In addition to trying to trade one time town hero Amar’e Stoudemire, the New York Knicks are also looking to dump much maligned Andrea Bargnani and his $11.5 million cap number reports ESPN’s Ian Begley.
While clearing either Stoudemire’s salary or Bargnani wouldn’t create max cap space in addition to Carmelo Anthony, clearing both would give the team the extra room needed to go get that second superstar.
The Orlando Magic were once thought of a possible destination for the former number one overall pick but they just inked Channing Frye to a four year $32 million deal. Not only does that add some needed salary to help avoid the salary floor for Orlando, but Frye fills a similar roll to Bargnani and does it better.
Currently, the salary floor is $56 million. Teams need to either have that much money on their payroll or they evenly pay the players on their roster the difference. Other teams that are well below the floor and don’t have an obvious big contract to add (like the Suns and Eric Bledsoe) are the Utah Jazz (lots of questions if they will actually max out Gordon Hayward), the Milwaukee Bucks, the Philadelphia 76ers (though if they take Stoudemire they are out), and the Charlotte Hornets (if they strikeout on Hayward).
Charlotte is a decent team, better than the Knicks anyway and they already have a big man lacking in defensive prowess in Al Jefferson (who was stellar for them last year) so taking on another bad defender who also isn’t very good on offense probably isn’t something they’re crazy about.
Milwaukee does have Ersan Ilyasova, who is similar but better than Bargnani but they are such a bad team and Bargnani would put them right at that team salary minimum so maybe they can be enticed into a deal if they don’t have to give up very much in return.
The prospect of dealing both Stoudemire and Bargnani in salary dump deals is low but not entirely impossible for the Knicks. One thing is for sure though; they likely have to act fast if they want to take advantage of all their space. Who knows how long Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Lebron James, or anyone else the Knicks might covet will be willing to sit around and wait things out.