Gonzales (8-5) pitched a six-hitter for his first career complete game in the Seattle Mariners’ 4-1 victory on Friday. The left-hander struck out seven and didn’t issue a walk while throwing just 96 pitches.
Our goal is to get our house in order. Develop the foundation, Mills said. And we are not going to be players [in free agency] this year. If we sign guys it’s going to be for a one-year deal because we are going to have room for a max contract in the following year. We’ll be able to make room for a max guy.
Mills was asked if the Knicks will be star searching next summer, referencing a term that Philadelphia 76ers coach and acting top executive Brett Brown used to describe the Sixers’ approach to free agency.
We feel like we’re going to put ourselves in a position where stars are going to want to come to us, Mills said. That’s what we think.
The downside here is Denver pushing deep into the luxury tax after bringing back Barton on a deal that appears more lucrative than the four-year, $42 million extension (the most the Nuggets could offer at the time) he turned down during the season. Assuming the deal is for the full $54 million, as reported by ESPN’s Chris Haynes, and contains standard 8 percent raises, that means Barton will make about $12 million in 2018-19, which puts Denver’s total payroll at $22 million above the luxury-tax line for 14 players under contract (including first-round pick Michael Porter Jr., who has yet to officially sign).
The biggest takeaway is that trading the expiring contracts of Darrell Arthur ($7.5 million) and Kenneth Faried ($13.8 million) now won’t be enough for the Nuggets to dodge the tax after replacing them on the roster. Locking in Barton for at least three years — he also managed to secure a player option on the final season, a coup in a market where few free agents will get so much guaranteed money — could encourage Denver to deal incumbent starting small forward Wilson Chandler, making $12.8 million in the final season of his contract.
However, since Plumlee’s contract extends into 2019-20, I suspect he would be more difficult to trade than Faried or Arthur despite the fact that he provides more value on the court.