NBA / Jul 18, 2012 / 2:30 pm

All 25 Players The Knicks Have Financially Valued More Than Jeremy Lin

Allan Houston

Allan Houston

The New York Knicks refused to match the Houston Rockets’ offer sheet for Jeremy Lin, which totaled $25.1 million over three years. The decision was in part financial, but many have argued that the Knicks could have moved Lin and his $14.8 million expiring contract before the poison pill year kicked in, or at the very least released him after year two via the “stretch provision” and taken $5 million in dead cap space for three seasons following.

James Dolan has never been afraid of the luxury tax before. Although the new CBA makes it particularly punitive, I thought it would be fun to put a list together of every New York Knick who has ever made $8 million or more in one season, which is what Jeremy Lin would have made on average annually (approximately). Yes, Lin’s contract is disjointed, but indulge me, for a moment, as we take a look at players who Dolan has valued more in a pure financial vacuum.

(Keep in mind that the Knicks only had to pay a portion of some of these salaries, as players were acquired in mid-season trades, or payment packages were worked out. Also know that these numbers may not be 100% percent accurate, but they are a very close approximation to a player’s salary. Take the numbers before 1999 as estimates, not exact values. I also might be missing a player here or there, or missed a guy who the Knicks were paying five years after retirement, so bear with me.)

Just to put things in perspective: since the Knicks first payed a player over $8 million in ’95-’96, the salary cap has increased by $42,040,000.

Here’s the list, $8 million per year or more, in ascending chronological order:


Patrick Ewing: $18,724,000


Patrick Ewing: $20,500,000
Larry Johnson: 8,460,714


Patrick Ewing: $18,500,000, prorated salary for 50 games: $11,280,000
Larry Johnson: 10,186,000, prorated salary for 50 games: $6,211,000
Latrell Sprewell: 8,300,000, prorated salary for 50 games: $5,060,500


Patrick Ewing: $15,000,000
Larry Johnson: $11,910,714
Latrell Sprewell: $9,000,000
Allan Houston: $8,000,000


Larry Johnson: $11,000,000
Latrell Sprewell: $10,125,000
Allan Houston: $9,000,000


Allan Houston: $12,750,000
Larry Johnson: $11,335,714 (retired 10/2001)
Latrell Sprewell: $11,250,000


Allan Houston: $14,343,750
Antonio McDyess: $12,600,000
Latrell Sprewell: $12,375,000
Larry Johnson: $9,610,714


Allan Houston: $15,937,500
Antonio McDyess: $13,500,000
Keith Van Horn: $13,279,750

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