Ryan Anderson, Heat ($15.6 million)
Once upon a time, Ryan Anderson was a rising stretch power forward for the Orlando Magic, working off Dwight Howard. He parlayed that into a run next to a young Anthony Davis, but injuries, nonexistent defense and a terrible contract tanked his value by age 29.
Now, Anderson is a salary-cap cog. This happened with the Houston Rockets, falling out of Mike D’Antoni‘s rotation. That led to a cast-off trade with the Phoenix Suns, where he barely played. Six months later, the Miami Heat took the 6-foot-10 veteran.
Anderson would have no impact on the New York Knicks in 2019-20, but his salary has some value. So they can take him from the Heat, who can clear cap space from their constricted payroll; it is projected at $129 million before the 2019 NBA Draft.
Moving Anderson does not dodge Miami from salary cap red, but it takes them away from the luxury tax threshold, which is a projected $132 million for 2019-20.
That takes the Heat one step closer to cap space, something they will not have until 2020. They can always wait another season for this to happen and not forfeit assets as a result, but if 2019’s free agent crop tempts them enough, it can mean Anderson is on the chopping block, again, with the Knicks as a viable suitor to eat his money.