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The Knicks traded Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel in a cap-clearing move

There it is.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks needed to clear cap space to sign the free agent apple of their eye, Jalen Brunson. They already traded away Kemba Walker in a draft night deal, but they still needed to clear more money.

Well, problem solved. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday night that the Knicks have traded guard Alec Burks and center Nerlens Noel to the Detroit Pistons.

In addition to Burks and Noel, the Knicks will give the Pistons two second-round picks and $6 million. In return, they get...nothing. Actually, they get the cap space to sign Brunson to a major deal.

And so we bid adieu to Burks and Noel. Both players were integral to the Knicks’ surprise playoff run in 2020-21. They both re-signed with the Knicks last summer. Unfortunately, Noel suffered through a season marred by injuries, and Burks was badly misused by head coach Tom Thibodeau, who tried to turn the veteran into the team’s starting point guard.

We’ll see if Leon Rose and friends have some more deals in mind as the start of free agency looms.