Knicks Trade Ex-Top 10 Pick & Starter, Clear Way for Blockbuster Signing: Report

Alec Burks of the New York Knicks.

Getty Alec Burks of the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks have traded Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to the Detroit Pistons in order to clear up cap space, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. They will be attaching two future second-round picks in the deal in order to incentivize the Pistons.

Here’s a full breakdown of the deal as has been reported thus far:

Pistons receive: Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, Two Future 2nd-Round Picks

Knicks receive: Cap space (and likely heavily-protected picks that won’t convey.)

New York is reportedly gearing up to sign Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson once free agency opens, and this deal helps clear up enough cap space for them to do that. There has been increasing momentum for a potential Brunson-Knicks marriage in recent days, and this deal could be seen as the final step to get them there.

Wojnarowski reported that this deal will help the Knicks clear close to $30 million in cap space.

“The Knicks have cleared $30M in salary cap space to offer Dallas’ Jalen Brunson in the neighborhood of a max contract. The unloading of assets and contracts clearly shows the Knicks’ confidence that they can secure Brunson once free agency opens on Thursday,” Wojnarowski tweeted.

This has been New York’s goal for a long while.

Knicks Have Been Favorites to Land Brunson

On June 28 in the afternoon, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported that the Knicks were heavy favorites to steal Brunson away from the Mavericks. After weeks of uncertainty where Dallas believed they could retain him, New York has emerged as the top landing spot.

“At this point, it’s widely anticipated that Jalen Brunson will go to the Knicks on a four-year deal in excess of $100M. It remains to be seen how New York will clear the rest of the necessary cap space and whether the Mavs can work a sign-and-trade to recoup assets,” MacMahon tweeted.

A four-year, $100 million deal would be a lot for Brunson, but he impressed suitors with his strong playoff run with the Mavericks. He was able to lead the team even when superstar guard Luka Doncic was out in the first round. Now, with the trading of Burks and Noel, the Knicks can make it happen.

It has also been reported that, despite initial beliefs, the Pistons plan on keeping Burks and Noel, rather than dumping them off in an additional part of the trade.

Pistons Keeping Burks and Noel

After his initial reporting, Wojnarowski revealed that Detroit is excited to have Burks and Noel on the roster. They believe they can be useful members of the team and help mentor the young core that has been building in Detroit.

“Detroit is eager to utilize center Nerlens Noel and guards Alec Burks next season. GM Troy Weaver had Noel on his team in Oklahoma City, and Burks is an ideal veteran to mentor the Pistons talented young group of guards,” Wojnarowski tweeted.

The Pistons will make use of the two veterans while simultaneously helping the Knicks achieve their goal of clearing up cap space (at the cost of two future seconds.)

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