Knicks Trade Outlaw, 2nd Round Picks (For Nothing?)

Here is the official statement from MSG, exactly as they sent it to me.

NEW YORK, October 27, 2014 – New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has traded forward Travis Outlaw to the Philadelphia 76ers for forward Arnett Moultrie. In addition, Philadelphia received a 2019 second-round draft selection and the option exchange 2018 second-round draft selections.

Outlaw, 6-9, 220-pounds, was acquired on Aug. 6, 2014 from Sacramento in a multi-team deal and appeared in one preseason game for the Knicks.

Moultrie has been waived.

Am I reading this correctly? Or did they mean Outlaw has been waived by Philly? (That was the first report from ESPN.)

If the Knicks did indeed keep Moultrie, he’s a young big (6-11) body. His per minute stats were pedestrian, with the exception of his offensive rebounding (4.6/36). His D-League stats are less impressive, with defensive rebounding and blocked shots being non-existent, so take that how you will. Statistically (and perhaps facially) he looks like Eddy Curry without the scoring (and about 100 pounds lighter).

[UPDATE – 5:33pm from Robert Silverman]

Well, it’s not exactly nothing. The Knicks have in fact waived Arnett Moultrie, and the Sixers have said bye-bye to Travis Outlaw. Way to fail at tanking, Hinkie. Pfft.

On the one hand I’m sad we won’t get to hear the rhymes Clyde would’ve slung: “Moe-El-Tree in Motion!” “Nothing but Ar-NET!” But it is nice to see the Knicks decide to keep Travis the Better, or as we like to call him, THE WEAR BEAR.

The problem is, they could have simply cut Outlaw and eaten the money on his deal. This trade, however, will take quite a few ducats off of Dolan’s NBA luxury tax bill, if that’s the kind of thing that concerns you.

Look, it’s easy for me to say, “BURN 4.7 MILLION DOLLARS, JAMES DOLAN, BECAUSE IT PLEASES ME” but yeah. The Knicks were the most profitable team in the NBA last season. Really. The biggest advantage the Knicks have (Other than Phil. I <3 U, Zen Daddy.) is that sweet, sweet 96 million in the black, so why not take advantage of having a huge stack of chips, particularly in situations like these?.

Now that the dust has settled, in exchange for Jeremy Tyler, Wayne Ellington, Travis Outlaw, losing the minimal protection on a 2016 2nd Rounder, the option to swap picks in 2018 (and given that Philly might still be poopy three years from now, and the Knicks [hope, hope] will be good, might be meaningless) and another 2nd, they received the right to keep Travis Wear and Quincy Acy.

Our pal Seth made hi-def Powerpoint presentation that Seth-‘splains all the comings and goings.

That’s not… what’s the word… good. It’s minimal mismanagement, but what’s so frustrating is that the there was no need to give up anything at all in order to hold on to Wear. Being smart about minor transactions is the way that a well-run franchise maximizes its ability to succeed. Those 2nd rounders will probably come to nothing, but you never know when they will or when you might need one to sweeten a larger, more important trade. And for those that say, “Well, they can just buy a 2nd rounder.” Yes, that’s true, but then you’re taking away from the three million that could have been used to buy, say a first, or throw in to a another trade. Remember way back in June when Phil was looking to do just that, but he only had 1.8 mil to throw around because 1.2 had been gifted to the Raptors in the Bargnani deal? You don’t? I understand. Repressed memories often occur in the case of severe emotional trauma.

Anyway, like a piece of corn wedged between your incisors, this kind of ish just grinds my gears.

Your thoughts, Knickerblogger-istas?

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

33 thoughts to “Knicks Trade Outlaw, 2nd Round Picks (For Nothing?)”

  1. Who needs draft picks, anyway? Not like you can get an undervalued bargain at the league minimum on totally non-guaranteed contracts in the 2nd round or anything.

  2. It’s funny how just the other day, cutting Outlaw to make room for Wear was cited as a sign of how much better the new regime is and now it’s right back to trading a second round pick (plus the rights to swap second round picks in the future) for no improvement on the basketball side of things.

