Jeremy Lin

Atlantic Notes: Lin, J. Parker, DeRozan, Hayward

Jeremy Lin was denying rumors of a possible trade the night before the Nets shipped him to Atlanta, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Fans of the veteran guard have been bombarding Brooklyn GM Sean Marks with message of disapproval, but Lewis states that the trade shouldn’t be considered a surprise. Lin, who is about to turn 30 and is coming off a major injury, doesn’t fit the Nets’ rebuilding timeline. Still, he was blindsided by the deal with the Hawks.

“These things can happen pretty quickly,” Marks explained. “Summer league, Vegas, maybe it’s a little like the winter meetings for baseball where everybody is there and it gives everybody an opportunity to continue to talk and hash some things out.”

Lin spent two seasons in Brooklyn, but missed 127 of 164 games with hamstring and knee injuries. He has a $12.5MM expiring contract, which gives him one season in Atlanta to try to revive his career before becoming a free agent next summer.

There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets considered making an offer to free agent Jabari Parker before he signed with the Bulls, Lewis adds in the same story. They decided against it because of the price tag and a recent comment Parker made in a radio interview that “They don’t pay players to play defense.” Brooklyn opted for a pair of trades with the Nuggets and Suns that brought in Kenneth Faried and Jared Dudley.
  • Former Celtic Isaiah Thomas reached out to former Raptor DeMar DeRozan on social media after Toronto’s deal to acquire Kawhi Leonard was announced, relays Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “Learn from my story,” Thomas wrote on Twitter. “Loyalty is just a word.” Their experiences are similar as both were very popular and successful with their teams, but were dealt away when better players became available.
  • The Celtics opened a roster spot today by waiving Abdel Nader, but they may take their time in filling it, Washburn notes in the same piece. Restricted free agent Jabari Bird, the leading scorer for Boston’s summer league entry, would like to take it, but the Celtics prefer to keep him on a two-way contract. The team hasn’t used its $5.3MM mid-level exception and will likely wait to see if a bigger-name free agent becomes interested.
  • Celtics forward Gordon Hayward showed fans the progress he has made with his fractured ankle in a workout video he posted today on his Instagram account.

Hawks Rumors: Lin, Schroder, Delaney

The Hawks traded for Jeremy Lin last week in a deal that cleared a path for the Nets to create the cap room necessary to take on a pair of unwanted contracts – and a pair of draft picks – in a trade of their own with the Nuggets.

According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), based on the conversations he had in Las Vegas, there was some confusion about why Atlanta used a chunk of its cap room on Lin rather than making a deal like the one Brooklyn did to add long-term assets.

As Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes, a source familiar with trade discussions said that the Hawks could have made a deal with Denver similar to the one the Nets made. However, Atlanta GM Travis Schlenk sounds high on Lin, Cunningham relays.

“We had the opportunity to add a veteran point guard to the locker room,” Schlenk said. “We’ve said all along that it takes high-character, good guys to help a young team grow. Jeremy fits the bill. We had two point guards on the roster, and we needed a third.”

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • While Schlenk won’t come out and say it, acquiring Lin would also provide some insurance in the event of a Dennis Schroder trade, according to Cunningham, who says it’s “obvious” that the Hawks want to move on from their starting point guard. A source tell Cunningham that Atlanta has been trying to trade Schroder for weeks, but hasn’t found much of a market for him.
  • Schroder’s below-average shooting and defense limit his appeal to some extent, but his legal troubles are the primary deterrent for potential trade partners, says Cunningham. Two people with knowledge of Schroder’s battery case tell Cunningham that the player and his lawyer have discussed a settlement with the alleged victim, and Hawks officials have expressed confidence internally that Schroder won’t spend any time in jail. However, other teams “apparently aren’t so sure,” Cunningham writes.
  • Speaking of Hawks point guards, last year’s backup Malcolm Delaney hasn’t technically had his free agent rights renounced by Atlanta, but he looks like a good bet to head elsewhere. According to a report from Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net, Delaney – who played overseas before joining the Hawks in 2016 – has received a contract offer from Turkish club Anadolu Efes.

