Cutting Francis would be very costly. He is scheduled to earn $48 million through the 2008-09 season. Francis would give the Knicks a discount only if he can sign for the mid-level exception elsewhere, which at this stage is unlikely.
“Is it any surprise that Stephon Marbury has played better since Francis stopped playing and Nate Robinson was suspended?” asked one league executive. “There is a direct correlation between Marbury’s performance and not having those guys around. I love the way Stephon is playing. Isiah’s smart. He is doing exactly what Larry (Brown) wanted to do.”