Tea Knicks are trading center Nerlens Noel and guard Alec Burks to the PistonsESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweet.
The Knicks will unload more than $19MM in 2022/23 salary in the deal, providing ample cap space to sign free agent guard Jalen Brunson. Noel has a $9.24MM salary next season, while Burks is due approximately $10MM.
Both players are signed through the 2023/24 season, but there are team options in the final year of their respective contracts — Noel at $9.68MM and Burks at approximately $10.5MM. Thus, those salaries could come off the Pistons’ cap next summer.
New York will send Detroit back its 2023 second-round pick, plus a 2024 second-round pick via the Heat and $6MM in cash as sweeteners to take those contracts off its books, Wojnarowski reports in a separate tweet. The Pistons can absorb those salaries without giving back salaries, since they project to have more cap space than any other team.
The Knicks and Pistons were involved in a three-way draft-night deal that included the Hornets. In that trade, Detroit also took Kemba Walker‘s contract off New York’s books. While the Hornets and Knicks have completed their half of that trade, the Pistons’ and Knicks’ half isn’t yet official, so it could be folded into Tuesday’s agreement.
New York won’t necessarily have to waive Taj Gibson now in its pursuit of Brunson, John Hollinger of The Athletic notes (through Twitter). However, doing so would give the team approximately $30MM in total projected cap space, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweet.
As Marks notes (Twitter link), there’s no way Dallas can offer Brunson that kind of money without serious tax implications. Signing Brunson to a $30M contract would cost the Mavericks a total of $130MM in salary and tax penalties in one season alone, Marks says.
The Pistons plan on keeping Burks and Noel, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Burks, a 38% career 3-point shooter, will give the Pistons a perimeter threat on the wing who can help mentor the young backcourt of Cade Cunningham and rookie Jaden Ivey. Noel provides depth in the middle behind Isaiah Stewart and rookie Jalen Duren.
Despite the addition of Noel, the Pistons are still committed to bringing back restricted free agent Marvin BagleyOmari Sankofa of the Detroit Free Press tweet.