Knicks Waive Johnny O’Bryant

FEBRUARY 8: The Knicks have officially waived O’Bryant, the team announced today (via Twitter).

FEBRUARY 7: The Knicks don’t intend to keep the player they acquired from the Hornets in the Willy Hernangomez trade, according to GM Scott Perry, who told reporters today that forward Johnny O’Bryant will be waived (Twitter link via Adam Zagoria of

[RELATED: Knicks trade Willy Hernangomez to Hornets]

O’Bryant, 24, appeared in 36 games for Charlotte this season, averaging 4.8 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 10.5 minutes per contest. Before joining the Hornets as a free agent last March, the former LSU standout had also spent time with the Bucks and Nuggets over the course of his four-year NBA career.

Although Hernangomez has a modest $1.4MM cap hit, he’s earning more than the minimum, so the Hornets couldn’t have used the minimum salary exception to acquire him. With no cap space or trade exceptions available, Charlotte had to send out O’Bryant for salary-matching purposes. The Hornets will be ineligible to re-sign the young forward if and when he clears waivers.

As for the Knicks, the decision to cut O’Bryant signals that the Hernangomez was all about landing those two future second-round picks. New York will keep O’Bryant’s $1.52MM cap hit on the books, assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, and will open up a spot on their 15-man roster once the transaction becomes official.

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18 thoughts on “Knicks Waive Johnny O’Bryant

  1. Ssection77

    Probably the stupidest franchise in sports. This is why star players pass us by. Dolan as an owner and inept front office decisions.

  2. Good move (not doubling down on horrible trade). He’s not a guy to waste development minutes on as he is not signed beyond this year and not RFA. Hopefully it sets up another deal with the open roster spot.

  3. TJECK109

    Gotta have those second round picks.

    Does anyone even remember when the draft was 7 rounds? Now a days you don’t even need 2nd round picks.

    • hill

      2nd round picks are very valuable.

      For one — they allow you a bite at the apple. You never know when you discover a special player.

      Two — they are affordable and can provide valuable rotation minutes when your team is up agains the cap. Just two examples off the top of my head — the Bucks have drafted well getting Brogdon and Sterling Brown. Compared to the Pelicans who have had to fill their roster with more expensive castoffs. With the cap almost flat (going up slightly) teams find it difficult to fill out the 15-man and stay competitive but under the tax. Cheap players who eat minutes during the dog days of the NBA are valuable.

      Three — you can draft and stash there without taking up a roster spot.

      Four — with the advent of 2-way contracts teams can use their 2nd rounders on true “projects”, guys who need seasoning and they can control their development and build a bit of a bench pipeline.

      Five — trade assets. Picks are worth often more than players themselves. For all the reasons above they allow you to make trades on the future.
      Those are just a few reasons why 2nd rd picks are valuable.

      • ColoredPaper

        I think Brogdon was a bad example. Wasn’t he a 1st rounder? A better example would be guys like Green from GSW or IT2. Definitely have some value if you have a good scouting department.

  4. Ssection77

    Name me five starters in the top 50 players in the league that were second round picks.

  5. Knicks were able to get Scott Perry for a 2nd round pick. So, they must be valuable (hey, the guy helped build the Orlando and Sacramento juggernauts). Now, we can get two more guys like Perry, wow, what a brain trust.

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