I wrote about the big Thunder-Cavs-Knicks trade earlier this week, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but let’s talk more about the Knicks.
They are clearly in the midst of a rebuild, but where exactly will that take them?
To the ESPN Trade Machine!
Woof. Not only are they devoid of young talent, they are also over the luxury tax. They have this year’s first round pick, but next year’s is owed to the Raptors due to the Bargnani trade (In fact, the Nuggets have the right to swap their pick for the Knicks if it is more favorable, which traces all the way back to the Carmelo trade).
That means we have 2 goals.
- Trim the fat and get rid of bad salary
- Add young promising players or draft picks
Path #1: Use Amare’s expiring contract to acquire assets.
Finally, Knicks management and fans can see the light at the end of the Amare tunnel. His contract has been an absolute albatross over the last several seasons. New York isn’t out of the woods yet, but cleaning a number that big off the books is an asset in today’s NBA (not as much as it was in yesteryear’s NBA, when bad contracts were longer and more penalizing).
Teams looking for cap relief of their own would love to swap Amare for their pile of trash.
Speaking of trash piles:
Trade #1: Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani to the Nets for Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez
This trade makes me sick, honestly. These two teams deserve each other, so why not trade trash for trash. If you’re the Nets, this deal gives you $50 MILLION coming off your cap this summer (Amare, Bargs, Kevin Garnett’s $12 million, and Mirza Teletovic’s $3.4 milllion). That brings them nearly out of franchise purgatory and let’s them find a new way to build.
If you’re the Knicks, well in an odd turn of events, you made your cap situation worse. However, Carmelo Anthony isn’t getting any younger. Isn’t a core of Melo, Lopez, Johnson, 2015 Top 10 Draft Pick and Tim Hardaway Jr. a top 5 or 6 team in the Eastern Conference?
If that’s something that interests you, pull the trigger. (On the trade!)
Now, who else has a giant monster contract they’d love to shed?
Trade #2: I’m 99% Kidding
Ok so if Stoudemire’s contract is too big to move, then what? Well that $11 million expiring attached to Andrea Bargnani’s name is pretty juice too.
Path #2: Use Barg’s Contract to Acquire Assets
Trade #3: Bargnani and Jose Calderon to the Nets for Deron Williams and Mason Plumlee.
Now I should add that I don’t think that the Knicks would or should make this trade. And neither would the Nets. It’s basically the diet version of the first trade above. The Nets exchange salary weight for an expiring. The Knicks add two pieces that make them competitive in the East again.
The Nets have claimed they won’t move Plumlee and no one could be dumb enough to take on 3 years of Deron Williams.
Bargnani’s contract is a bit tough to move, since it’s not big enough to have a huge impact and the Knicks have no decent assets to send with him. So I think we need to do more. Let’s find the path less traveled.
Path #3: Screw it, let’s trade Carmelo.
Trade #4: Carmelo to the Pelicans for Tyreke Evans and Omer Asik.
Maybe Phil Jackson doesn’t see Carmelo as a piece of the Knicks future. He could do worse than this package. Asik is either a building block or a hefty expiring and Evans salary and contract length allow for more flexibility in the future.
Trade #5: Carmelo to the Raptors for expiring contract, expiring contract, expiring contract, The Guy With The Afro, and 2016 protected first round pick.
There’s a few things going on here.
First, I originally wasn’t going to include the draft pick or The Guy With The Afro, but in a world where Timofey Mozgov is worth 2 first round picks, Carmelo is worth of pile of nothing, a first round pick, and the former 16th pick in the draft.
Second, Carmelo has a full no-trade clause so if he (or his wife) doesn’t want to go to New Orleans or Toronto, he doesn’t have to.
But man, would that Raptors team be interesting. A starting 5 of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Carmelo Anthony, and Jonas Valanciunas becomes the favorite to win the East.
Ok, I am now fully incapable of writing about the Knicks again for at least a month or two. I need to go take a shower to swish some Listerine or something.
Yeah, that would work.
Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and writer at PalestraBack.com. He is going to fire the person who’s idea it was for consecutive posts to cover the New York Knicks. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.