How the Lockout Affects the Knicks

     If there is one NBA team that is most negatively affected by the lockout, it is the New York Knicks. For a team that is in the middle of building their team around the current salary cap, the new salary cap could be completely detrimental to the team. For a team that needs a training camp to gel, losing training camp and being thrown into the season should be detrimental to the team. For a team that has 2 max contract superstars and lacks depth, a smaller checkbook and cap restrictions forbidding the Knicks to add the players that they need will absolutely be detrimental to the team. Any way you look at the “proposed” structure of the new CBA, it looks bad for the New York Knicks. I am going to highlight both how the work stoppage right now hurts the Knicks and how the new CBA will likely hurt the Knicks.

Work Stoppage
     The NBA work stoppage right now prevents players from having medical insurance, has knocked out the NBA summer league, has prevented teams from signing draft picks and will prevent any roster moves from being made. Right now Toney Douglas has a surgically repaired shoulder that he needs to rehab and the lockout will prevent him access to team facilities so he’s pretty much on his own. Billups has the bum knee and Amare has the bad back, they need treatment and now they will have to use independent medical facilities instead of working out with team employees. With the lack of medical insurance, it is unknown how much working out the players will be doing. In addition to the lack of medical insurance, the work stoppage also prevents teams from working out players and the summer league has been canceled. With all the depth problems that the Knicks have, they need to find a few diamonds in the rough through the D league or summer leagues. As pertains to next season, the Knicks hands are tied. Also, team chemistry was obviously a great issue with the team after the Carmelo Anthony trade. Why wouldn’t it be? We took 5 guys who had started games for us and in return we got a superstar, a veteran point and a bunch of bench players. It was a 10 player switch. Team chemistry takes time to establish. Training camp would have been that chance. With the work stoppage there most likely will be no training camp therefore cutting down the practice time the team has to gel together.

     Right now the NBA salary cap is at 58 million per team with a luxury tax allowing teams to go over a 70 million dollar cap by paying a tax. The new CBA most likely will have a lower cap. After the 2011 season, the Knicks currently have 41 million dollars on the books, leaving 17 million to spend under the old CBA. It’s almost guaranteed that the new salary cap with be lower than the current 58 million. Some even say as low as 45 million. Now with a lower cap, its rumored the current contracts will be lowered but nobody knows by how much. With a lower cap number, the NBA is also trying to implement a hard cap. I’ve heard rumors that this hard cap would be set about 10 million above the salary cap and would not be able to be exceeded. Therefore there would be no luxury tax. This isn’t good for a team like New York that is going to have to resign its own players. They’ll have to make it work in a set cap. They won’t be able to, like in the past, sign free agents up to the salary cap and then re sign their own players by going into the luxury tax.
     Either way you look at it, this lockout does not favor the Knicks at all. The players cannot work out together, get treatment for their injuries or meet with coaches to go over x’s and o’s. The organization cannot work out players or sign free agents. For a team swept in the playoffs due to injuries, lack of camaraderie and lack of depth, this lockout really hampers us. Lets pray to god that this lockout ends before training camp or we’ll be watching the finals just like the Knicks will be; from home. Or maybe there won’t be a finals. Who knows.



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