We are cap-maxed for two more seasons. We have no 2014 first round pick and no first round pick in 2016. Melo's, Tyson's and Amare's contracts, barring trades, are with us for two more years. So too for Bargnani. Felton's contract extends into the 2015-16 season but at just over $4M. JR's contract will go two years beyond the 2014-15 season. Shumpert presumably will have been extended. Hardaway, I believe, will still be on this first rookie scale contract. In other words, we should have substantial cap space for free agents for the 2015-16 season. The big free agent year, however, is next year when we will not have cap space.
I expect, of course, we will re-sign Melo. I believe he has an opt-out which he can exercise after this season. I wonder whether our questionable future beyond 2015-16 will be appealing to Melo. Philadelphia and Boston, as well as Detroit, Washington and Orlando, could be pretty strong two years from now. I also wonder whether perhaps the Knicks will move to the build rather than buy mode of improvement after our two year window with the current team closes. Since we will likely only have cap space, I expect us to continue to buy.
I am a loyal Knick fan, but I am not particularly optimistic. We are currently very good, but not quite good enough when compared to some of the competition.
We have a two year window with our current team. The Nets appear to have improved substantially at least for next year with Garnett and Pierce. Boston and Philly are in rebuilding mode and Toronto remains a long way from contention. Detroit and Washington appear to be emerging quickly and Orlando could be on its way. I do not think we are currently better than the Heat, the Bulls or the Pacers and I am afraid that the Nets may surpass us next year. The Nets would like nothing more than to beat the Knicks to a championship.