The Toronto Raptors are doing everything they can to make sure the Knicks don't get Steve Nash.
The Raptors, who already have offered Nash a three-year, $36-million deal, have agreed to an offer sheet with Knicks restricted free agent Landry Fields. His agent Chris Emens said it's for three years and has an escalator in year 3 that according to reports makes the contract worth around $19 million overall.
Fields reportedly was a player the Suns would have interest in if they did a sign-and-trade with the Knicks for Nash. But according to the collective bargaining agreement, Fields cannot be traded in a sign-and-trade transaction if the Knicks match the offer. The Knicks would have three days to match it once it's signed July 11 and at that cost there's a good chance they will let Fields go.
Houston could offer Lin a backloaded four-year deal, starting at about $5 million that balloons in years 3 and 4 and could be worth more than $36 million total. Lin also could receive interest from Dallas. The Knicks are expected to re-sign or match any offers for Lin, a restricted free agent. If the Knicks strike out on Nash, they likely will up their pursuit of Kidd and Felton.
A source said the Knicks have shown "a lot of interest" in bringing back Felton. He meshed well with Amar'e Stoudemire before being sent to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
It might take a sign-and-trade with Portland for Felton, who has about six teams showing interest. The source said the Blazers would be amenable to working something out. But Nash remains the Knicks' top priority.
General manager Glen Grunwald, who is going to have to be creative because the Knicks are over the cap, still could try to put a sign-and-trade package together and include Iman Shumpert to get as much money as possible to pay Nash. But the Knicks have been reluctant to deal Shumpert, the team's best perimeter defender.
It's likely the Knicks will have the taxpayer mid-level exception of $3.09 million. If they used the full mid-level, it would start at $5 million. Nash could make significantly more from Toronto and return to his native Canada to finish his career.
Now that Williams picked the Nets, the Mavericks could make Nash their No. 1 target. You can't rule out the Suns using their ability to pay Nash whatever they want to bring him back to Phoenix either. If Nash chooses Toronto and the Raptors amnesty point guard Jose Calderon to make room for him, the Knicks might have interest.