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

By: 07.18.12
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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