The Cavaliers, Lakers, and Knicks have officially completed the trade sending Rajon Rondo to Cleveland, the teams announced today in a series of press releases. The deal, which was first reported las Thursday and was expanded today to include New York, breaks down as follows:
- Cavaliers acquire Rondo (from Lakers).
- Knicks acquire Denzel Valentine (from Cavaliers), the draft rights to Wang Zhelin (from Lakers), the draft rights to Brad Newley (from Lakers), and $1.1MM in cash (from Lakers).
- Lakers acquire the draft rights to Louis Labeyrie (from Knicks).
It’s a straightforward swap from Cleveland’s perspective — the Cavaliers simply acquired Rondo in exchange for Valentine. Both players are on minimum-salary contracts, but Rondo’s deal is guaranteed (Valentine’s isn’t) and he fills a greater need for a Cavs team that just lost veteran point guard Ricky Rubio for the season due to a torn ACL.
The Knicks waived Wayne Selden in order to make room on the 15-man room roster for Valentine. Both players are on non-guaranteed contracts, so if New York also cuts Valentine, the amount of money the team ended up paying to Selden and Valentine would work out to just over $800K, which is less than the $1.1MM in cash acquired from L.A.
The Knicks could also hang onto Valentine if they so choose, but that’s reportedly considered unlikely. Waiving him would open up the club’s 15th roster spot.
The Lakers, meanwhile, essentially decided to move on from Rondo and pay the Knicks a little money in order to reduce their end-of-season luxury tax bill and open up a roster spot. The exact amount of money Los Angeles saves will depend on how quickly that roster opening is filled, but the savings will exceed the $1.1MM the club sent to the Knicks. Stanley Johnson, who has played well on a 10-day contract, is a good candidate to become the team’s new 15th man.
The Lakers and Cavaliers will both create small traded player exceptions in the deal. L.A.’s will be worth about $1.67MM, while Cleveland’s will be worth approximately $858K.
This is the NBA’s first trade since October 6.