Knicks trade Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel to Pistons to free up space for Jalen Brunson pursuit, report says

Knicks trade Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel to Pistons to free up space for Jalen Brunson pursuit, report says

Last week on draft night, the New York Knicks traded Kemba Walker and No. 13 pick (Jalen Duren) to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a future first-round pick. Now, days later, the two sides have come together to strike another deal.

This time, the Knicks will send Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, two future second-round picks and $6 million in cash to the Pistons to free up more space for their pursuit of Jalen Brunson, by Adrian Wojnarowski. The Pistons will not return any players to the Knicks as part of the deal.

By moving Burks and Noel, the Knicks will be able to wipe an additional $19 million off their books. Combined with the money paid in trading Walker, they now have around $30 million in cap space this summer, which will be more than enough for them. offer Brunson a deal worth $100 million over four years.

Early Tuesday, several reports suggested that Knicks are now favorites to sign Brunson. They hired his father as an assistant coach, worked to free up space and will now be able to make a competitive offer when free agency opens at 6 p.m. ET on June 30. With the Mavericks better prepared for immediate success, Brunson will be able to take on a new challenge in New York and also play a bigger role on offense.

It’s also worth noting that because the Knicks now have the cap space to sign Brunson, the Mavericks’ chances of saving the day by working out a sign and trade have been significantly reduced. As things stand, the Mavs stand to lose Brunson for nothing, which will be a blow to their hopes of making another playoff run next season.

As for the Pistons, this deal also impacts their summer plans. While reports after their successful project suggested they wouldn’t pursue Deandre Ayton again, there was still a chance they could go down that road. Now they are officially out of those draws. Instead, they’ll be happy to use their cap space to absorb expiring contracts and add asset projects in the process. Veterans like Burks and Noel can help set an example for their young team this season, and may even be knocked down at the deadline. Otherwise, they’ll expire next summer and the Pistons will have plenty of cap space to work from again.

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