Credit: AP - Scanpix
Credit AP - Scanpix

The New York Knicks had to clear up cap space to sign free agent guard Jalen Brunson. That's why they traded Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, cash, and the team’s own 2023 second-round pick to the Detroit Pistons.

Nerlens Noel

Nerlens  Noel
Team: New York Knicks
Position: C, PF
Age: 28
Height: 211 cm
Weight: 103 kg
Birth place: United States of America

The second pick Detroit received will be either Minnesota’s or New York’s 2026 second-rounder, rather than the heavily protected Miami 2024 second-rounder. The Knicks, meanwhile, received the draft rights to 2015 second-rounder Nikola Radicevic and a protected 2025 second-round pick.

The Knicks will unload more than $19MM in 2022-23 salary in the deal, providing ample cap space to sign Jalen Brunson. According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, the Knicks signed Brunson through cap space instead of negotiating a sign-and-trade agreement with the Mavericks. Brunson signed a four-year, $104 million contract with New York at the start of free agency.

Noel has a $9.24MM salary next season, while Burks is due approximately $10MM. Both players are signed through the 2023-24 season, but there are team options in the final year of their respective contracts - Noel at $9.68MM and Burks at approximately $10.5MM.

Thus, those salaries could come off the Pistons' cap next summer. New York will send Detroit back its 2023 second-round pick, plus the Heat’s 2024 second-round pick (top-55 protected) and $6MM in cash to take those contracts off its books.

The Knicks went 37-45 last season, ranking 11th overall in the East. The team was officially eliminated from playoff contention after the Hawks defeated the Cavaliers at the end of March. 

 

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Alec Burks

Alec  Burks
Alec  Burks
MIN: 28.61
PTS: 11.65 (50.6%)
REB: 4.9
As: 2.95
ST: 1.05
BL: 0.32
TO: 1.11
GM: 81