New York Knicks: Pros and cons of potential trade for Jabari Parker

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Courtney Lee Tim Hardaway Jr. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Pro: The opportunity to remove a 2019-20 contract

For the New York Knicks, it’s all about 2019 free agency. They did not hand out a multi-year contract last summer to preserve cap space for July, as $29 million will open for the front office to work with.

It’s a high number, but not the allotted amount to hand Kevin Durant a maximum contract. That’s not enough for Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving, either.

So, despite all the money that will come off the books, the Knicks still need to shed a contract from their 2019-20 payroll.

Enter the Bulls and Parker.

Given the $20 million salary for the Chicago, IL native, it allows the Knicks to work in any of their eight-figure contracts, including Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr.

New York wants to move Lee. That’s not unknown. He will make $12.75 million next season and assumes a significant chunk of Parker’s salary. Add Hezonja’s $6.5 million, and it’s enough to make this transaction work from a money perspective.

For Hardaway, he will make $18.15 million next year and owns an $18.97 million player option for 2020-21. That’s a little more complicated to move. Plus. he’s the Knicks’ top scorer without Kristaps Porzingis, and they looked poor offensively without the Michigan product.

That goes back to Lee. If the Knicks offered him and Hezonja for Parker, would draft pick compensation also be included? It’s future money for Chicago to take on. Unless they are comfortable with that, or do not own leverage since they want to move Parker and already demoted him from the rotation, it might be a tall task.

However, it’s still a swing to take, and if the Knicks can pull it off, Perry and president Steve Mills will look like masterminds.