Apologies for not writing recently, but I’m back.
Tomorrow marks the opening of the free agent period for the NHL and NBA and the Rangers and Knicks have some intriguing decisions to make.
The Rangers have to decide if they want to chase after Zach Parise. On the surface, Parise makes a lot of sense. He has played in the NYC market, so he knows the territory. He can put the puck in the net, something the Rangers definitely need. But, he is going to cost a ton and his production has decreased each of the last three seasons. In 2009-10 he scored 45 goals. In 2010-11 he scored 38 and last year he scored 31. Now the Rangers could certainly use someone who scored 31 goals, but look at Parise’s +/- ratings over the last four years. It has gone from +30 to +24 to -1 to -5. Now there are some problems with +/- data, but the trend isn’t good. Ultimately, while I think Parise would be a big boost, there are two many questions I have about him to justify the eventually cost.
The Knicks have two questions hanging over them before they get to free agency shopping. First, what do they give Jeremy Lin and second, do they bring back J.R. Smith and Steve Novak? I’m assuming that Lin is back because no matter what he does on the court, he translates into a lot of dollars off of it. The Knicks are going to keep him because of that impact.
The problem is Lin is going to be vastly overpaid for what he has done. Lost in the Linsanity is the fact that he only played in 35 games and while he was certainly impressive at times, his shooting percentage and assist totals dropped over the final 13 games he played. Maybe that’s a statistical blip, maybe it’s because the league figured out how to stop him. Whatever you think, it’s worth remembering that the Knicks were his third NBA team and they came very close to cutting him. It is possible that the Rockets and Golden State made a huge mistake, but it is also possible that they were right and Linsanity was simply a player getting hot for two months. If I were the Knicks, I would try and keep whatever deal they give him a short one, just in case the case against Lin proves to be true.
As for Novak and Smith, I say bring them back as long as you don’t break the bank. Both of them were very good off the bench and as long as they get paid as bench players, there is no reason to let them go. Once you get those deals done, the Knicks will still have to find another guard to come in and join the rotation. I don’t think Steve Nash is going to take their mid-level exemption, but there are some other interesting names out there.
The madness starts at midnight, expect some dominos to start falling by the end of Sunday.