1:22pm: The moves are official, the team announced (on Twitter).
8:59am: The Knicks plan to waive Lance Thomas, Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson, according to Peter Botte of the New York Daily News and Newsday’s Barbara Barker (Twitter links). Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck reported late Monday that the team would waive Kirk and Amundson and keep Thomas. Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com said shortly thereafter that the Knicks would choose two of the three to let go and that Thomas was merely the most likely to be retained, but now it appears New York will release all three of the players it acquired in Monday’s trade. None of the three has any guaranteed salary, save for Kirk, who has a $65K partial guarantee but has already earned more than that amount, putting him on a de facto non-guaranteed contract. The team must waive them no later than 4:00pm Central today to avoid guaranteeing their minimum-salary deals for the rest of the season.
Thomas is the only one of the trio to have seen significant action this season. He started 13 games for the banged-up Thunder earlier this season, and in 22 appearances overall, he’s averaging 5.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game. Still, Oklahoma City saw him as expendable now that most of its injured players, including Kevin Durant, are back in the lineup. The 26-year-old forward was supposed to have served a less prominent role like the ones Kirk and Amundson played in Cleveland. Kirk, an undrafted rookie center out of New Mexico, has hit the floor for just 14 minutes total in five games during the regular season. The ninth-year veteran Amundson saw 6.6 MPG in 12 appearances for the Cavs, but Cleveland shipped him out along with Kirk even though the team is starved for capable big men.
The Knicks, who have been carrying a full 15-man roster, are set to sign Langston Galloway to a 10-day contract, though that move couldn’t take place until the team makes its cuts. The subtraction of Thomas, Kirk and Amundson plus the signing of Galloway would put the Knicks at the 13-man roster minimum, with plenty of flexibility.