Judging by the New York Knicks salary cap situation heading into the offseason, we didn’t expect the Knicks to be linked to any big time talent, much less make a move to improve the roster.
But then the Knicks go out and acquire Andrea Bargnani, a move no one expected to come.
However the question you now have to ask is one of is Knicks’ general manager Glenn Grunwald done surprising us?
Could Monta Ellis be next?
According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the Knicks are among the clubs to express interest in the veteran guard. Carmelo Anthony has asked for some scoring help and Ellis; along with Bargnani improve the Knicks offense a great deal, as Ellis has averaged 19.4 points per game throughout his seven year NBA career.
However there is one major problem that really doesn’t give this rumor legs and that’s money.
The Knicks have only the $3.2 million taxpayer mid-level exception available and it will take a lot more than that to land a player the quality of Ellis. He just opted out of a deal that would have paid him $11 million next season in Milwaukee, so he will have plenty of suitors who will be in a good enough financial position to offer him big money.
In addition, the Knicks can’t acquire players via sign-and-trade since they’re over the tax line, which should make it next to impossible to get involved in the sweepstakes for Ellis or any other good player for that matter.
Ellis and agent Jeff Fried are “known to be willing to compromise in order to sign with a contending team,” according to Berger, so it’s probably too early to rule out any suitors, as unlikely as they may appear. But I wouldn’t give the Knicks much of a chance here.
The Bulls, Spurs, Nuggets and Suns have also inquired on Ellis, says Berger.