Knicks prepares a $ 58 mil four-year deal for Chandler. Tyson Chandler almost certainly will join the New York Knicks. Details!!!!!
Knicks Close to Adding Chandler to an Already Strong Frontcourt
Tyson Chandler, whose defense and grit helped deliver a championship in Dallas, is close to joining the Knicks, two people involved in the talks said Thursday. The deal faces some hurdles, however.
To meet Chandler’s contract demands — about $58 million over four years — the Knicks must create salary-cap room by unloading the veterans Chauncey Billups and Ronny Turiaf. The Knicks are looking for teams with cap space to absorb their contracts.
If the Knicks cannot trade Billups, they will use the N.B.A.’s new amnesty provision to remove his $14.2 million salary from the payroll. Billups would still earn the full amount and would be placed on waivers.
The amnesty clause can be used on only one player. The Knicks would still need to find a trade partner for Turiaf, who is owed $4.36 million this season, the final year of his deal. Potential targets include the Sacramento Kings, the Washington Wizards and the Denver Nuggets, all of whom have ample cap room and need to add payroll to meet the league’s minimum requirements.
Still, people working on the deal were confident that Chandler would be a Knick soon.
Yahoo Sports reported that the deal would be for $58 million over four years. A person involved in the discussions confirmed that the figure was “in the ballpark,” but cautioned that the final terms cannot be set until the Knicks get their payroll in order.
The Knicks would need $13 million in cap room to give Chandler — one of the league’s best defensive centers — a four-year, $55.5 million deal.
At the moment, the Knicks have about $62 million in committed salaries, $4 million over the cap, and must still sign their rookies, Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrelson. They can cut about $19.6 million by unloading Billups and Turiaf and withdrawing Derrick Brown’s qualifying offer ($1.1 million).
Another option would be to send Billups to Dallas in a sign-and-trade deal for Chandler. But the Mavericks have no interest in such a deal, according to ESPN.com. Billups will almost certainly have to be unloaded through the amnesty provision.
The Knicks are also a contender to sign Phoenix’s Grant Hill, who is weighing offers from the Suns and the San Antonio Spurs.
No signings, trades or cuts can be made official until 2 p.m. Friday, when the N.B.A. officially reopens for business after a 149-day lockout. Under league edict, no deals were supposed to be consummated until then.
The Knicks had hoped to eventually add Chris Paul, the New Orleans Hornets’ star point guard, or another top free agent next summer. Signing Chandler means the Knicks will be over the cap for the next several years.
Still, a frontcourt of Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Chandler would be formidable, perhaps the best in the league. Stoudemire and Anthony are gifted scorers, but indifferent defenders. Chandler’s rebounding, shot-blocking and interior defense would offset their weaknesses.
At 7 feet 1 inch and 235 pounds, Chandler is an agile and highly athletic big man who is dangerous on the fast break and a fantastic finisher at the rim.
“He would fit in very well,” Anthony said at an event that benefited his foundation. “He’s a defensive guy. He’s a good rebounder. He’s a real force on the inside.”
Billups was already upset about the possibility of being traded in a potential deal for Paul. He was said to be livid over the Knicks’ imminent decision to waive him under the amnesty clause.
“Chauncey’s a veteran player,” Stoudemire said, after working out at the Knicks’ training center. “He understands the game of basketball and the business of basketball. So it doesn’t bother him at all.”
Waiving Billups, a former All-Star, would leave the Knicks with a huge hole at point guard, which they would have to fill in free agency. Toney Douglas can play the position in spurts, but is more of a combination guard. Shumpert is not ready for the role.
Anthony and Hill — if he is signed — could conceivably take on more ball-handling duties if the Knicks are short at point guard. (Howard Beck – New York Times)