    That said, rather than Dolan throwing money at problems, this saved him money for once, so I guess that’s a difference. Not a difference that we should give a shit about, but it is a difference.

  3. My theory. Dolan told Phil he’s willing to pay the luxury tax to go over the cap in a few years if The Knicks are close to a championship but wants him to save him a few million in the meantime.

  4. I love Seth Rosenthal’s graphic but it’s really…

    Chandler, Felton, Tyler + 2nd that got the Knicks Calderon, Dalembert, Early, Acy, Ware + Antetokounmpo. Not bad. Mr. Phil. Not bad.

    Oh, and I’m really happy for Ware. I like his potential.

  5. They could’ve given picks to dump Bargs…just not 1st rounders. I’m happy about Wear replacing Outlaw..but not happy about giving picks away to dump a small sum of money off of the ledger.

  6. This is the perfect Knick trade. It makes no sense for now or the future. We give away a player and two picks and get NOTHING. The only way we ever hear about it again (and we will) is when it makes a potentially good deal, in the future, impossible.

    Could it be that the Knicks are worse than the Jets? Worst team in NY? I mean, the Jets might be OK if they get a couple of guys in the secondary and a new head coach (and a QB…) When are the Knicks ever possibly going to be competitive? Wait a couple of years is the mantra and there’s almost no hope for this season. I did buy league pass but I probably shouldn’t have. I mean, maybe they’ll beat the Magic on November 12th. Everyone before is a playoff team except for DET.

    I mean, Jeez, look at this blog. What a doleful pitiable non response to non news on the brink of a non season. This blog used to be good even when the team was bad. It’s not the writers or commenters fault. NYK just isn’t good entertainment anymore. In 2009 we dealt with Duhon because we were all in on LBJ. That anticipation and the awesome hand to hand combat over the consolation prizes was good theater. I can’t believe I read another Bargnani thread the other day. I can’t believe this team still has him. (Can’t we give someone like all our 2nd rounders to take him?) I get stupider every time I contemplate that man. This blog used to make me smarter. What happened? Well, we all know. The clock struck midnight on the doomed from the start 2010 rebuild and now it’s 2009 again.

    Anyway, someone give me something to be excited about. How soon can we truly get this thing turned around presuming Phil and Derek know what they’re doing?

  7. This is insane over analysis. Phil is showing Dolan he can save him some $ on the way up and please share holders etc so he can cash that check later. He likes telling Dolan that he’s saving cash bc Dolan likes that. He’s actually playing it perfectly. Giving Dolan some bones so he stays above the fray. This deal means nothing as it relates to judging the administration. NOTHING.

  8. This is insane over analysis. Phil is showing Dolan he can save him some $ on the way up and please share holders etc so he can cash that check later. He likes telling Dolan that he’s saving cash bc Dolan likes that. He’s actually playing it perfectly. Giving Dolan some bones so he stays above the fray. This deal means nothing as it relates to judging the administration. NOTHING.

    You are criticizing over-analysis by offering up…a bunch of analysis? Unless, of course, “over-analysis” is just another way of saying analysis that you personally disagree with.

  9. For what its worth Pelton gave the Knicks an A- for the trade and 76ers a C+. Apparently the Knicks, taking into account the luxery tax, save 6.5m with this trade instead of just waiving Outlaw. For most teams saving that amount of money for a 2nd rd pick 5 years from now is worth it though for a franchise as rich as the Knicks it does seem petty.

  10. C’mon Brian. People are acting like now they wouldn’t be surprised if Eddy Curry walks through the door because Phil could move around some 2nd round picks to save Dolan $6M dollars. The whole point was to take Wear instead which we all agreed was a much better move than keeping Outlaw. Phil is actually running the thing like a business. This is a good sign!!

  11. @cgreene

    Donald Sterling ran the Clippers like a business for a long time and only changed when the Clips got Paul and the price of keeping CP3, who was bringing Sterling huge $$$s, was to invest in improving the roster. The right thing to do if you’re in a big market like NY is just spend minimal $s and milk the cash cow every morning. Maybe try to keep a star around to keep people somewhat interested. Never make any high risk plays because you don’t really have to be very good to sell out lots of games.

