Okay, here are the big points.
1. This probably doesn’t give the Knicks much more flexibility. Kidd classily decided to forego the final two years and roughly $6 million left on his contract. However, the Knicks still owe $71.6 million to Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, and Iman Shumpert. If somehow Camby does an about-face and retires, which doesn’t sound likely, that would clear another $4.3 million off the books, leaving the Knicks at $67.3 million. With the league’s salary cap expected to be $58.5 million, and the apron around four million more than that, [CORRECTION: As @Embraceanalytix pointed out on Twitter, apron is around 4 million dollars above luxury tax line of $70 million], things like the dull midlevel exception ($5 million or so, rather than $3 million) or sign-and-trades won’t be available to them, unless Raymond Felton or Steve Novak also retire, or, best-case, Amar’e Stoudemire retires, and does so sans buyout. Oh, and they really need to bring back J.R. Smith, because the Smith alternatives available to them within that limited framework are not close to Smith’s ability. Same thing with Chris Copeland, and Pablo Prigioni. And all that pushes them further above the apron.
So don’t hold your breath waiting for Chris Paul.
2. The Knicks need a point guard. They need one whether Pablo Prigioni returns or not, because this team functions best with two point guards, and Felton/Prigioni should be a unit, not a starter and backup. Do the Knicks get that point guard in the draft? As a free agent? From the Belgian league, Chris Copeland-style?
3. The Knicks signed Kidd and Camby to three-year deals. The idea was, they’d probably be most useful in their first year. Alas, Kidd wasn’t healthy enough to help after the first 36 games, and Camby, for either coaching reasons, physical reasons, or most likely, the combination of the two, wasn’t even utilized in a series where Mike Woodson wanted to go big and the Knicks needed rebounding. The lesson, as always: betting on past production, especially distantly past production, isn’t any safer a bet than betting on promising youth.