After a slow and disappointing start to 2019 NBA free agency for the New York Knicks, they’ve made an early signing which will impact their overall salary cap space. Unfortunately, that signing was not Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, as both players opted to join the Brooklyn Nets. With that said, there’s plenty of talent remaining on the open market and the Knicks have a lot of cash.
Heading into the start of free agency, there was at least some level of belief that the Knicks could land both Durant and Irving. While it had cooled off in recent weeks, the hope crumbled before 6 p.m. on Sunday even rolled around. Now, the Knicks are looking ahead and have signed former New Orleans Pelicans forward Julius Randle.
We’re going to take a look at the team’s salary cap space and how Randle’s signing could impact it.
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New York Knicks Salary Cap Space 2019: Free Agency Outlook
Prior to free agency getting underway, the Knicks held the most practical cap space in the entire NBA at $68,743,767, as Spotrac revealed. At least a portion of that is heading to Randle, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that he agreed to a three-year, $63 million deal.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports also cited that the third year of this deal has a team option, which could benefit the Knicks’ future cap number, depending on how things pan out with Randle. Regardless, he’s coming off a strong season and should be a nice addition for the franchise.
While the exact structure of Randle’s deal with the Knicks has yet to be revealed, we can at least take a rough estimate as to how it’ll look. The annual salary breaks down to $21 million per year, and the team could opt to frontload it potentially, depending on how the rest of free agency plays out. That’s probably somewhat unlikely since the third year is a team option, but it wouldn’t be surprising if year No. 2 features the lowest cap number.
Knicks’ 2019-20 Roster & Cap Outlook
The Knicks find themselves in a spot where they have virtually no single player locking up a large amount of cap space next year currently, with the exception of Randle. Lance Thomas has a number of $7,583,975, but it’s not guaranteed, and beyond him, no one else is above $5 million. Essentially, the Knicks have a nearly blank slate with only five players under contract.
Beyond Thomas, the Knicks have a team option on Henry Ellenson and Damyean Dotson’s contract also is not guaranteed. If New York can’t land a top-tier free agent this offseason, they could be wise to spend lightly and gear up for another run in 2020, but there are still plenty of big names left.