Knicks Trade Rumors: Point Guard Trade Close For New York Knicks?

Phil Jackson Looking To Trade

Knicks trade rumors have the team shopping point guard Jose Calderon. These New York Knicks trade rumors reveal that president Phil Jackson is trying to deal Calderon before the NBA trade deadline on February 18. A new report from ESPN.com states that the intent is to find another team willing to pay Calderon’s salary for the 2016-17 NBA season. In order to complete a deal, the Knicks appear willing to add Kyle O’Quinn to the trade.

It appears that Knicks president Phil Jackson has two plans in play, with the acquisition of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague also on the list. The Hawks have a lot of teams interested in acquiring Teague, though, and the Knicks might not have the right combination of players to match up in a trade. While Jackson may continue negotiating with the Hawks until the trade deadline, he is also attempting to free up salary for the 2016 NBA offseason.

Jose Calderon is involved in these New York Knicks trade rumors because he is due about $7.7 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. Getting his salary off the books would get the Knicks further under the salary cap and into a better position to compete for some of the top free agents. Adding Kyle O’Quinn is simply a way to entice another team, as his contract was only for this season. In an ideal situation, the Knicks would find a way to acquire Teague and deal Calderon in the same trade.

Jose Calderon With Knicks
During parts of two seasons with the Knicks, Calderon has started 93 games for the team. He is averaging 8.2 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.0 rebounds with the team. Calderon had signed a four-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks before he was traded to the Knicks as part of the deal for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. Calderon does bring value to the court, as he shoots 46.9 percent from the field, 40.7 percent from three-point range, and 87.9 percent from the line. Those could be nice numbers off the bench for a contending team needing a backup point guard.

While there are a number of New York Knicks trade rumors linking the team to star players around the league, Phil Jackson may be content getting the team further under the cap for a play on several upcoming free agents. The Knicks currently have $64 million in guaranteed salaries for the 2016-17 NBA season, but there are several opportunities to drop that number. In addition to the possibility of trading Calderon and his $7.7 million salary, the Knicks may not have to pay Arron Afflalo or Derrick Williams, either.

Afflalo and Williams have player options that they can use to opt out of their contracts with the Knicks. Opting out at a time where many NBA teams will have a lot of salary cap space could mean long-term contracts for both players. If they do decide it is time to seek out a new franchise, the Knicks would save $8 million in salary to Afflalo and about $4.6 million to Williams. Combining that with the savings in a Jose Calderon trade, and the Knicks suddenly have about $20.3 million in additional spending money.

Jeff Teague With Hawks
There aren’t any imminent deals for the Knicks, even as Phil Jackson tries to get something done before February 18. Acquiring Jeff Teague would give the Knicks a new point guard for next year, answering an offseason question before it even comes up. If a deal isn’t made with the Atlanta Hawks, though, the team could still be served well by trading away Calderon in the next few days. While the current New York Knicks trade rumors don’t link to a team interested in Calderon, that could change if the Knicks add something else to a possible deal.

[Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]