When you are a struggling 3-8 basketball team that had high expectations coming into the season, it is natural that your name is going to be involved in constant trade rumors.
Such is the case for the New York Knicks.
The latest possible deal the Knicks are being linked to involves the Boston Celtics and no it doesn’t involve Rajon Rondo. Fortunately it doesn’t even involve Iman Shumpert, but instead involves Celtics forward Kris Humphries.
In that scenario, according to the source, the Knicks would acquire power forward/center Kris Humphries and small forward Gerald Wallace, while the Celtics would lose two massive salaries for one, Stoudemire, who the Celtics would have to retain only until 2015 (Wallace is through 2016). The Celtics also plan on “stinking in 2014-15 anyway,” according to the source close to the team, so Stoudemire’s financial presence wouldn’t necessarily hurt them as they have plenty of salary-cap flexibility and can continue to add roster pieces.
The Knicks have coveted Humphries for some time now and there were rumors that if he was bought out by the Celtics after the massive blockbuster trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets, Humphries would have signed with the Knicks.
However the Celtics weren’t sure if rookie Vitor Faverani would pan out at the time and the Knicks went on to re-sign Kenyon Martin. Faverani is now starting which makes Humphries expendable as he is a non-factor in Boston.
Zwerling’s source also notes that Humphries would”very much welcome a trade to a team that he would be more involved with.” And the two most desirable teams, according to the source, would be the Houston Rockets and the Knicks.
He went on to say:
Kris would love to play in New York,” the source said. “They wanted him at the beginning of the season and Woodson is a fan of his physical nature—the hard fouls, the offensive rebounds, that type of stuff.”
The good news is that Humphries would fit in nice off the Knicks bench when they are healthy as they need capable big men off the bench.
The bad news is that the Knicks would have to take on Wallace, who is signed through 2016.
In that scenario, taking on Wallace’s contract could impact the Knicks in 2015 as it could affect them in being able to afford to sign major free agents, which has been the plan all along.
It could also be good for Stoudemire, who the Knicks aren’t using. Boston could take on Stoudemire’s $21.7 million and $23.4 million salaries this season and next, and he might be able to play a bigger role with the Celtics than he is with the Knicks.
It all comes down to whether the Knicks want to play for the short-term or the long-term.
While Humphries and Wallace could certainly help this team now, do they really make this Knicks team championship contenders?
That’s doubtful and at the end of the day it doesn’t seem worth sacrificing valuable cap room in the future to absorb another bad contract.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.