As of today, everyone on the Knicks is eligible to be traded. There are only three slight caveats to that fact (gleaned from ESPN's NBA Trade Machine, which, while it's wrong about some things, is as well-organized a resource for restriction info as you'll find):
- Carmelo Anthony must consent to any trade.
- Cole Aldrich must consent to any trade(!)
- Quincy Acy can't be traded to the Kings until July. So yeah, cross "Acy straight up for DeMarcus Cousins" off your list of ideas.
That's it. Otherwise, Dad and Steve can wheel and deal as they please. Phil Jackson made it clear he was using the season to date as a trial period for certain players, and he's also said he would seek trades before the trade deadline of February 19. So, what sorts of trades might the Knicks seek? First, let's ask Rumors, then let's ask Logic.
Uhhhhhhhhhh I got pretty much nothing. Rarely does a Knicks season make it to mid-December without at least one sketchy trade idea floating around, but the closest we've got to that is a Knicks person telling Frank Isola that a Dion Waiters deal someone talked about somewhere down the line is not in New York's interest.
Marc Berman's report essentially stating that Carmelo Anthony has read his own contract was quickly sussed out to be nothing -- not wrong, just nothing of interest.
Am I missing something? I'm pretty certain that's all we've seen, even dating back to summertime?
I could see the Knicks wanting to trade:
- J.R. Smith, if they do not wish to keep him around and worry he'll consume delicious 2015 cap space by picking up his $6.4 million player option. (Of note: Any team acquiring J.R. would have to pay him 15% more than the Knicks are paying him this season.)
- Iman Shumpert, if they do not wish to keep him around beyond this year (i.e. don't anticipate matching market value in restricted free agency) and want to get someone or something in return for his exit instead of letting him walk. This is slightly complicated by the fact that his shoulder just fell out of its socket and he won't be ready to play for at least the next 3 weeks.
- Jose Calderon, if they've decided they can do better with the ~$7.5 million a year he occupies until 2017 and/or no longer want him to be their long-term point guard.
I could see the Knicks agreeing to trade:
- Tim Hardaway Jr. if his combination of ostensible promise and small salary is needed to entice a trade partner (and/or if they just don't want to keep him).
- Almost everyone else on the team, simply because they have small, brief, easily digestible contracts. Players on cheap, expiring deals could be added to other deals, or could be swapped on their own for similar contracts, second-rounders, or cash.
I can't see the Knicks trading:
- Melo, because he'd have to ask for it, and we have no reason to believe he will.
- Amar'e Stoudemire, because-- even though he might be having a productive enough year to, say, interest a good team looking for another scorer-- he's making $23 million this year, which is nigh unmatchable in a trade that would actually help the Knicks.
- Andrea Bargnani, unless they're willing to take back another team's moderately-sized, long-term regret.
I think the Knicks want:
- Empty space/money.
- Good basketball players who fit in the Triangle and could help them long-term.
- An olive. Olives are great!
I don't think the Knicks want:
- Good basketball players who would only help them this season.
- Bad basketball players, unless they are on expiring contracts.
These are educated guesses, top to bottom. The Knicks might still be trying to win the championship this season, for all I know. So, what do you think? Do you see the Knicks dealing? Would you like them to deal? Take a peek at their salaries, fire up the trade machine, and show us your ideas. Tis the season.