If they sign and trade for Nash, they still have the MLE, which is a great concept as it relates to adding another veteran. There is also plenty of non-drafted talent that can be added to the roster, ahem Kevin Jones or Mitchell Watt, who can help up front if the Knicks want to go the SG route with the MLE.
It took me forever to learn the old CBA, so my hope is to learn as quickly as possible. Being wrong only leads to clarity, which is something I've always followed throughout my life. Mistakes and corrections lead to improvements and knowledge.
As usual Moke Hamilton has my back and explained the following via email. If you are aware of the following, my apologies.
There are three numbers you need to know for the 2012-2013 NBA Season.
$58 million - Salary Cap
$70 million - Luxury Tax Threshold
$74 million - Apron Amount (Hard cap for a team that uses the full $5 mid-level exception)
The bottom line is this, without getting into too much detail... Any team that uses the full $5 million midlevel exception MAY NOT, under ANY circumstances, have a payroll in 2012-2013 that exceeds $74 million.
The Knicks have $60 million committed for 2012-2013 before re-signing J.R. Smith, Landry Fields, Steve Novak, or Jeremy Lin. If they re-sign all four of them, their payroll would certainly be around—at least—$70 million. Under the 2011 CBA, for the 2012-2013 season, a team may only use the full midlevel exception if their payroll will be less than $74 million AFTER using it. In other words, for this upcoming season, a team may only use the full midlevel exception if their payroll is less than $69 million, and that probably won't be the case for the Knicks.
More so, when a team uses the full midlevel exception, its payroll may not exceed the Apron Amount, so it will inhibit a team from being able to sign guys to veteran's minimum deals later in the season after guys are bought out and/or released. Essentially, when a team uses the full $5 million midlevel exception, it is subjecting itself to making the Apron Amount its hard cap for that season.
This was all done in an attempt by the NBA to manage the spending the luxury tax paying teams. The NBA's cap system is still a soft cap system, but the soft cap has become harder in the realm of using the full $5 million midlevel exception.
Teams may, however, use the taxpayer midlevel exception ($3 million) without facing any of the above restrictions. The taxpayer exception, though is only worth $3 million and can only be offered for a maximum of three years, while the non-taxpayer $5 million midlevel exception can be offered for up to four years. So if two teams are bidding for the same player, a three year deal worth $3 million in year 1 is way less money than a four year deal worth $5 million in year 1.
Although using the non-taxpayer $3 million midlevel exception does not subject a team to the hard cap, the money is added to the payroll and will be used to calculate luxury tax penalties.
There is a lot that can still happen, but I'm excited that the team is exploring serious options to land a shooter and a point guard. That player just happens to be the same player and a hall of famer at that.
- With Moke Hamilton