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The future for the Knicks is now

Anthony Randolph, formerly of the Golden State Warriors,

Anthony Randolph, formerly of the Golden State Warriors, drives against the Los Angeles Lakers. (Dec. 29, 2009) Credit: Getty Images

New Knicks acquisitions Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf have at least one thing in common: All three could potentially become free agents next season.

Azubuike has an expiring deal, Randolph, who's still under his rookie deal, has a team option for next season, while Turiaf has a player option for next year. On paper, it seems like Knicks president Donnie Walsh made these moves with next year's off season in mind.

Not so fast, according to Walsh.

"I like the feel of the team," Walsh said. "I like the guys we are getting."

Walsh said each of the three acquisitions are players he would've went after even if the Knicks had the cap flexibility to go out and get another player.

"The days of making deals to get cap space, for the most part, are over," he added. 

The Knicks may have found a real gem in Randolph. The 6-10 swing forward can do a little bit of everything with the ball. He's also an accomplished shot blocker. Another Lamar Odom? The Knicks certainly hope so. Randolph could thrive playing under Mike D'Antoni.

But we would be naive if we thought the sign-and-trade that sent David Lee to Golden State for the three didn't have a little bit to do with the salary cap. The Knicks desperately want Carmelo Anthony.

Walsh said the Knicks are roughly $2 to $3 million under the cap. With Eddy Curry's $11.2 million coming off the books after this season, the Knicks will be in position to bring in at least one max player (Anthony).

Incidentally, Tony Douglas (1,071,00) and Bill Walker's ($854,389) deals both have team options for next season. Don't look now, but the Knicks could be going through the free-agent frenzy one more time.

Knicks close to inking Mozgov

The last piece to the Walsh's puzzle, 7-1 Russian Timofey Mozgov , is expected to ink a contract late Monday or early Tuesday. Mozgov averaged 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks for the Russian National Team during the European championships in Poland. Mozgov will reportedly sign a 3-year, $9.7 million deal.


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