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Knicks Weighing Room Exception Options
Posted By Alex Kennedy On December 13, 2011 @ 1:52 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
The New York Knicks have been surprisingly active this offseason. After signing Tyson Chandler to a four-year contract and waiving Chauncey Billups last week, New York is putting the finishing touches on their roster. The Knicks are now over the salary cap, but they still have the NBA’s new room exception to use.
New York has several options as they decide how to spend the $2.5 million exception. They have reached out to Jamal Crawford, Maurice Evans and Shawne Williams in recent days. If the Cleveland Cavaliers use the amnesty clause on Baron Davis, the Knicks are expected to target him as well.
The Knicks wanted to acquire Crawford through a sign-and-trade, but the Atlanta Hawks aren’t interested in taking back contracts. The only way Crawford can return to New York is by signing for $2.5 million, which is significantly less than what other teams have offered. Crawford played with Knicks’ assistant general manager Allan Houston and has been coached by Mike D’Antoni and Mike Woodson in the past. Sources close to Crawford say it’s unlikely he’ll sign for the room exception.
Evans, who displayed his leadership throughout the NBA’s labor negotiations, is another player the Knicks are considering. The Washington Wizards acquired Evans prior to last year’s trade deadline and have also expressed interest in re-signing him. However, New York has emerged as a potential suitor since they want to add a veteran shooting guard. Evans was very productive after landing in Washington, averaging a career-high 9.7 points and mentoring the team’s younger players.
Williams was a pleasant surprise for the Knicks last season, emerging as a significant contributor in 64 games. He averaged a career-high 7.1 points off of the bench. Williams has received larger offers from other teams, but has made it clear that he loves the situation in New York and may want to re-sign. Whether or not he’s willing to take less money to stay in New York remains to be seen.
If the Cavaliers amnesty Davis and he clears waivers, the Knicks will pursue him. Even after signing Mike Bibby, New York may add Davis to give them another veteran option at point guard. The 32-year-old is currently sidelined with a herniated disc in his lower back and Cleveland has until Friday to waive him.
The Knicks have several options and a decision is expected in the coming days.
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