  12. Yeah but that’s not what is happening here. Phil is saying he’s not gonna spend for the sake of spending and if he can save some $ here and there and essentially get what he wants he will be prudent and do so. He is demonstrating that he understands the nuances of the economics of running a team as well which is important. This is shrewd.

    Also the NYTimes is reporting that MSG is breaking up into 2 different companies. One for sports and the other for entertainment.

  13. I’m not sure what to make of this move, but doubt that it’s consequential in any negative way, and probably not a positive way either.

    Travis Wear is unlikely to ever crack this rotation, but whatever.

    2nd round picks can be valuable, so you hate to give them up. On the other hand they can be bought or traded for, so, whatever.

    We got a lot more to worry about than a 15th roster spot or a future 2nd round pick.

    Bring on the Bulls!!

  14. Yeah but that’s not what is happening here. Phil is saying he’s not gonna spend for the sake of spending and if he can save some $ here and there and essentially get what he wants he will be prudent and do so. He is demonstrating that he understands the nuances of the economics of running a team as well which is important. This is shrewd.

    Also the NYTimes is reporting that MSG is breaking up into 2 different companies. One for sports and the other for entertainment.

    Seriously financial prudence in some capacity is something that is a good thing. Not to mention you almost have to include Ware as part of the transaction coming to New York. Maybe Phil must believe in him enough to be a potential competent member of the team at some point and wants to ensure that the Knicks control his rights for the immediate future.

    I would have preferred not to give up the 2019 second round pick, but this isn’t the fucking Bargnani trade and there is some legitimate financial logic to it.

  15. I’m not sure who said it, but I think this is a smart way to let your boss know that you’ve got his interests in mind when he’s away. The type of thing an ego maniac like Dolan would totally eat up…”hey, this guy cares about my interests..I feel vindicated in letting him run shit..I’m going to continue to leave him be.” Well-played Phil.

  16. Quite simply, if Sunday night one of us had posted, “Hey, I have an idea on how to make room for Travis Wear, let’s trade a second round draft pick (plus the right to switch second round draft picks) to get rid of Travis Outlaw instead of just cutting him and eating his salary,” no one here would have said, “Good idea!”

    This is definitely not a big deal or a deal with great consequences, but nor is it a good deal.

  17. @19

    That’s a possibility. And I hope it is exactly how things went… a small trust-building exercise by Phil and his cohorts.

    ———————

    But let’s be real, if this is not how it went down this is a marginal bad move that we have all the right to overanalyze, being Knicks fans and everything. Also, I don’t know why Hinkie didn’t keep Outlaw. It would have helped him reach the salary floor… oh well, I guess he just wants to overpay Casper Ware for the sake of overpaying.

  18. @20 well said, BC. I hope Jax explains his reasoning on this one, maybe we’re missing something, e.g. this makes a pre-deadline trade more possible. But on the surface, it doesn’t seem to make sense beyond the tax savings.

    I doubt that Jax feels that he needs to win Dolan over by saving him tax $. That just doesn’t sound like him. My guess is that Jax feels that 2nd rounders are worthless because they can be purchased. Not sure I agree, but that sounds the most logical to me.

  19. I cannot believe the outrage about this trade. It was about keeping the player they wanted (Ware) and saving money by not flat-out dropping Outlaw.

  20. Man, all y’all need to calm the hell down. You wanted Travis Wear on the roster instead of Travis Outlaw, right? Well, you got it. If the Knicks had just flat-out waived Outlaw, they’ve have had to eat his entire contract and cap hit, plus the additional luxury tax, plus the cost of Wear’s contract.

    That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million spent to replace Travis Outlaw with an undrafted, rookie free agent. I know we all think that James Dolan actually enjoys wasting money, but come on. Nobody here could say with a straight face that that expense is in any way justifiable. This way, we get the player we wanted at a cost–2nd round draft pick five years in the future–that is as close to “nothing” as you can expect to get in the NBA. The Knicks routinely just outright purchase 2nd round picks or the rights to players drafted in the 2nd round. Don’t pretend like Phil Jackson is cutting off Carmelo Anthony’s fingers and trading them away one by one for marginal improvements.

