LAS VEGAS — The Knicks are interested in one of the best centers still available in free agency,Samuel Dalembert, according to a player source.
On Friday, the first day of the NBA summer league at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion, Knicks GM Glen Grunwald and Dalembert’s agent, Marc Cornstein, were spotted chatting. The Knicks currently have no real backup behind Tyson Chandler, as Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace are all gone, and Kenyon Martin and Earl Barron are still free agents.
At this point, however, the Mavericks are the front-runners to land Dalembert, who averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 16 minutes per game last season for the Bucks. Sources indicated to ESPNDallas.com that the Mavs are optimistic they will reach an agreement with Dalembert soon.
Dallas can offer him a salary of a little more than $3 million next season without further cap tinkering. New York, on the other hand, can only sign Dalembert for about $1.7 million — the remaining amount of their mini mid-level exception — or the veteran’s minimum. The 32-year-old center made $6.7 million in 2012-13. While he only played in 47 games, he was constantly shuffled in and out of the rotation, and he eventually made it no secret he wanted to leave Milwaukee.
Once again the Knicks are on the outside looking in. With their financial restrictions they most likely will miss out on a significant signing. At this point it looks like the only way they can pick up a solid signing is if that desired player decides that money is not important and wants to play for the Knicks. This scenario is unlikely. Money is almost everything in sports unfortunately.
This is why I think making your cap situation more flexible for the future should be equally as important as winning now at all costs. New York must accept that and look at ways to do this. You might have to make tough choices and maybe tome tough trades to get this team headed in the right direction cap wise. However, I think we all know that I am speaking on deaf ears.