin back, but still managed to spend over $60 million, thanks to a handful of sign-and-trade deals and having the Bird rights of other free agents. the deals for Felton, Kidd, and Novak are all fully guaranteed, which is odd for a team that balked at Lin’s price tag.
Philadelphia 76ers: $32.797MM (Lavoy Allen, Kwame Brown, Spencer Hawes, Royal Ivey, Maalik Wayns, Nick Young)
Most of the Sixers free agent money was thrown at Brown and Young, after spending most of the offseason shedding salary. Andrew Bynum’s dollar figure isn’t included in that number so even after shedding the contract of Elton Brand, the Sixers still found a way to spend about $50 million. Yet shedding as much money as they did, and spending as much as they did, the Sixers really didn’t make an impact signing on the free agent market.
Toronto Raptors: $26.837MM (Landry Fields, Aaron Gray, John Lucas III)
The Raptors cleared cap room in the hopes of signing Steve Nash, but had to throw cash at other players instead. They overpaid for Fields, but I like the rest of the Raptors’ moves, which included using their cap space to take on Kyle Lowry’s salary in a trade with Houston.
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