  21. Unlike the Forbes article, the Grantland article quoting leaked NBA documents suggests the Knicks made very little money. And the Grantland article quoted finances for a more recent season. Since second round picks have cost less than $2M in the past, Phil made a deal that was good business and didn’t hurt the Knicks and one that actually might have a significant impact on their profitability.

  22. The Knicks had nice operating revenue, but after luxury taxes and revenue sharing the Knicks lost $3.5M in 2013-2014 per the link below.

    The Knicks don’t lose Dolan money. Those numbers don’t capture what MSG takes in, for example. That doesn’t mean he’s under any obligation to spend 5 million dollars on Travis Outlaw, but he’s not losing money.

  23. Also, if I can’t make comments because Flossy already said everything I wanted to, then it’s well past time this season got started.

  24. The Knicks loss includes revenue from MSG. Assuming that the programming revenue the Knicks receive is roughly a fair price and not some sweetheart price for tax reasons and such, then the Knicks really do lose money as a business. As a fan, I want the Knicks to win more than I want them to make money, but I definitely don’t mind that they save money when they can

  25. I think the rub is in Mike’s updated post – whatever money we end up spending to buy 2nd round picks, is less money we get to use for other purposes under the cap (not just a rounding error in Dolan’s bank account).

  26. The Knicks loss includes revenue from MSG. Assuming that the programming revenue the Knicks receive is roughly a fair price and not some sweetheart price for tax reasons and such, then the Knicks really do lose money as a business. As a fan, I want the Knicks to win more than I want them to make money, but I definitely don’t mind that they save money when they can

    It includes the revenue that the Knicks are paid from MSG but not how much money Dolan makes from MSG. In other words, he’s turning a profit from the whole thing, since he owns the network. Don’t get me wrong, even if he weren’t it wouldn’t matter due to how much money he makes from his other stuff (like non-Knicks related usage of MSG and the ginormous amount of money Cablevision makes) but he does turn a profit on owning the Knicks, just in a circumnavigated way.

  27. yeah i’d rather Dolan just eat the contract, but honestly – $6.5MM for a 2nd round pick is pretty hefty. That’s not a cheap owner, that’s just rational business.

    Does anyone know the rules of protection of D-league players? I thought someone had posted here that teams can protect 3 players waived from the training camp roster or some such thing, and now that I look into it a bit, it seems Wear does not fall into that category. It’s only 3 players whose draft rights are owned by the team and are not kept on the 15 man roster who can be protected from “call-ups”. So if we were to, say, cut Cleanthony Early, we could still force him to play on our D-League team and he would still be ours. That’s what all the hoopla was around OKC’s draft/stash of Josh Huestis — he would not count against the salary cap but would still be protected from other teams calling him up.

    Wear OTOH is an undrafted FA, and as I understand it, would not be protected at all if some other team were to call him up. He’d still go to Westchester because his D-League rights are protected as a training camp cut, but as far as I can tell, if the Spurs, for instance, wanted him on their active roster, he could still go. That tells you how much Phil and co. like him.

    His college stats are pretty solid especially considering UCLA’s system seems to suppress everyone’s stats. The one thing is that his rebounding his senior year was pretty awful (5 rebounds per 40?!?!). But he shot 44% from 3 point range, TS 58, and also averaged 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.2 blocks per 40. And considering he averaged a respectable amount of assists, he only averaged a minuscule 0.6 turnovers per 40 (ie. a 4:1 A/TO ratio).

  28. Does anyone know the rules of protection of D-league players?

    The rules of “protection” for D-League players is a very misleading name. Protection really just means that you get to force the last four players you cut to play for your D-League team. That’s all. It means that you theoretically have a better connection to the player (and in the case of teams where the D-League team plays the same system as the pro team, it shows you how they can play in your system). But it does not prevent another team from signing them. The only true protection you have on any player is if you have their draft rights.

    Sp basically forget everything you hear about NBDL “protection” in terms of actually keeping a player from other teams – they don’t mean anything about that. Your only protection from other teams taking your player is the same as it has always been, which is owning their draft rights (or signing them period, of course).

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