Knicks Make Pre-Draft Trade, Send Chandler and Felton to Dallas
The New York Knicks have traded starting center Tyson Chandler and starting point guard Raymond Felton on Wednesday to the Dallas Mavericks, just one day before the NBA Draft. The Knicks received two point guards in Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin. To go along with those players the Knicks will also get Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington and two second round draft picks (34st and 51st overall) in tomorrow night’s draft.
This was Phil Jackson’s first trade as the President of Basketball Operations as he was quoted saying, “The journey to build this team for the upcoming season and beyond continues. We have added players with this move that will fit right in to our system while maintaining future flexibility.”
Calderon and Larkin is what gets me most excited about this trade. Multiple times last year, the Knicks lost close games due to the play of their point guards. Jose Calderon is not a superstar point guard but is an improvement on the offensive and defensive end compared to what Raymond Felton provided last year. Larkin was a 1st round draft pick last year and was expected to make an impact in the Dallas rotation until he broke his ankle in the summer league. Larkin is very quick and very athletic as he will get more playing time and an opportunity to show his abilities.
The departure of Chandler can be a bit tough but he has been hurt a good chunk of his time with the Knicks. His leadership on the defensive end will be missed, but I’m sure that Mr. Jackson has a plan in mind to help recruit another defensive minded center into the big apple.
Raymond Felton, who has been in trouble with the law recently, will not be missed too much. Although he seems like a decent teammate, he has struggled to perform and to stay in shape throughout his career. He worked the pick and roll with Chandler and Amare Stoudemire pretty well, but with the triangle offensive being the new system the Knicks use, Felton can take his talents to Dallas.
So far, the rumors have the Knicks wanting to select Patrick Young from the Florida Gators with the 34th overall pick. Mr. Young is big enough to play in the NFL, so I am hoping he can be a defensive force and grab every rebound he sees in the NBA.
I can’t be happier with the first big move for Phil Jackson. He is setting things up for the future and possibly setting up an opportunity to improve the salary cap to acquire multiple free agents that can attract Carmelo Anthony to stay with the Knicks.
The NBA draft is on Thursday and should be very interesting. Stay tuned.
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