It has been nearly 40 years since the New York Knicks last won an NBA Title; however on Saturday the team put the pieces in place to possibly hoist their first Championship banner at Madison Square Garden since the era when Willis Reed and Walt Frazier struck fear in every club in the Association. The “New York Post” has reported that the Knicks completed a three team trade that will put center Tyson Chandler in a New York uniform for the next four years. The center who helped the Dallas Mavericks win their first NBA Title last June came to the Knickerbockers in a three team trade that involved the Mavericks and the Washington Wizards.
According to the report, the Mavericks got the deal rolling by completing a sign and trade of their former center to New York.The four year deal signed by Chandler is reportedly worth $58 million over the life of the contract. Dallas receives guard Andy Rautins from New York; but even more importantly will now have salary cap flexibility to go after another man in the middle. The Knicks acquire Chandler as well as the signing rights to Dallas draft picks who are not currently playing in the Association; Ahmad Nivins and Giorgos Printezis. The Wizards got big man Rony Turiaf from New York plus a second round draft selection for 2013. Washington sent the Mavericks a second round pick from next June’s NBA Draft.
The acquisition of the center from Dallas did not come without a price for the Knicks as they used their “NBA Amnesty Clause” to put veteran point guard Chauncey Billups on waivers in order to clear cap space for Chandler’s contract. Billups will be paid $14.2 million for the upcoming campaign, but the money will not be counted against the Knicks salary cap. The veteran point guard was acquired by New York last February in the deal that also sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. His departure leaves the club with very few options at the point; there have been reports that the club could go after Free Agent veteran Mike Bibby to fill the void.
The Mavericks reportedly have interest in going after veteran center Samuel Dalembert, although there has been talk that they may try to talk with the Orlando Magic to explore trading for center Dwight Howard. Howard will become a Free Agent at the end of the current season, and the Magic is starting to explore their options.
Knicks Team Owner James Dolan; who has gone from a reviled figure in NYC a couple of years ago to become the toast of the town, praised the acquisition of Chandler at the press conference the team held on Saturday to introduce the newest Knicks player. Dolan told reporters “He’s going to love it in New York and the fans are going to love him back.”