Many reporters have reported that it would be virtually impossible for the Knicks to offer Nash enough money to sign in New York. Actually, the Knicks have a few options that could possibly land them Nash.
The NY Post reported that Pheonix is interested in Landry Fields in a sign and trade if Nash were to choose to play for the Knicks. I've outlined a few scenerios in which the Knicks could bring in Nash and Pheonix could land Fields, who would be a nice piece to add to a rebuilding team.
Lets first look at the salary situation. Remember, Knicks have already extended a qualifying offer to Landry Fields which equals 2.7 Million.
Salary Owed for 2012-2013 ( Not including, Melo, Amare, Lin, Chandler) These salaries have been rounded down besides Fields. The figures here actually constrain the Knicks more than the true figures.
Fields (qualifying offer) 2.7 Mil (2.695 Mil)
Smith (if re-signed) 2.8 Mil
Dan Gadzuric 1.3 Mil
Josh Harrelson 700,000
Jerome Jordan 700,000
Iman Shumpert 1.6 Mil
Toney Douglas 2.0 Mil
Steve Novak ?
Jared Jeffries ?
Also remember Knicks own the draft rights to Kostas Papanikolaou, Ahmad Nivins and Giorgos Printezis.
Now lets start putting some salaries together and look a scenerios.
Lets take Fields, Smith, TD, Dan Gadzuric and Jerome Jordan and say the draft rights to Kostas Papanikolaou; This = 9.5 Mil the Knicks can offer Nash, PHX gets Fields, a scorer in Smith, a prospect that fits their system in Kostas and a couple salary dumps
Another scenerio = Fields, Shumpert, TD, JJ, JH, Dan Gadzuric, Kostas and Printezis; This = 9Mil to offer Nash, Knicks will lose Shumpert, but keep Smith, PHX will get three solid young contributors to rebuild in Fields, Shump, Harrelson and possibly a young player in Kostas and/or Printezis
Another scenerio = Fields, Shumpert, Smith, TD add in Jerome Jordan, Josh Harrelson = 10.5 Mil to offer Nash and a young group for PHX to build around.
Their are many more scenerios in which the Knicks can actually offer Nash money that competes with Toronto in salary. I didn't include Novak or Jeffries in either of these scenerios, two player PHX has shown interest, so there are two more assets the Knicks can offer to PHX.
In doing a sign and trade, Knicks will keep their MLE as well as have the veterans minimum to fill out the roster.
Lets say the Knicks and PHX agreed to scenerio #1 and lets throw in Jeffries for the vet min thats 1.5 Mil, we get Nash on the books for 11 mil, get a SG for MLE=3 Mil (Possible Ray Allen) then pick up Rashard Lewis for vet min 1.5 Mil, that would give us a roster of Nash, Allen, Melo, Amare, Chandler; Bench=Lin, Shumpert, Novak, Lewis, Harrelson.
Popular opinion would leave you to believe Knicks dont have tradable assets. In actuality, Knicks have a few tradable assets the will allow them to continue to build and add pieces to build a championship contender.
(I'd like to mention that @alanhahn mentioned a sign and trade scenerio on the Knix fix last night on ESPN Radio 98.7, this article expands on his scenerio)