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Friday, May 23, 2014
Who should the Knicks chase this summer?

By ESPN New York

Here’s the first thing you need to know about the Knicks’ approach to free agency this summer: they probably won’t have much money to spend.

Even if Carmelo Anthony doesn’t re-sign with the Knicks, New York is projected to be over the salary cap line of $62.9 million.

They only have $29.9 million in guaranteed contracts for 2014-15, but Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani both have player options for next season. And both are expected to exercise those options.

So the Knicks would need to move Stoudemire ($23.4M), Tyson Chandler ($14.1M) or Bargnani ($11.5M) in a trade to have any hope of getting under the cap.

Assuming that Phil Jackson doesn’t execute a trade involving one of those three players, the Knicks will have two mechanisms to pursue free agents.

They can offer free agents the tax payer’s mid-level exception (a contract that starts at $3.3 million and can be as long as three seasons in length) or standard veteran’s minimum contract.

With that in mind, ESPN New York has compiled a list of potential free agent targets in this photo gallery.

Here’s a look at three players the Knicks may pursue. Check out the gallery to take a look at the rest.

Bynum
Bynum
Andrew Bynum: Bynum signed a veteran’s minimum contract to play with the Indiana Pacers in the middle of the 2013-14 season. Knee injuries limited him to just two games with Indiana. His reputation and career seems to be in need of repair after the injuries and drama over the past two seasons. If anyone can get him back on track, it’s Phil Jackson, whom Bynum enjoyed success with in Los Angeles.

Mike Miller: The 34-year-old SG/SF played last season for the veteran’s minimum in Memphis after being amnestied by the Miami Heat. If Miller agrees to play for the veteran’s minimum again in 2014-15, he could be a valuable edition in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. Historically, strong 3-point shooters have thrived in Jackson’s attack -- Miller hit 46 percent of his threes last season and hit an average of 2.3 per game for the Grizzlies.

Blake
Blake
Steve Blake: Blake made $4 million last season with the Lakers and Warriors, so it’s reasonable to expect him to seek the Knicks’ tax-payer exception in negotiations. With Raymond Felton’s future in New York murky right now, the Knicks are expected to target Blake, 34, this summer. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.6 assists in 27 minutes per game last year.

Question: Given their salary-cap constraints, who do you think the Knicks should target in free agency this summer?