The New York Knicks are doing what they can to tweak their roster for a rebuilding project that will likely take several years to come to fruition. President Phil Jackson and Co. took another step in that direction on Wednesday, acquiring Sacramento Kings forwards Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw.
Sam Amick of USA Today reported news of the exchange, which will send Knicks guard Wayne Ellington, forward Jeremy Tyler and a 2016 second-round draft pick to Sacramento, according to sources.
The Knicks later confirmed the move on their Twitter account:
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News was glad that New York opted to keep backup point guard Pablo Prigioni:
This is a logical move for both sides because the Kings have a rather convoluted roster that required some clearing. That's why it makes sense that, per Amick, Sacramento is expected to waive Tyler and enact what's known as the stretch provision on Ellington.
Just one year remains on Ellington's current contract (h/t Spotrac.com), but the Kings will essentially pay him his due salary over a greater span of time. It is a cost-cutting move, albeit a minimal one, since Ellington is owed just $2.77 million in 2014-15.
Per the rules explanation on CBAfaq.com, Ellington's salary will be paid over the next three years if he's waived on or before Aug. 31. The stretch provision dictates he is paid his salary over twice the number of years remaining on his deal, plus one year, therefore spanning three seasons.
With that in the clear, let's shift the focus to New York. Acy has yet to crack an NBA rotation on a consistent basis, but on a rebuilding Knicks squad, he should have that opportunity. Although he is raw, Acy brings a brand of athleticism New York doesn't have among its taller players.
He took advantage of the opportunity the summer league presented, which he felt was a chance to show off his strengths, per The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones:
I look at it as an opportunity, and it's an audition for all 30 teams in the league. ... I can guard multiple positions. If coach wants to throw me out there on a three (small forward), just show my ability to guard different types of players. I think that’s what's going to separate me. And just being able to hit a jump shot.
The quickness and sudden explosiveness Acy (6'7") possesses makes up for him being undersized for a 4, and his frame works to his advantage at small forward. With Amar'e Stoudemire's myriad of past health problems and Andrea Bargnani coming off a torn elbow ligament, there is a chance for Acy to make a substantial impact at power forward.
As for Outlaw, he has averaged double-digit scoring in two seasons as a pro, but not since the 2008-09 campaign with the Portland Trail Blazers. Since then, his minutes have diminished, with the exception of one year with the Nets.
Outlaw (6'9") brings immense size to the wing, yet he will have to compete for minutes with rookie Cleanthony Early and another rising youngster in Tim Hardaway Jr. It seems the 11-year veteran is better suited to play a mentoring role at this stage of his career.
These are some cost-savvy moves by the Knicks to add a slight upgrade to the supporting cast surrounding All-Star scorer Carmelo Anthony. The next two summers in free agency will determine whether New York can morph into a true contender. Until then, moves like this one are just about all the Knicks can manage.