The Knicks (10-43) officially ended any hope of having a respectable season when they bought-out Amar’e Stoudemire’s contract on Monday.
And with Carmelo Anthony joiningStoudemire as someone who won’t be a part of the Knicks’ 2014-15 campaign – albeit for a different reason — the race to the No. 1 overall pick has officially commenced.
The Brooklyn Nets (21-31), meanwhile, are not as “dead-in-the-water” as the Knicks, as they’re actually still in the playoff race. But with the reality that current ownership would love to sell this team full of aging and overpaid players, the Nets are actually primed to do some salary dumping Thursday.
Metro takes a look at three players that could be moved by either New York-based franchises.
- Brook Lopez, Nets center — The Nets’ rapid-fire rebuild – and proclamation to being an NBA champion – has been an epic failure, which means everyone could be had for the right deal. And topping that list has to be Lopez, who was once already in the middle of a failed trade proposal with the Oklahoma City Thunder back in January. The reason it fell through was because any team that trades for Lopez will be on the hook for his $16.7 million player-option in 2015-16. But from the Nets’ point of view, moving a salary that heavy would help a future sale of the franchise, as it’ll help the cap-spaced starved team replenish its resources quicker.
- Deron Williams, Nets point guard – Once thought of as an elite floor general, Williams’s tenure as a Net has been up-and-down. Like Lopez, he was already in the middle of multiple trade talks at the beginning of the year, but the Sacramento Kings had cold feet, and the Dallas Mavericks eventually pulled the trigger on the Rajon Rondo deal. Besides the perception that he’s a diva, what also hinders Williams’s trade value is the fact that at 30-years-old, he’s breaking down physically and is shooting a career-low 39 percent from the field. Add to the fact he’s not even the Nets’ starter anymore (Jarrett Jack took his job) and still has two years and $43 million remaining on his deal, it would appear the Nets would love to move him.
- Jose Calderon, Knicks point guard – His tenure in New York has been inconsistent, but the veteran would be a solid backup on a contending team and has been known as a great locker room guy. Calderon, 33, is averaging 9.3 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game this season, but with $15.1 million owed to him over the next two seasons, he could be a tough move for a Knicks team that is looking at every option to shave even more salary-cap money off its books.
Knicks and Nets notes:
- Stoudemire signed with the Dallas Mavericks, Tuesday morning, reuniting with former Knicks teammates Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler. His deal with Dallas is worth $477,150, according to sources.
- If Nets’ fans are looking for Kevin Garnett to be moved, that’s highly unlikely, according to several reports. Garnett is reportedly not seeking a buyout and will play out his contract. It’s actually a noble – and expected move by the very loyal Garnett, who struggled for years at the thought of requesting a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, and then went through great angst during the trade that brought him to Brooklyn from the Boston Celtics. Garnett has a no-trade clause in his contract, so it’ll be somthing of a shock if he requests to leave Brooklyn instead of going down with the ship.