The Knicks are active in attempts to trade Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, reports Marc Stein and Ian Begley of ESPN.com. However, New York is clinging to Amar’e Stoudemire and doesn’t plan on trading him, Stein and Begley add. Bargnani is a candidate to hit waivers next month if team president Phil Jackson can’t find a trade partner by the February 19th trade deadline, according to the ESPN scribes.
Knicks coach Derek Fisher last month called Bargnani a “big piece to the future,” but it appears that’s changed in short order as the Knicks have plummeted to the worst record in the league. The Knicks relinquished their 2016 first-round draft pick as part of the trade that brought Bargnani from Toronto, but injury has kept him from all but two games this season. He’s making $11.5MM this year, the final season of his contract, but league executives reportedly believed over the summer that it would require the Knicks to attach two first-round picks to offload him. There’s a decent chance that price has come down some, with Bargnani drawing ever close to the end of his deal, but it still seems like it’ll be hard for Jackson to find a taker.
A report last week indicated that Jackson hadn’t yet given up on Calderon, in spite of speculation that he’d be the next Knick to go after the team sent Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to Cleveland last week. The team’s stance on Calderon, too, appears to have changed, and while there are plenty of teams who are high on him, the point guard’s contract stands as a deterrent, Stein and Begley write. Calderon is making between $7MM and $8MM each season through 2016/17.
The Knicks reportedly shopped Stoudemire over the summer and discussed a deal with the Sixers, though Stoudemire’s salary of more than $23.4MM makes him quite difficult to trade. He’s proven a key part of the Knicks this season, averaging 13.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per game, making 13 starts. It’s conceivable that the Knicks would re-sign him, at a greatly reduced rate, for next season once his contract expires this summer, Stein and Begley write.