DING DONG FELTON’S GONE!!!
At 4:15 EST, ESPN’s Marc Stein broke on Twitter (where else do you break news these days?) that the Knicks and Mavericks were on the verge of completing a trade that would send center Tyson Chandler and point guard/flaming tub of lard Raymond Felton to Dallas. The proposed trade has Dallas sending back Jose Calderon, Sam Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and NOT ONE, BUT TWO SECOND ROUND PICKS IN THIS YEAR’S DRAFT (Nos. 34 and 52). THE KNICKS TRADING FOR DRAFT PICKS? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
It had been long anticipated that Chandler would be moved before next season. Jackson’s triangle offense, a form of which is expected to be implemented by new coach Derek Fisher, works best when it deploys big men who are either good passers or low post scorers. Chandler is neither. Throw in his expiring contract and his unwillingness to play on a rebuilding team – a near certainty if Carmelo Anthony isn’t retained – and it made a lot of sense for the Knicks to move him. He clearly still has value despite two injury riddled seasons where he hasn’t been at his best. Dallas was obviously where he bloomed as a defensive savant and he gets a year to try and boost his value for his next contract. Both sides win here.
As for Felton, the Knicks get to take his 2015 player option worth $4.5M off the books. He wasn’t worth that money and it would have cut into their valuable 2015 cap space that they’ll need to pursue whichever star free agent they decide to target. That money would be better spent on pretty much anything else. I will not miss him.
The package the Knicks receive in return is a good one. The draft picks this year are crucial, as the Knicks didn’t have any prior to the trade. They get a cheap young asset in Larkin. Dalembert’s contract is guaranteed for just $1.8M this season, meaning the Knicks can waive him and save about $7.6M in cap space from the trade.
Calderon’s contract runs through the 2016-2017 season. He makes more than $7M each season, so he isn’t exactly coming cheap. However, he’s a good fit both in the triangle offense and as a backcourt mate next to Iman Shumpert. Given how little money the Knicks currently have on the books in 2015, they can still add a lot despite Calderon’s cap hit. He’s still a useful player, so unless he depreciates rapidly next season they’ll still probably be able to move him elsewhere, if they so choose.
Overall, the trade seems like a good one for the Knicks. They get a young player, an useful veteran, cap flexibility and DRAFT PICKS!!!!!!! And they dump Raymond Felton. Good? Good!
UPDATE, 6:02: It’s a done deal.
Knicks send Chandler, Felton to Dallas for Calderon, Larkin, Dalembert, Ellington and No. 34 and 51, sources told ESPN. Deal is done.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 25, 2014