The New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings engaged in some wheeling and dealing on Wednesday. The Knicks sent forward Jeremy Tyler and guard Wayne Ellington to Sacramento in exchange for Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw. This is not a blockbuster trade, but it reshapes two rosters and will naturally lead to a lot of questions in the coming days.
What This Means For The Knicks
In the aftermath of this trade, the Knicks are taking a very specific line in terms of what they claim is the motivation for the trade. New York general manager Steve Mills, presumably at the behest of team president Phil Jackson, is saying that the trade is meant to even out the roster and provide support for Carmelo Anthony at small forward with the addition of Outlaw. As for Acy, Mills told reporters that the organization was more attracted to the Baylor product as a result of seeing him play in the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League.
There’s one other aspect to this trade that is part of the actual news story. This deal reduces the level of protection on the Knicks’ 2016 second-round pick, which was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers and subsequently shipped to Sacramento. That trade was first protected between the 31st and 37th picks, but the scope of protection will now decrease. This feels like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic for the Knicks, but if this team feels more comfortable with the players it is bringing aboard for Jackson and first-year head coach Derek Fisher, it’s worth it. If Outlaw and Acy are better at working the triangle offense the Knicks are presumably going to use, this could pay dividends. One extra detail to think about here when considering them as NBA betting picks is that Sacramento is such a broken and dysfunctional organization that the Knicks might think they can improve how Outlaw and Acy play on the court. That might be where New York thinks it can make a killing on this deal.
What This Means For The Kings
In the acquisitions of Tyler and Ellington, the Kings are getting a pair of modest players. Ellington is a natural shooter, but Tyler does not bring a whole lot to an NBA roster. Acy has more upside, and Outlaw has some veteran experience. It seems as though Sacramento is trading downward to save some money and perhaps look to build in other areas. If the Kings think this trade directly improves their roster, they’re likely to be proven wrong. If the Kings are trying to free up other assets for bigger and better moves, then this trade makes reasonable and rational sense for them. It’s going to be interesting to see how Sacramento handles the rest of its offseason, now that it has pulled the trigger on this exact transaction. It’s hard to look at this deal and think the Kings won it.
How To Bet The News
This isn’t a huge move but it’s yet another shrewd one by Phil Jackson and company. The team had ample big bodies with Cole Aldrich, Jason Smith and Samuel Dalembert already there. With Wayne Ellington, he likely wouldn’t have seen minutes since the team is clogged at the shooting guard position. So instead, the Knicks get Outlaw, who can provide some depth at small forward behind Carmelo Anthony.
While this won’t move the needle in terms of making this team a championship contender, it’s another piece of the puzzle – albeit a small one. It’s a move in the right direction. Don’t bet the Knicks to win the title at 50/1 but file them as a team that’s heading in the right direction.