In the mega-trade heard around the world yesterday, my New York Knicks traded Tyson Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton to the Dallas Mavericks for guards Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington and Shane Larkin, veteran center Samuel Dalembert and the 34th and 51st picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Let’s examine what this trade means for both teams.
First of all, the Knicks unloaded a ton of money and were able to get under the salary cap. Felton and his under-performing self was due $4.4 million next season with a player option worth $4.5 million for 2015-16. Chandler, while very good when healthy, has one year worth $14.6 million left on the contract.
Meanwhile, Dalembert ($3.9 million), Ellington ($2.5 million) and Larkin ($1.6 million) are relatively inexpensive pieces for the Knicks, and none of their contracts are guaranteed past next season, which should help the Knicks maintain space under the salary cap. In fact, word on the street is New York may waive Dalembert, which should help its current salary cap situation even more. Either way, the Knicks are in a position to either make another trade or bring in a more talented player with the freed up space.
And team president Phil Jackson was able to get back into the NBA draft thanks to the acquisition of the 34th and 51st picks. My Knicks are in a dire need of a young infusion of talent, and could ill afford to miss out on perhaps the deepest NBA draft in recent memory.
As for Dallas, the Mavericks get back their rim-protector in Chandler whom they sorely missed since letting him walk to New York after their 2011 NBA championship. Ya think Dallas could have used Chandler in their opening round playoff series with the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs? Judging from the reaction of Mavs star Dirk Nowitski, Dallas is more than happy to have Chandler back in the fold.
And if someone could get through to the black Pillsbury doughboy that is Felton, it would be head coach Rick Carlisle. Carlisle is one of the best in the business, and would motivate Felton to play up to (or perhaps beyond) his talent level.
What is more intriguing is how this may play into the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. Both teams expressed interest in Anthony, and have been putting together their cases as to why he should join either one.
As for New York, it’s good to see Jackson doing what he can to get the Knicks pointed back in the right direction (and to perhaps resign Anthony).