With much of the NBA speculation focused on the 2014 Draft, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, talk of a trade between the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks flew under the radar for much of Wednesday. But now it’s official — Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton are headed to the Lone Star State, while Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington are headed to the Big Apple.
New York, Dallas have reached agreement in principle on trade, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2014
This six-player trade marks the first big move of the Phil Jackson era, if you’re not counting Anthony’s decision to opt-out of his contract. While some Knicks fans may be upset with the loss of Chandler, he’s ultimately a guy who had to go.
Chandler would have become a free agent after next season, and the odds are that he would’ve walked away. The Knicks wisely got something in return for him before that scenario even presented itself. At the same time they were able to send the troubled Raymond Felton packing. He may have avoided jail time stemming from gun charges, but who knows whether he’ll avoid punishment from the league?
New York will get two players that can come in and contribute right away with Calderon and Dalembert, and also a bit of project for new head coach Derek Fisher in Larkin.
These moves, as they should be, are about the future. The Knicks aren’t going to become a respectable basketball team again overnight. It’s going to take moves like the one that was just finalized, plus plenty of solid draft picks to turn around the once great franchise.
Getting Carmelo back wouldn’t hurt either.