Nets Notes: Lin, Faried, Napier, Vezenkov

The Nets weren’t convinced that point guard Jeremy Lin will be physically ready for training camp, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin, who was traded to the Hawks on Thursday, is coming off a ruptured patellar tendon that he suffered in last season’s opener.

The 29-year-old point guard hasn’t been medically cleared for three-on-three contact games and may take a while to get ready for five-on-five. He played just 37 games over two years after signing with Brooklyn in 2016 and carried a $12.5MM salary that the team needed to unload before completing a deal with Denver.

“I love Jeremy Lin because he represents the underdog in all of us — truly first class on and off the court,” tweeted co-owner Joe Tsai after the deal was completed. “Jeremy is not only exciting to watch, he sets an example for perseverance and leadership. We are great friends, and I will follow his progress no matter where he is.”

There’s more today out of Brooklyn:

  • The Nets had been trying for months to acquire Kenneth Faried from the Nuggets, Lewis adds in the same story. Brooklyn officials hoped to make a deal before last month’s draft, but Denver was unwilling to give up this year’s first-rounder, which it used to get Michael Porter Jr. Nets GM Sean Marks improved his bargaining position by unloading Timofey Mozgov to the Hornets and Lin to the Hawks, giving him enough cap room to take on Faried and Darrell Arthur while getting a future first-rounder and second-rounder.
  • Today’s agreement with Shabazz Napier will use up the last of the Nets’ remaining cap room, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Brooklyn has 14 players under contract, 13 with guaranteed money, and can now exceed the cap by finalizing deals with Joe Harris under the Early Bird exception and Ed Davis under the room mid-level exception.
  • Aleksandar Vezenkov, a second-round pick from 2016, will get a better chance to develop his skills after signing with Olympiacos in Greece this week, according to NetsDaily.com. A stretch four, Vezenkov spent last season with F.C. Barcelona, which allotted more minutes to players who weren’t likely to eventually leave for the NBA. That shouldn’t be a concern with Olympiacos, where Vezenkov will play for former Cavaliers coach David Blatt.

Nets Trade Jeremy Lin To Hawks

JULY 13: The trade is now official, according to a pair of press releases issued by the Nets and Hawks. Atlanta receives Lin, Brooklyn’s 2025 second-round pick, and the right to swap 2023 second-rounders with the Nets in exchange for Cordinier and a heavily-protected 2020 second-rounder, as detailed below.

[RELATED: Cap implications of the trade for Nets, Hawks]

JULY 12: The Nets have agreed to a trade that will send Jeremy Lin to the Hawks, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will allow Brooklyn to clear the cap space necessary to take on a pair of expiring contracts from the Nuggets in another deal.

According to Wojnarowski, the Nets will receive Portland 2020’s second-round pick (top-55 protected) and the rights to 2016 draft-and-stash second-rounder Isaia Cordinier in the trade.

In addition to Lin, the Hawks will acquire a 2025 second-round pick and the right to swap picks with the Nets in 2023, Woj adds. His report doesn’t mention anything about first-round picks, so we’ll assume for now that the ’23 pick swap applies to second-rounders.

For the Hawks, adding Lin will mean further bolstering a point guard depth chart that already features leading scorer Dennis Schroder and fifth overall pick Trae Young. Schroder has been frequently cited as a potential trade candidate and Young’s performance in Summer League action has been up and down, so Lin could provide some added stability at the position. His presence also could expedite a Schroder trade, as Wojnarowski reports.

Of course, it may be premature to pencil in Lin for 25-30 minutes per game for the upcoming season, since he’s coming off a major knee injury. The veteran point guard admitted recently that he has yet to play 5-on-5 ball, but fully expects to be ready for training camp. The Hawks plan to keep him, tweets David Aldridge of TNT.

As we detailed earlier today, the Hawks had upwards of $18MM in cap room available, with the flexibility to increase that number to nearly $24MM by renouncing free agents and waiving non-guaranteed players. No additional moves will be required in order to absorb Lin’s $12.5MM expiring contract using their current cap space.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), Lin also had a 10% trade kicker, so if he doesn’t waive it as part of the deal, the Nets would pay that $1.25MM bonus and the 29-year-old’s cap hit would increase to $13.75MM.

