Update: Here's the full trade release:
New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has acquired forward Lou Amundson, center Alex Kirk and a 2019 second-round draft choice from Cleveland and forward Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City as part of a three-team trade.
Guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith were sent from New York to Cleveland and guard Dion Waiters from Cleveland to Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City also sent Cleveland a future first-round draft choice. In addition, center Samuel Dalembert has been waived.
No word yet on which (presumably most, if not all) of those new guys will get waived. Thoughts below.
So, Twitter went down when everything was aflutter and remains down, but as I understand it, the Knicks just participated in the giving end of a three-team deal with the Cavaliers and Thunder.
They're giving up: Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith (and waiving Samuel Dalembert)
Knicks will get lance Thomas, Alex Kirk and Lou Amundsen in the deal - expected to waive all three. Also getting future second rounder.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 6, 2015
That is that "NBA equivalent of nothing" we were talking about earlier. You may have seen rumors that Reggie Jackson is coming to the Knicks (and may still be seeing that because Twitter's busted), but that is not true. It sounds like he's not involved in the trade at all.
Why would the Knicks do this? Well, the Knicks want space. J.R. Smith, who will likely pick up his $6.4 million player option for next season, was going to take up a fat chunk of that space. Shumpert, meanwhile, has an expiring contract. The Knicks, it appears, wanted to dump J.R.'s money and didn't intend to make a serious bid for Shump in restricted agency this summer, so now the roster is utterly empty, this season and next. Just eyeballing it, their salary figures sits closer to $30 million than $40 million next season.
On one hand, I love Iman Shumpert and have enjoyed J.R. Smith and am sad to see two consistently entertaining personalities and talented players off my favorite team. On the other hand, I think getting rid of J.R. was a need and losing Shump was a foregone conclusion. To me, the Knicks traded space for more space, plus a future second-rounder. Should they have held out for more assets in return? Maybe, but it's clear that emptiness trumps all else for these Knicks. They're gonna have a lot of it. Dad is leaning hard into this plan.
Looking more proximally ahead, New York now has three open spots to bring up Thanasis Antetokounmpo and/or Langston Galloway from the Westchester Knicks, to take on expiring contracts from other teams...or whatever. The Knicks were barely a basketball team before and they're basically a pile of empty, dirty blue pajamas at this point. And I'm okay with that.
We'll bid a proper farewell to J.R. and Shump in the near future. (And goodbye to you, too, Sam, but...sorry.) In the meantime, welcome to New York, nothing!
Update: The nothing might be better than we originally thought!
Oklahoma City is sending a protected future first-round pick to the New York Knicks, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 6, 2015
Told that the only pick coming to the Knicks in the deal is the future 2nd rounder. But deal is not officially signed in blood yet.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 6, 2015
Update: Nope, looking like no first-rounder. Reports have done a good job of getting our hopes up tonight!
As part of three-team deal, Cavs will get a heavily protected future first-rounder from OKC and Knicks will get a 2019 second-round from CLE— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 6, 2015
The exception details:
Knicks will also get a salary cap exception of nearly $6 million for Smith and $2.5 million for Shumpert.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 6, 2015