Now that future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd is no longer in the picture as the New York Knicks look forward to the 2013-14 season, it’s a good idea to ask the question of how exactly his retirement effects the Knicks going forward.
On the court, the Knicks lose a leader and a guy who brought a great deal of intangibles to a team that lacks severely in that department. Sure he struggled with his shot the second half of the season, but Kidd will be tough to replace nonetheless.
Heading into the offseason, the Knicks were going to look to add a backup guard. That’s now a certainty that Kidd has retired.
The Knicks will look to re-sign Pablo Prigioni, but they will still have to find a way to add another guard.
The most likely option is through the draft.
The Knicks have the No. 24 overall pick and will be targeting a backup point guard or a big man. Likely guard options at that point could include Shane Larkin (Miami), Dennis Schroeder (Germany), Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), Isaiah Canaan (Murray State) and Pierre Jackson (Baylor).
They also have their mini-midlevel exception (a three-year deal worth $3 million annually) at their disposal. It’s a thin guard market for that price, so likely options should include Nate Robinson, Will Bynum, A.J. Price and Sebastian Telfair.
One common misconception is that the Knicks will have the remaining $6 million owed to Kidd to spend.
Unfortunately that’s not the case.
Kidd’s contract does come off the books, but given the fact that they are well over the salary cap, that money can’t be used to sign another player.
What it does mean though is that the Knicks will have to pay a little less luxury tax this season and could come in under the tax apron with Kidd’s contract off the books. That’s big because they can now have the option of a sign-and-trade, although it’s highly unlikely that they will be able to move any of their bad contracts.
General manager Glen Grunwald is going to have to work some magic, because with Kidd off the books, the only players under contract for next season are: Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Steve Novak and Iman Shumpert.
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