General manager Travis Schlenk had said that the Hawks didn’t expect to pursue major free agents, noting that the team’s “free agency is going to be trades.” The acquisition of Lin reflects that plan, though it’s still a somewhat surprising move. Given where the Hawks are in their rebuilding process, it would have made more sense to me if Atlanta had used its cap room to take on the Nuggets’ unwanted contracts and acquired a pair of picks in the process.

That’s exactly what the Nets will do with their newly-created cap room after moving Lin. As we detail in a separate story, shedding Lin’s salary will allow Brooklyn to take on Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur from Denver. The Nets will receive a first-round pick and a second-round pick from the Nuggets for their troubles.

Meanwhile, the Nets should still have plenty of depth in their backcourt heading into the 2018/19 season, with Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell capable of handling point guard duties.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Examining How A Carmelo Anthony Trade Could Work

The Thunder have talked to the Nets about a possible trade involving Carmelo Anthony, according to Mitch Lawrence of Forbes and The Sporting News, who reports (via Twitter) that Brooklyn would be looking to move Jeremy Lin in such a deal. The Nets, who would want draft picks, would buy out or waive Anthony if they acquired him, Lawrence adds.

While it may be true that the Thunder and Nets have explored a potential trade, it’s hard to see how it would work with Lin as the primary outgoing piece. After buying out Dwight Howard, the Nets reportedly have a little less than $11MM in cap room available, so they wouldn’t necessarily have to match Anthony’s $27.93MM salary, since salary-matching rules only apply to over-the-cap teams. Still, they’d have to send out more than Lin’s $12.5MM expiring contract in order to remain under the cap after completing a deal.

The Nets could create a little extra space by waiving Isaiah Whitehead, who has a non-guaranteed $1.54MM salary, but they’d still be about $4MM short of having enough outgoing salary to complete a Lin-for-Anthony swap while remaining under the cap.

The Nets players who earn less than Lin are youngsters with positive value, so the team wouldn’t simply throw them into an offer to make the money work. Adding a highly-paid vet like Allen Crabbe or DeMarre Carroll wouldn’t make much sense from the Thunder’s perspective, since their goal is to cut costs.

On top of all the cap-related roadblocks in the way of a potential swap, Brian Lewis of The New York Post notes (via Twitter) that Lin has been told the Nets will tell him if they plan to trade him. As Lewis relays, Lin hasn’t gotten a call at this point, so if there have been trade discussions, they likely haven’t gotten serious.

“My agent called me just to clarify,” Lin told Lewis. “But no, I don’t think there’s any… I don’t think that has any truth to it.”

While a Thunder/Nets swap seems like a long shot, we know that Oklahoma City is exploring potential trade options involving Anthony before simply buying him out or waiving him. The Lin example is instructive for laying out how a potential deal could work.

Although no team has the cap space necessary to absorb Anthony’s contract outright, the Nets and three other teams – the Kings, Bulls, and Hawks – have enough room to send out significantly less salary than they receive. That makes them potential trade partners for the Thunder, who are looking for ways to reduce a potential record-breaking tax bill.

For instance, the Kings are currently about $19MM below the cap. That means they could trade a player like Iman Shumpert ($11MM salary) to Oklahoma City and take back Anthony without going over the cap. That would be ideal for the Thunder, who could waive and stretch Shumpert across three seasons and create an annual cap hit of about $3.67MM instead of the $9.31MM annual cap charge that waiving Anthony would create (assuming neither player gives back money in a buyout). The tax savings for OKC in 2018/19 would be massive, and the smaller annual cap charges would help reduce the team’s tax bills in future seasons too.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Stretch Provision]

So what would be in it for the Thunder’s trade partners? They wouldn’t be hanging onto Anthony, who has a no-trade clause and almost certainly wouldn’t approve a trade to a non-contender unless he knew he’d be waived shortly thereafter. So presumably any team willing to talk trade with the Thunder would be seeking draft picks and/or young players along with Carmelo.

