Some stuff on my mind and computer screen this morning:
- I should probably be more wistful about this than I am, but it's funny, after Iman Shumpert finally *did* get traded, to look back on all the Shump trades that didn't happen. Maybe Kenneth Faried was never really going to happen, but Shump plus a pick for the chance to re-sign Kyle Lowry seemed like a real thing. Shump for old Steve Nash was once almost done. Shump for Jared Dudley was a rumor. Shump for a late first-rounder definitely could have happened. Shump and Raymond Felton for Darren Collison and stuff could have happened. Such a variety! In the end, the return value for trading Iman Shumpert was Not Having J.R. Smith anymore.
- The Knicks *did* get three players back, but they will almost certainly cut them. That just hasn't happened yet. The only guy who has a chance of sticking around, it seems, is Lance Thomas, and he's an expiring contract. It's a little disappointing Phil Jackson couldn't push either of those teams to include sooooomeone New York would actually want to audition with one of those open spots.
- It's still pretty strange to me that Cleveland managed to come out with two decent players and a first-rounder for Dion Waiters and a bunch of little contracts. Like, their new guys present the same problems in Cleveland that they did for the Knicks-- J.R. is flagging and has a player option while Shumpert's deal is expiring-- but they essentially made two separate deals with two desperate teams here and came out looking a little better, I think, at least in the short term.
- I'll never forget the brief terror of thinking the Knicks had traded straight-up for Dion Waiters. I'll also never forget the dismay of thinking the Knicks had traded for Reggie Jackson. That would be nuts, both in the WHOA AN ACTUAL GOOD PLAYER! sense and in the IS IT TIME FOR THIS!? sense.
I'm not against New York temporarily occupying or even full-on committing some of their cap space before season's end, but I'm not so sure Reggie Jackson's worth blowing that load. Jackson's going to be an RFA, and I wouldn't be comfortable with New York getting pushed into matching a big deal for him early in free agency instead of sitting back and playing the field. He's 68, after all:
(He's 24. He's interesting. Just not GET HIM NOW DON'T WORRY ABOUT WEIGHING YOUR OPTIONS LATER interesting. Not to me. The guy rarely hits jump shots!)
- That said, here's Ken Berger:
(The Knicks were rebuffed in their pursuit of point guard Reggie Jackson in the deal, but will continue in their attempts to pry him away in future discussions before next month's trade deadline, league sources said.)
Again, Jackson's fine, but I'm not into giving up assets for the opportunity to play restricted free agency with him. The Knicks hardly have any assets left at this point, anyway. I suppose the Thunder may be willing to give him up for mere space or the ability to dump a bad contract the way the Knicks were with Shump. Just not my favorite.
- I don't want to bring back any unpleasant memories, but it is interesting to compare this fire sale to previous Knicks fire sales when they wanted to open up a bunch of cap space. The most recent one took Donnie Walsh two seasons and some pretty yucky talent dumps to set the Knicks up for...well, in part for the roster they're ripping apart now. Phil Jackson inherited a less onerous team and has neither the pressure nor the latitude to dump picks, but still, this has been a comparatively swift and painless demolition so far, and there's not much left to demolish.
- This is a great point:
Knicks are in very good position to help facilitate moves for would be contenders at the trade deadline.— Jon@knicksfan.net (@JonKnicksFan) January 6, 2015
Can use the TPEs to roster an unwanted player (as long as it's only for this year) while extracting a fee. That's what I'd be looking to do.— Jon@knicksfan.net (@JonKnicksFan) January 6, 2015
The Knicks' new exceptions could allow them to benefit from another team's desperate move closer to the deadline. I guess that's one benefit of doing a trade like this with a month left to spare. They can get a facilitator's fee-- even just another little pick or asset-- just for assuming someone else's expiring contract or balancing the money in someone else's deal.
- Of course the Knicks are on national TV this week. Of course.
- Jose Calderon is still around and making real money until 2017. I have no idea if the Knicks want to trade him or make him their point guard. I think I could be happy either way. Dealing him would create more space, but also another position of need. But more space. But also more need. More space, though. Need. Space.
- I'm sorry Samuel Dalembert doesn't get a full goodbye post, but I will always remember how much he wants to go to space:
I'll still go to space with you, Sam.
All told, I like where the Knicks stand right now. They could have more assets, but they started in a pretty bad place and came out fully ready to spend. It's not ideal to be so dependent on free agency, but...well, at least Dad is equipping himself for it.