Updates from Thursday, June 26
Phil Jackson spoke about the deal that sent Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to the Dallas Mavericks (via Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Knicks):
SNY.tv's Keith Schlosser has more information on Jackson's correspondence with Anthony:
“We talked about [the deal] a couple weeks ago with Carmelo when we met with him. We told him this was on the table and I was going to wait and see until I got back from Turkey to see how this fit. He was aware.”
“[Carmelo] saw the value in it and appreciated it,” Jackson continued.
Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton will be playing basketball in the Lone Star State next season, as the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks reportedly agreed to a multi-player trade on Wednesday.
ESPN's Jeff Goodman laid out the details of the transaction:
The Knicks later released a statement confirming the move:
ESPN's Marc Stein reported earlier on Wednesday that the Mavs and Knicks were aggressively pursuing a deal that would send Chandler and Felton to Dallas for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert and Shane Larkin:
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported that Wayne Ellington would also be thrown in as part of the package:
Especially with Carmelo Anthony opting out of his current deal, New York is in dire need of a rebuild. The team has precious few assets, and that was the case even when Anthony was under contract. Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. are the only players you can see sticking around for the next few years.
Chandler remains a talented player, but to have received two starters—Dalembert and Calderon—in addition to a young player like Larkin was a shrewd move by the Knicks. They even rid themselves of the albatross that was Felton.
Without a first-rounder in Thursday's draft, New York needed to be proactive in order to add the pieces necessary to improve, and it has arguably done exactly that with this deal.
The team is also saving money, as Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin pointed out. He wrote that Chandler and Felton will make a combined $19.4 million. Compare that to the $11.5 million committed to Ellington, Larkin and Calderon, along with the $1.8 million it would take to buy out Dalembert.
New York could decide to keep Dalembert around in Chandler's stead, but it might want to avoid paying him the full $3.8 million that he's due for the 2014-15 season.
You know what you're getting with Ellington and Calderon. While neither contributes much on the defensive end, the former can be a three-point specialist and the latter, an upgrade over Felton, can run an NBA offense and is an excellent distributor.
Bleacher Report's Howard Beck thinks the Knicks might have bigger plans for Calderon, too:
Larkin is the most intriguing part of this trade. The 2013 first-rounder only played 10 minutes a night in Dallas after a broken ankle delayed his pro debut, but he's got a lot of potential. He could be the future point guard for the Knicks when it's time to phase Calderon out of the starting lineup.
Or, if the Knicks so choose, they could use Larkin as a bargaining chip in a bigger deal. The former Miami Hurricane has immediately become one of the team's most salable assets. Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal reported that New York may already be plotting to move both Larkin and Dalembert:
Most fans will agree that at least this trade gives the organization some desperately needed flexibility. Not only did the Knicks add some pieces that will help their on-court product, but they also freed up some cash that can be spent in the free-agent market.
The door isn't completely closed on Anthony returning to New York. The chances remain remote, but he could still be swayed into signing a new deal with the team.
On the other side, the Mavericks are getting the rim-protector they've sorely lacked since Chandler's departure after their NBA-title-winning 2010-11 campaign. Count Dirk Nowitzki as a fan of the deal, per The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn:
Dallas was much better defensively last year than some expected it to be, but problems in the post persisted.
The only worry for the Mavs is Chandler's slight decline over the last few years, especially from 2012-13 to 2013-14, as NBA.com's John Schuhmann noted:
His per-36-minute numbers were down almost across the board, while his field-goal percentage fell below .600 for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Dallas is sending a couple of productive pieces away and taking on Felton's contract in exchange for somebody who might only be getting worse.
However, part of the reason for Chandler's problems last year may have been his general happiness. The New York Post's Marc Berman reported that the former Defensive Player of the Year was upset with the direction in which the Knicks were headed and their inability to compete:
That shouldn't be an issue in Dallas, where Chandler enjoyed one of the best seasons of his 13-year career, and he's ready for a return, according to TNT's David Aldridge:
As bad as Felton has been, there's still the chance that Rick Carlisle can get him to produce. As one of the game's savvier tacticians, the longtime coach might figure out how to maximize whatever is left in the 29-year-old.
CBSSports.com's Matt Moore also thought that addition by subtraction helped the Mavericks in this trade. Even if the cost was taking on Felton, offloading Calderon was a good move:
This is the kind of trade that's hopefully mutually beneficial for both teams. The Knicks can either begin building for the future or use this as leverage to convince Anthony to re-sign with the team, while the Mavericks are getting the kind of post-defender who can help them remain a threat in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
Note: Stats are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.