The New York Knicks are currently focused on the development of their young players in the 2018-19 NBA season. But when the season is over, they are expected to be more aggressive in building a roster that can contend for the NBA championship. After waiving Joakim Noah, the Knicks put themselves in a strong position to create enough salary space for a maximum contract in the summer of 2019.
The 2019 NBA free agency will feature several NBA superstars, including Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, DeAndre Jordan, and DeMarcus Cousins. With the emergence of numerous “Super Teams,” the Knicks need to add at least two big names to legitimize their chance of winning an NBA title. To create more salary cap space, the Knicks may consider moving some of their players with a lucrative contract before the February NBA trade deadline.
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the likely trade candidates for the Knicks is Tim Hardaway, Jr. The Knicks are currently paying Hardaway $17.3 million this year and $37 million for the next two seasons. To clear his contract off the books, Favale suggested that the Knicks could engage in a three-team trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls.
“Going on age 27, Hardaway is entering awkward territory. He’s not young enough to bank on upside, but he’s not too old to be part of a team with long-term expectations. The Bulls could build a nifty offense around him, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Zach LaVine. Hardaway’s salary would be a sticking point. He’s owed $37.1 million over the next two years (player option for 2020-21). That’s not great value. If his numbers hold, he’s not an albatross, either. Then again, if Hardaway keeps this up, the Knicks won’t necessarily see the logic behind turning him into cap space.”
Tim Hardaway Jr. is obsessed with HGTV just like the rest of us — “I’m in love with the white kitchen. With a light, black-brownish marble countertop. ... Or a Spanish tile thing. I’m in love with the modern Spanish tile.” https://t.co/tv6V7GQXCm pic.twitter.com/EvfT6IFuJ5— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 13, 2018
In a proposed trade deal, the Knicks will receive George Hill, the Bulls get Tim Hardaway, Jr., and the Cavaliers will acquire Jabari Parker. Since Parker just signed a new contract in the recent free agency, they will need to wait until mid-December to make the deal. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help the three teams in addressing the areas they need to improve on their roster.
The deal allows the Cavaliers to address the logjam in their backcourt while improving their frontcourt depth and offense. In exchange for Jabari Parker, the Bulls will add a player who could boost their perimeter shooting. Since only $1 million of George Hill’s contract is guaranteed, the Knicks will be able to free a huge chunk of their salary cap space for the 2019 NBA free agency.