MANILA, Philippines – The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed on a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks that will land them former NBA Sixth Man of the Year JR Smith and guard Iman Shumpert, according to multiple NBA sources.
In exchange, the Knicks (5-31) will receive Cleveland rookie center Alex Kirk, veteran forward Lou Amundson, and a 2019 second-round draft pick. Oklahoma City will attain explosive third-year guard Dion Waiters from the Cavs (19-16), and will give Cleveland a protected future first-round draft pick while also handing guard Lance Thomas to the Knicks.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal helps the Knicks clear up the $6.4 million owed to Smith for the 2015-2016 NBA season and helps give New York approximated $28 million to spend in salary cap space for this upcoming offseason.
In a statement issued on the New York’s official website, Knicks president Phil Jackson said the trade was made “to improve our ability to compete.”
“In addition, these transactions improve our flexibility to the current roster and the salary cap for future seasons.”
Waiters, who’s currently averaging 10.5 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.7 RPG, is going to be another addition to the loaded bench of the Thunder (17-17).
Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said on the team’s official website that it was a tough decision letting go of Waiters.
“Dion is a talented player with potential ahead of him. Trades like this are always difficult to make because there are relationships and bonds built and that was the case with Dion.”
Shumpert continues to remain sidelined due to a shoulder injury and is currently averaging 9.3 PPG, 3.3 APG, and 3.4 RPG. Smith has been putting up 10.9 PPG, 3.4 APG, and 2.4 RPG this season.
The Knicks are also expected to waive center Samuel Dalembert. – Rappler.com