After the New York Knicks fell to 5-15 on the season with an embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, it looks like the Knicks have made it known that everyone on the roster is available to be traded.
Everyone except for Carmelo Anthony that is.
The free agents the Knicks signed in the offseason are eligible to be traded as of Sunday with two exceptions. Cole Aldrich cannot be dealt until December 23 and J.R. Smith can’t be traded until January 15.
According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, no one on the roster, except for Anthony, is untouchable as December 15 approaches, the date where free agents and draft picks can be traded.
Given the way this team has been assembled and performed so far this season, it makes sense to blow as much of it up as possible in order to gain assets to build with in the future, because there aren’t any on this current roster.
Many feel that dealing Anthony would make the most sense as the Knicks could get a major return for him, but if he is off the table, the Knicks front office will have to get creative to improve this team.
It will be extremely tough for the Knicks to do so.
Finding a taker for Amar’e Stoudemire, the team’s highest-paid player, could be next to impossible, given that he’s making nearly $21.7 million this year and is set for more than $23.4 millionnext season.
Only four Knicks have deals that end after this season, but they’re among the cheapest on the books, and Chris Smith‘s minimum salary for 2014-15 is non-guaranteed.
Andrea Bargnani’s salary will also be extremely difficult to move.
That leaves guys like Raymond Felton and Smith, who if the Knicks could get anything for either player, should jump at the opportunity, but neither player has much value at the moment.
That brings us back to Iman Shumpert, who has been rumored to be traded almost all season.
There are two problems here also.
One is the fact that Shumpert is struggling and his value seems to go down with each game. The other is that Shump doesn’t make much money and it will be very hard to convince another team to part with a young player on a team-friendly contract in return.
So while the Knicks seem to want to make quick changes, the simple fact that no one wants any of their current players is going to prove to be extremely difficult to make many, if any trades.
As long as they stick to their stance that Anthony is unavailable, I wouldn’t expect many helpful changes to this current roster, which in turn doesn’t offer much hope for improvement next year either.