The problem is that Oklahoma City isn’t exactly asset-rich on either front. Terrance Ferguson is really the only intriguing young prospect on the Thunder’s roster, and the team’s 2020 first-round pick (top-20 protected) is committed to Orlando.

The Stepien rule prevents teams from trading back-to-back future first-round picks, so the Thunder wouldn’t be able to trade their 2019 first-rounder outright, and would have to get creative with conditions in order to trade any other first-rounder before 2022.

It’s possible that 2022 and 2024 first-round picks would entice one of those teams with cap room to use up the rest of their space on Anthony, only to subsequently waive him. But the further in the future those picks are, the less they’ll appeal to current general managers, who have no assurances they’ll even still hold their jobs by 2022 or 2024.

One intriguing option would be for one of those teams with cap room to trade a multiyear contract to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony. That way there would be a little more incentive for OKC’s trade partner to make a deal, since that club would be clearing cap room for future free agent periods. It also wouldn’t necessarily hurt the Thunder, who could spread the player’s money across more than three seasons using the stretch provision if he’s on a multiyear deal.

Omer Asik of the Bulls would be a perfect target for the Thunder in this scenario. Asik is earning $11.29MM in 2018/19, then has a $3MM guarantee on his 2019/20 salary. If the Thunder acquire him, they could stretch his remaining guaranteed money ($14.29MM) across five seasons for an annual cap hit of just $2.86MM.

The Bulls, meanwhile, would be able to clear $3MM from their books for the summer of 2019 — that’s not a huge amount, but if the team wants to be players in free agency next year, that added flexibility could come in handy. Of course, from Chicago’s perspective, including a contract like Cristiano Felicio‘s ($24MM over three years) in such a deal would probably be preferable to moving Asik’s.

Another way for the Thunder to increase trade interest in Anthony would be to attach its 2020 first-round pick with reverse protection. The 2020 selection traded to the Magic will only change hands if it falls between 21 and 30, so OKC could theoretically send that pick to another team if it lands in the top 20.

Given the lack of teams with cap room around the NBA and the dearth of appealing assets the Thunder could attach to Anthony, a trade ultimately seems unlikely. Simply waiving and stretching Carmelo would create upwards of $90-100MM in tax savings for Oklahoma City, and that number could increase if the veteran forward accepts a buyout. That’s probably where we’re headed, as interesting as the trade scenarios are to consider.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New York Notes: Robinson, Lin, Nets, Noah

Despite some speculation that he may be a first-rounder, the Knicks were able to nab Mitchell Robinson with the 36th overall pick in last month’s draft. That was never a lock though, and a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that the Knicks mulled the possibility of trading up a few spots in the draft to make sure they’d be able to grab the young center.

Robinson, who signed his first NBA contract on Sunday, looked good in Summer League play later in the day, putting up 12 points and 11 rebounds with a pair of blocks against Utah. As Berman writes in a separate article for The Post, the rookie big man still wants to get in better shape, but is optimistic that he’ll be able to make an impact for the Knicks.

“I feel I really can play in the NBA,” Robinson said. “Nowadays you got the 7-footer who can jump out of the gym. I’m one of them. It will work out great for me.”

Here’s more from out of New York on the Knicks and Nets:

  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post checks in on Jeremy Lin‘s recovery from a torn patellar tendon. While the Nets point guard hasn’t played five-on-five ball yet, he anticipates being ready to go for training camp.
  • In another story for The Post, Lewis explores what’s next for the Nets now that Dwight Howard‘s buyout has been finalized. That agreement opened up more cap room, but GM Sean Marks doesn’t sound like he’s in a hurry to spend it. “I wouldn’t rule anything out. I’d just say we’re constantly weighing our options,” Marks said. “We’re going to be strategic and see how [free agency] comes. The longer the process is drawn out and going into July, there will probably be better deals out there.”
  • Joakim Noah‘s future with the Knicks remains a question mark, but the big man sounds enthusiastic about the idea of staying in New York and playing for new head coach David Fizdale, as he told TMZ this weekend.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post takes a closer look at Juwan Howard Jr., who is playing for the Knicks in Summer League and hopes to get an invite to join the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate. Fizdale, of course, has a good relationship with Howard’s father from their days in Miami.

