As the summer approaches, so does the July 1st date of free agency. With the NBA salary cap for the 2013-2014 set to be around $58 million (not announced till July) and the tax line currently around $70.307 million, the New York Knicks have really little to work with. They have seven players under contract for next year totaling $71,662,511, $57.1 million coming from Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler alone.
In addition, the $71,662,511 doesn’t include the amount of money they will have to pay if they want to re-sign J.R. Smith, Chris Copeland, Pablo Prigioni, and Kenyon Martin which will bring the Knicks close to the $80 million range.
For more on the Knicks salary cap situation Click Here. With all that being said, the Knicks could possibly afford a mid-level exception contract of approximately $3.18 million or a veterans minimum of $1.2 million.
Here are five Free Agents the Knicks should look to target:
1. Will Bynum – Guard – 2012-2013 Stat Line: 65 GP, 18.8 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 47% FG, 32% 3p, 3.6 AST, 1.5 REB 2012-2013 Salary: $3.25 Million
After a season of injuries and poor performance in his 2011-2012 Season, Bynum turned it around this season and finished with his best season of his career. Playing as the backup for the Pistons for five years, Bynum provided explosiveness to the basket, the ability to lead a fast break, and score. Although he is a little erratic and sometimes is a defensive liability, the Knicks can use his energy and up-tempo style of play off the bench.
Bynum made $3.25 million dollars this season and will probably ask for more. But if he stays in this range, the Knicks could offer their mid-level exception to him. If the Knicks can sign him, a backcourt of Felton, Prigioni and Bynum is not too shabby.
2. Jerryd Bayless – Guard – 2012-2013 Stat Line: 80 GP 22.1 MPG, 8.7 PPG 42% FG, 35% 3P, 3.3 AST, 2.2 REB, 0.7 STL
2012-2013 Salary:$3.00 Million
Bayless, the back up guard for the Grizzlies, contributed offensively with a nice mid range jumper and athleticism to the basket. Although he has to improve defensively and with his decision making, he’s only 24 years old and has tremendous upside as seen in his role with the Grizzlies in the playoffs. If the Knicks sign him to a 2 or 3 year deal with the mid level exception, there is not much of a risk. He could add the 3 point shooting and floor spacing that the Knicks need.