According to Al Iannazzone, the Knicks are “exploring whether they can get Dahntay Jones from Indiana in a trade.”
At first, I was like, “oh, fantastic. We can do a Gadzuric for Jones swap,” but after taking a closer look, it won’t be that easy.
As you all know, Dan Gadzuric’s $1,352,181 can be shipped out in a trade that would send $2,128,271 back to the Knicks. Unfortunately, Dahntay Jones had a player option of $2,900,000 for the upcoming season and chose to pick it up last year. Because of that, any Gadzuric for Jones swap would be illegal, since the Knicks would be taking back ~$700,000 more than they’re allowed to. A deal can still be put together, though.
Yes, Dan Gadzuric is the only remaining non-guaranteed contract on the team, but the Knicks could use Jared Jeffries, Mike Bibby or Baron Davis in a potential deal, if they were to agree to it. All three players are currently free-agents, but the Knicks could sign-and-trade one of them with Dan Gadzuric to the Indiana Pacers, sending out enough money to take back Jones.
Jared Jeffries, Mike Bibby and Baron Davis could all be given three-year deals (a restriction for sign-and-trades), with just the first-year guaranteed. Of course, the Pacers would have to be content taking one of the players, but since the Knicks can send out some money (~$1 million) to cover nearly 80% of the veteran’s minimum salary, it might make it a bit easier.
If I had to bet, Jared Jeffries might be the player the Knicks approach to send to Indiana, as he’s from there, and would contribute the most to the team. Mike Bibby could be an option, too, because unlike Baron Davis, he could actually play basketball this season.
UDPATE: Actually, on second thought, the Pacers might be willing to do such a deal without acquiring second round picks or even cash to cover the incoming player’s salary. I’m going to use Jared Jeffries for arguments sake, not because I think he’s leaving.
Dealing Dahntay Jones for, essentially, Jared Jeffries (Gadzuric will be waived immediately) would save the Pacers ~$1.5 million. Jeffries would make $1,352,181, the veteran’s minimum for a 10 year veteran, while Dahntay Jones will make $2,900,000. If the Pacers don’t see Jones in their future, they could flip him to New York to clear up some cap space.
If a deal was to occur, it would have to include Gadzuric’s non-guaranteed deal and a sign-and-trade of Bibby, Jeffries or Davis. The Pacer’s might agree to it since they would shed ~$1.5 million, but if they don’t value cap space highly enough, the Knicks could include cash considerations and/or future second round draft picks.
UPDATE #2: Dahntay Jones was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, along with Darren Collison. While the Knicks can no longer pull off such a deal for Jones, a sign-and-trade using Jeffries, Bibby or Davis’ contract is still possible.