NBA Roundtable

Knicks Close To T-Mac Trade

In General NBA, Trade Talk on February 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Very interesting trade here — Adrian Wojnarowski reports

The New York Knicks are getting closer to reaching the Houston Rockets’ demands for Tracy McGrady and his $23 million expiring contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Knicks and Rockets have designed the framework of a deal that would unload New York’s Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill and either Al Harrington or Larry Hughes for McGrady, Joey Dorsey and Brian Cook.

As talks stood on Monday, the price of dumping the burdensome contract of Jeffries – who is owed $6.9 million next season – comes with the Knicks and Rockets exchanging 2011 first-round picks and the Knicks’ 2012 first-round choice going to Houston. New York also might include a 2010 second-round pick.

The Utah Jazz own the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2010.

The discussion on potential draft picks changing hands remains fluid.

The completion of the deal isn’t imminent, but sources involved in the discussions are increasingly confident that after months of back and forth, which intensified over All-Star weekend, an agreement is within reach.

I saw this trade report earlier today and was flummoxed at the Knicks willingness to part with their lottery pick for a two month rental of an injured Tracy McGrady on a non-playoff … but there was a key difference between that earlier report and this one and his name is Jared Jeffries.

Knicks Cap Flexibility

Jared Jeffries ($6.88 million) and Jordan Hill ($2.67 million) total around $9.5 million worth of contracts in 2010/11. Freeing up that extra cap space leaves the Knicks with a cap of around $21.6 million after accounting for the cap holds for empty roster spots.

That means the Knicks would have $30-32 million in cap space this summer. Not quite enough for two max contracts, despite reports to the contrary, but they’re close.

The Knicks need $33.14 million for two max contracts. If they could free up another $2 million on an Eddy Curry buyout or by buying out Curry + trading Toney Douglas in a salary dump and get a high cap figure … the Knicks could have enough money for two max contracts.

I’ve always believed that NY needed to be able to sign a second max contract player to convince a superstar like LeBron James or Dwyane Wade to sign there. To convince them that there is a chance to win, that’s it’s real and that they can see it. To add two players of that quality alongside Gallinari + Chandler and then go on to build a supporting cast around them.

Suddenly, that dream is becoming a possibility.

Houston Rockets

I’m surprised that Daryl Morey is interested in this trade. I thought earlier reports cited him as unimpressed with Al Harrington, and, I agree, I don’t think Harrington is a good addition to their team either.

Add to that the unnecessary contract of Jared Jeffries and the consequent elimination of the Rockets cap flexibility this summer …

And all they have to show for it is Jordan Hill? They rate Jordan Hill that highly?

That doesn’t make sense to me.

Conclusions

This is an excellent trade for New York and a bad one for Houston.

I’d be surprised if this actually went through because Houston isn’t getting enough out of it. However, it does appear that this rumour is legitimate and has a real chance of happening.

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  1. Dave,

    do you think it is because the Rockets have no intention of signing a free agent this year and are going to ride Yao and the rest of the expirings in 2010/11? Maybe they are targetting the 2011 offseason and figure they could pick up an asset like Jordan Hill for taking on Jefferies contract. Although, I would prefer that they hold out for Gallo or Chandler.

  2. Dino Gunner,

    I’m still in a state of disbelief over this report and the longer that it has to settle in, the less convinced I become of it.

    If this indeed true, then it’s simply a bad move. No other offseason is going to have the level of talent that the 2010 Free Agency class has. They have a better chance this offseason of getting a top class player than they ever have in the future.

    If the Rockets do make this trade, it will likely mean that the Yao Ming era passes by without a title.

  3. An Update

    SI.com reports

    While the Knicks continue to pursue Tracy McGrady, informed sources warn that New York remains low on Houston’s list of trade partners. The framework involves Houston shipping McGrady and power forward Joey Dorsey to the Knicks for Al Harrington, Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill.

    However, sources with knowledge of the talk say the Rockets have received multiple offers for McGrady that they have deemed better than the Knicks’. A source said that Jeffries — who is owed $6.9 million next season with a $2 million trade kicker — is a major sticking point for Houston’s front office.

    The world is beginning to make sense again …

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