The biggest reason for their inactivity is because, as one source put it, "The Knicks just have no money." That eliminated several free-agent targets they were after recently, notably small forwards Matt Barnes and Carlos Delfino.
Looking ahead, Elton Brand could join Barnes and Delfino in the "money talks" category. The Knicks have pursued Brand since Day 1 of free agency, but there is now a threat that one or two teams could offer him the full mid-level exception. The Knicks can only spend $1.7 million to sign Brand, who is awaiting several official offers and will likely make a decision in the next couple of days.
The Knicks have also engaged talks with Nate Robinson and Will Bynum, sources said. But would either point guard be willing to sacrifice money while they're in the prime of their careers? Seeing what has transpired this week, the answer is likely no.
In addition to Brand, Robinson and Bynum, here are the other top remaining free agents: Chris Andersen, Monta Ellis, Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Henderson, Antawn Jamison, Brandon Jennings, Andrei Kirilenko, Gary Neal, Lamar Odom, Nikola Pekovic, Jeff Teague and Mo Williams.
Andersen, Jamison, Neal and Odom are inexpensive alternatives that might fit the Knicks' plans. The others would be more expensive. But the team might still have to drop to a second-tier talent pool, which includes point guards Aaron Brooks, Daniel Gibson, Charles Jenkins, John Lucas III, A.J. Price and Nolan Smith; small forwards Dahntay Jones and Mickael Pietrus; and bigs Lou Amundson, Earl Barron, Samuel Dalembert, Jermaine O'Neal, Chris Wilcox and Brandan Wright.
Another point guard who could be on the Knicks' radar is Toney Douglas, according to a source, for his defense, 3-point shooting and transition game. Several teams are after him to fill a backup role. That also goes for Sebastian Telfair, but a source said the Knicks are not the favorite to land him. That, again, could be a financial factor.
Another big question is: What's going to happen with Kenyon Martin? According to a source, the Knicks have not made him an official offer, likely because of the hold with Brand. With DeJuan Blair not returning to the Spurs, they might see a fit for K-Mart, according to a source. He's also still in play with the Nets, as the team has one roster spot remaining, and he and Jason Kidd are close from their New Jersey days together.
Stay tuned for more updates, as things should move quickly early this week.
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