The J.R. Smith experiment in NYC is over! The New York Knicks are officially the worst team in the NBA right now, they officially accepted that and started to clean house last night.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder, pulled off the six-player deal last night. In the deal, Dion Waiters goes to the Thunder, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert take their talents to Cleveland and the Knicks get Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson from the Cavs and Lance Thomas from the Thunder, they all have non-guaranteed contracts.
We know, we know, three players no one has any idea who they are, except those who play NBA 2K15 on a nightly basis. Do not fret though Knick fans this may have been finally a win for you guys, in the future. The move was a financial one in the short-term and long-term, the Knicks can waive the three players they received in the trade by Wednesday without owing them anything. They also released Samuel Dalembert, that move will save them $3.8 million on the books.With all of the moves the Knicks can save more than $ 20 million in salary and luxury taxes.
President of The Knicks and anointed savior Phil Jackson spoke on the trade:
As our journey moves through this season, we will search for the type of players that fit the style we hope to exhibit to our fans. Our desire to improve our ability to compete. These transactions improve our flexibility to the current roster and the salary cap for future seasons.
Knicks Head Coach Derek Fisher also spoke about the trade:
This was an impactful night in terms of, first, the three guys who are not with us anymore. I spoke to each of them before the game. I told them how much I and we appreciate the efforts made in this transition process. Trying to learn what we were offering, what we were teaching. All three guys made the effort to do so.
Especially in this league now, guys with expiring contracts, they don’t necessarily have possibly a long-term future. I think Phil is continuing to look at how we transition as we change the culture of the New York Knicks.
Fisher also believes the Knicks aren’t done making moves, could this be the end of Amare Stoudemire experiment as well ? We shall see.
From the outside looking in the Knicks are still a sorry team, BUT for Knick fans this is the moves they want to see their beloved Knicks make. Right now it’s about next season cause this season is an absolute joke and the Knicks are currently riding a 12 game losing streak. Knick fans needed a boost of confidence and these moves give them a little glimmer of hope.
Both J.R. and Iman took to their Instagram accounts to thank The Knicks and their loyal fans for supporting them.
I want to thank Mr. Dolan and the Knicks organization for giving me the opportunity to play for such a storied franchise over the past few seasons. I want to thank my teammates for their support and guidance. Most importantly, I want thank the fans of New York who are some of the most passionate basketball fans in the world. Playing in my hometown has been incredibly special and I will be forever grateful for having had the chance to wear a Knicks uniform. Though I look forward to starting a new chapter in Cleveland to join some of the best talent in the game in the quest for an NBA Championship, this great experience in New York will always stay with me. Thank you again, fans. Your support means the world.
All I can say is thank you to New York. For every opportunity and valuable lesson I’ve learned in my time spent there. Thank you to the @nyknicks for being a first class organization and thank you to the fans for being insanely in love with the franchise. Support is everything. Love is love. One last toast to the #knickstape. Sometimes the business side of the game hurts…Hope the guys can turn it around. Off to #Cleveland #post90 #kidz
A photo posted by iMan Shumpert (@imanshumpertthe1st) on
Still though J.R. Smith was a beloved Knick in his tenure with the team and he will be missed by fans, even though he was a knuckle head at times. Iman was slowly becoming a Knick fan favorite due to his defensive tenacity and fire displayed on the court. Numerous injuries kept him off the court limiting his action.Going to Cleveland can be a great move for both players, playing with LeBron James will beneficial to both of them as he is a proven winner and makes his teammates better. Also maybe J.R. can stay out of trouble in Cleveland and just focus on basketball, there isn’t nearly as much distractions there as there is in NYC. For Iman we just hope Teyana Taylor likes Cleveland cause of course it’s definitely not NYC. Good luck to both players though.
Image via: Cleveland Cavaliers