Nets Notes: Howard, Lin, Cap Room, Davis

Dwight Howard would have happily played for the Nets if the team hadn’t insisted on a buyout, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Howard tried to force a trade to Brooklyn in 2012 before being shipped from the Magic to the Lakers, and he still likes the idea of living and playing in New York City, sources tell Lewis. However, Brooklyn’s front office had no interest in a long-term arrangement and was focused solely on creating cap space for next summer when it acquired Howard from the Hornets in exchange for Timofey Mozgov and two second-round picks.

“If you look at the way we’re trying to build a team and you look at going forward years out from now, this is something that helps us going forward for next year,” GM Sean Marks said. “Dwight’s a terrific player. He’s been a terrific player in this league for a long time. I think this is something that we mutually agreed on, to give him an opportunity elsewhere.”

There’s more tonight out of Brooklyn:

  • The Nets have a large group of point guards on their roster, but Marks says there’s no urgency to do anything to resolve it now, including a trade of Jeremy Lin, Lewis writes in the same story. Injuries limited Lin to one game last season and 37 in his two years with the organization. “There’s absolutely no need for us to rush and go out there to do any particular deals to solve the so-called glut,” Marks said. “You look at the team now, that’s what we’ve got and that’s what we’re planning on. We’re planning on going into the season with that team.”
  • Howard, who has already agreed to a two-year, $11MM deal in Washington once he clears waivers, gave back $5MM in his buyout with the Nets, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. That leaves Brooklyn with about $11.6MM in remaining cap room, according to Lewis (Twitter link).
  • Marks was ecstatic to add former Trail Blazers big man Ed Davis in free agency at the bargain price of $4.4MM, relays Tom Dowd of NBA.com. Brooklyn suffered from a lack of size on its roster last season and didn’t have an effective backup to starting center Jarrett Allen“We need an enforcer type,” Marks said. “We need toughness, and Ed brings a lot of that to our group. He’s been around winning organizations, so for him to come in and bring some of that expertise and experience will be great for our group and our younger guys.”

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Lin, Sixers, Kanter, Celtics

The Nets had legitimate interest in Julius Randle before he agreed to sign with the Pelicans, sources tell Brian Lewis of The New York Post. With Randle off the board, however, Brooklyn may not look to make a major splash in free agency after reaching deals with Joe Harris and Ed Davis. If the team returns to the free agent market, it will likely be for “under-the-radar types,” according to Lewis, who identifies Davis Bertans as one possible target.

There’s a chance that the Nets could still be active on the trade market as well. While a Monday report suggested the club isn’t actively shopping anyone, including Jeremy Lin, league sources tell Lewis that they’ve heard Lin could be dealt during the offseason. Without a major free agent target in their sights though, the Nets likely won’t be eager to get out from under the point guard’s $12.5MM+ expiring contract to create more spending flexibility.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Sixers have removed the cap hold for 2017 first-rounder Anzejs Pasecniks from their 2018/19 cap, according to RealGM’s official transactions log. Philadelphia still holds Pasecniks’ NBA rights, but the move ensure that he won’t sign with the club for the coming season.
  • After opting into the final year of his contract, Enes Kanter said in an interview with MSG Network that he wishes he could’ve signed for longer, but is happy to remain with the Knicks (Twitter link via ESPN’s Ian Begley). It sounds like Kanter wanted to opt out of his deal in order to secure a long-term contract with New York, but the club wasn’t interested in adding long-term money to its books this offseason, preferring to maximize its cap flexibility for 2019.
  • Introduced by the Celtics today after signing a minimum-salary deal with the team, Brad Wanamaker said he has been looking for an opportunity to come to the NBA for the last couple years. “It’s a dream come true to play in the NBA and with a team like Boston,” the EuroLeague standout said, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Celtics rookie Robert Williams, who slipped to No. 27 in the draft in part due to reported character concerns, hasn’t exactly been making a great impression to start his NBA career. After sleeping through an introductory conference call on the day after the draft, Williams missed his flight to Boston for the start of Summer League practices over the weekend, tweets ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.

