Now that Jason Kidd is retired, the New York Knicks should do all they can to bring back free agent Nate Robinson.
Late last week it was reported that Robinson was interested in coming back to New York, who would have $3.18 million to spend on the 29-year-old thanks to the mini mid-level exception it holds.
Robinson would be a nice addition to an aging point guard group that just lost its most steadying influence in Kidd. Robinson is the antithesis of Kidd, however, in stature and temperament.
Yet, he’s a tremendously gifted athlete and scorer that would give the Knicks offense that adrenaline needle to the heart – think Pulp Fiction and that scene with actress Uma Thurman.
A move to the Knicks would lend symmetry to Robinson’s career since he started out with New York, playing four full seasons before being traded to the Boston Celtics in 2010. When he began his NBA career he was seen as erratic and mistake prone. He’s undoubtedly more polished now than he ever was at this level.
Due to his evolution, the Knicks would be hard pressed to attract Robinson, who played out of his mind during the Chicago Bulls’ improbable playoff run that concluded last month.
The electrifying yet diminutive Robinson averaged 16.3 points per game this past postseason, becoming one of the NBA’s most explosive bench scorers. The 5’9” guard ignited the Bulls past the more talented Brooklyn Nets in the opening round before succumbing to the Miami Heat in five games.
Kidd’s retirement means that his $3.1 million salary comes off the Knicks’ books this season and next.
That subtraction still won’t have a major impact on New York’s roster since its total players’ compensation number is far above the NBA’s expected salary cap.
The one positive impact of Kidd’s departure is that it would allow the Knicks more flexibility in getting below the luxury tax threshold, which would allow it to participate in sign-and-trade deals, per the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
While Robinson made $1.15 million for the Bulls this past season, he could stand to see a significant raise in salary thanks to his 12 game postseason run. He buoyed the Bulls when its best player Derrick Rose, still recovering from a torn ACL and MCL, was unable to join his team in the playoffs.
Only time will reveal how much of a salary increase Robinson could realize, and the Knicks could still be outbid by clubs that have more salary flexibility.
Tacuma R. Roeback is a New York Knicks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TacumaRoe, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+