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The New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed a multi-faceted six-player trade with JR Smith and Iman Shumpert leaving New York.
As part of the deal, Dion Waiters will go to the Thunder, Smith and Shumpert go to the Cavs and three players with non-guaranteed contracts, Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas join the Knicks.
The Thunder are also sending a protected future first-round pick to the Cavs and the Cavs are sending their 2019 second-round pick to the Knicks.
OKC are sending a protected 2015 first-round pick to Cleveland in the trade, the Cavs will get the pick if it falls outside the top 18 this year or if it falls outside the top 15 in 2016 or 2017. If it doesn’t work out that way, it becomes two second-round picks instead, according to sources.
Despite their need for big man cover after the loss of Anderson Varejao, the Cavs have looked to bolster their bench with the acquisition of Smith while Shumpert will help them with wing defense after he recovers from a dislocated shoulder he suffered last month.
Meanwhile, the Thunder used a trade exception to execute the deal and acquired Waiters to add another spark off their bench and provide insurance for Reggie Jackson who is in the final year of his contract.
In contrast, the deal appears to be purely financially motivated for the Knicks both short term and long term as they have the option to waive all three players by Wednesday and not owe them anything.
The Knicks also waived center Samuel Dalembert which will save them $3.8m, and in total along with the other moves, the team will save more than $20m in salary and luxury taxes.
“These transactions improve our flexibility to the current roster and the salary cap for future seasons,” Knicks team president Phil Jackson said in a statement.