Tadija Dragicevic

Knicks Add Austin Rivers Via Sign-And-Trade

The Knicks have officially completed their addition of Austin Rivers in a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets rather than signing him outright, announcing the move today in a press release.

The move also sends the draft rights of three players – guard Sergio Llull, forward Tadija Dragicevic, and forward Axel Hervelle – to New York. In exchange, the Rockets receive the draft rights to guard Issuf Sanon and create a modest trade exception.

Rivers had agreed over the weekend to sign a three-year, $10MM deal with the Knicks. The final two years of his new contract are non-guaranteed, which is permitted under sign-and-trade rules.

The inclusion of Llull in this deal is the most interesting new piece of information. The Rockets have long attempted to get the Spanish guard, who was selected 34th overall in the 2009 draft, to come stateside and play in the NBA, but he has preferred to remain in his home country with Real Madrid — he has played for the EuroLeague club since 2007.

At age 33, Llull seems increasingly unlikely to ever make the move to the NBA. That’s even more true of Dragicevic and Hervelle, who were drafted in 2008 and 2005, respectively, and are in their mid-30s now. However, their rights could be useful as filler in future trades.

Sanon, who has played for Slovenian and Ukrainian teams since being drafted in 2018, is still a candidate to eventually sign an NBA contract. He was the 44th overall pick two years ago and is still just 21 years old.

Of course, the only player of immediate importance in the deal is Rivers, who will add some veteran experience to the Knicks’ backcourt in 2020/21. He averaged 8.8 PPG and 2.6 RPG on .421/.356/.703 shooting in 68 games (23.4 MPG) for the Rockets last season.

New York will technically be hard-capped as a result of acquiring a player via sign-and-trade. The team remains far below the cap for the time being though, so it’s fair to assume that $138.93MM hard cap won’t become an issue in 2020/21.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bulls, Rockets Complete Carmelo Anthony Trade

The Rockets and Bulls have completed the Carmelo Anthony deal, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter link). The Bulls have confirmed the trade is official.

Anthony will head to Chicago along with the draft rights to Jon Diebler and approximately $1.56MM in cash while Houston will receive the draft rights to Tadija Dragicevic.

Diebler is a 30-year-old shooting guard who was originally drafted with the No. 51 overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Blazers. Dragicevic, who will turn 33 later this month, is a power forward who was selected with the No. 53 overall pick back in 2008 by the Jazz. Both players currently play in Turkey. Neither player has any NBA experience and it’s unlikely either “prospect” makes his way to the league any time soon.

The Bulls are not expected to play Anthony but will likely either release him or scour the league for a trade. Anthony reportedly wants to find a place where he can make an impact.

The cost for picking up Anthony’s salary at this stage of the season is $675K, so the cash Chicago is receiving more than enough to covers his deal. The Rockets are facing luxury tax concerns, so moving him allows the franchise to lower their anticipated tax payment.

Anthony played just 10 games for the Rockets, averaging 13.4 points per game.  The fit wasn’t there in Houston and he’ll likely wait until after the trade deadline to find a new home. The Lakers reportedly have some interest, though the team’s roster is full and the franchise doesn’t want to waive a player on a guaranteed contract in order to add the 10-time All-Star.

Southwest Notes: Carmelo, Cousins, Faried, DSJ

The Carmelo Anthony trade between the Rockets and Bulls is still expected to get done at some point soon, but the trade call has yet to take place, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. According to Stein, the deal may have to be amended due to a discrepancy involving the rights to a draft-and-stash player.

In addition to receiving Anthony and cash in the trade, the Bulls are also expected to receive the rights to Marko Todorovic, while the Rockets receive Tadija Dragicevic‘s rights, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. However, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), the NBA has made an effort to crack down on swaps that include a player who aren’t expected to ever come stateside. It’s not clear if those efforts will impact what the Rockets/Bulls swap ultimately looks like.

Let’s round up a few more items from out of the Southwest…

  • Within an article about DeMarcus Cousins‘ free agency and his debut with Golden State, the big man admits to Shams Charania of The Athletic that he hasn’t forgotten about how his time with the Pelicans playing alongside Anthony Davis ended. “I think about our pairing all the time,” Cousins said. “Me and A.D. talk about it. It’s f—ed up. It could’ve been something great, something special, but other people had different things in mind. That’s out of our control, and you never know what’ll happen later on down the line.”
  • After sitting on the bench in Denver and Brooklyn, Kenneth Faried is happy to have an opportunity to play an actual role for the Rockets, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details. “The coaches and team believe in me,” Faried said. “They want me to come out and do what I do. I’m excited to be here.”
  • The Mavericks are listing Dennis Smith Jr. as a probable starter for his return game tonight, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, who tweets that the club never discussed a possible move to the bench with Smith before his sabbatical.
  • Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic has been fined $10K for kicking the game ball into the stands during Saturday’s game, the NBA announced today in a press release.

Bulls Trade Greg Smith To Mavs

MONDAY, 6:18pm: The Mavericks have announced that the trade is official. Dallas acquires Smith from the Bulls in exchange for the rights to Tadija Dragicevic.

9:24pm: Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com confirms the trade is happening, and is told that the Mavs will give up virtually nothing in the deal (Twitter link).

SATURDAY, 10:40pm: The Bulls are expected to trade Greg Smith to the Mavs by Monday, a league source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune confirms that a trade is in the works, but stops short of calling it a done deal (on Twitter). Chicago is looking to clear Smith’s salary, at just under $950K, to aid in their ongoing efforts in free agency.

Smith was signed by the Bulls after the Rockets waived the center during the season. The 23-year-old was injured at the time, arriving amid a slew of late-season pickups that gave the Bulls cap flexibility for this year while helping them reach the roster minimum. Details of compensation from Dallas are unknown, but they would likely be modest for a recovering player on a minimum contract.

Smith played in 70 games for Houston in the 2012/13 season, but that was sandwiched between a total of 19 appearances in his other two seasons in the NBA. If healthy, he could fill a need for Dallas, who were reportedly interested in re-signing fellow big man DeJuan Blair at the minimum salary.

Odom To Clips, Williams To Jazz In 4-Team Deal

The four-team deal between the Jazz, Mavericks, Clippers and Rockets that sends Lamar Odom to the Clippers and Mo Williams to Utah has been finalized, according to a release by the Mavs.

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