New York Notes: Harris, Davis, Nets, Hezonja

Before he agreed to a two-year, $16MM deal with the Nets, free agent sharpshooter Joe Harris fielded competitive offers from rival suitors. However, he tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic that his priority was remaining in Brooklyn.

“I had some offers for longer-term deals, but ultimately from the get-go, I had basically said that I wanted to stay in Brooklyn and however we could come to an agreement on that,” Harris said.

Meanwhile, the Nets’ other noteworthy July 1 move involved reaching a contract agreement with Ed Davis, who will ink a one-year, $4.4MM contract with the club. According to Scotto, Davis received interest from the Warriors, Sixers, Thunder, and Trail Blazers before striking a deal with the Nets.

Here are a few more notes on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • The Nets are not actively shopping anyone on their roster in trade talks, a league source tells Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That includes Jeremy Lin, who has a $12.5MM expiring contract in 2018/19 and will be part of a point guard rotation that also includes Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell.
  • Within his report on Mario Hezonja‘s agreement with the Knicks, Marc Berman of The New York Post notes that the forward chose New York over seven other teams, including the runner-up Trail Blazers. “The main reason is David Fizdale. He sold him,” a source told Berman. “The goal is to be here long term and finish his career. He was a fan of the team growing up.” Hezonja’s deal significantly reduces the odds of Michael Beasley returning to the Knicks, Berman adds.
  • Nets restricted free agent Milton Doyle has drawn interest from the Timberwolves and an Eastern Conference team, among others, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). A two-way player last year, Doyle could sign an offer sheet with another club, but Brooklyn would have the chance to match it.

New York Notes: Randle, Stauskas, Knicks, Turner

The Nets are among the teams interested in signing Lakers forward Julius Randle to an offer sheet, according to an article on NetsDaily. Brooklyn would like to reunite D’Angelo Russell with Randle, who is a close friend and one of the few Lakers who showed support for Russell when Magic Johnson publicly questioned his leadership abilities. They also share the same agent in Aaron Mintz.

A few things will have to break the Nets’ way for them to have a shot at Randle. The Lakers will have to land both LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, limiting what they would be willing to spend on their restricted free agent, and the Mavericks, who are also known to covet Randle, would have to use most of their cap room to sign DeAndre Jordan.

Even if those dominoes fall into place, the Nets still have to trim some salary to come up with an offer sheet that starts in the $12MM to $15MM range. The article states that sweeteners such as up-front money and trade bonuses could be included to make it more difficult for the Lakers to match. To create cap room, the author adds, the Nets would have to get Dwight Howard to accept a buyout in the next few days and trade either Jeremy Lin or DeMarre Carroll.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • Even though the Nets decided against a qualifying offer for Nik Stauskas, that doesn’t mean he’ll be in a different uniform next season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn views Stauskas as a lower-cost alternative if Joe Harris leaves in free agency, where he is expected to get a deal three to four times higher than his $1.5MM salary for 2017/18. Mark Bartelstein, who serves as the agent for both players, isn’t sure the decision will come down to one or the other. “We’ll see how things play out over the next two days,” he said. “We’ll be keeping the lines of communication open for the next few days. I know the Nets like Nik a lot. We’ll see how the roster shapes up.”
  • Pacers center Myles Turner could be the Knicks‘ top free agent target next summer, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Turner will be a restricted free agent if he doesn’t sign an extension with Indiana this summer. His family lives in New York, and he and Kristaps Porzingis are friends. Begley lists Terry Rozier and Malcolm Brogdon as other names to watch in 2019.
  • James Dolan has denied rumors that he is thinking about putting the Knicks up for sale, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Madison Square Garden Company released a statement Friday night saying, “There are no plans to sell the Knicks or the Rangers.”