According to ESPN, Tyson Chandler will be back in Dallas next season. In a trade to cut Knicks salary and give the Mavericks a rim protector, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton are going to Dallas in exchange for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and the 34th and 52nd pick in this years draft.The Mavericks would finally get a real rim protector in Tyson Chandler who has a few years left of his prime left. Raymond Felton would step into a backup role for the Mavericks, with Devin Harris likely starting. The Knicks would acquire a new starting point guard in Jose Calderon, who isn’t exceptionally talented or athletic, but he can shoot and is a pass first point guard on a modest contract that expires in the summer of 2016. Shane Larkin is a young prospect the Knicks can develop over time and Wayne Ellington and Dalembert’s contracts both expire next summer, the same time as Bargnani and Stoudemire. Overall, the Knicks are shedding 3,056,33 million in salary, which is small but shedding Chandler’s salary and moving Felton who is coming off of his worst season in recent years is a promising start for the inevitable roster overhaul the Knicks will undergo.
The Mavericks are looking to win now. With Dirk’s time limited and a roster full of experienced veterans in place, any addition that can bring them closer to a championship is the right move to make. The Mavericks needed a defensive presence still in his prime. Dalembert is a solid defender but lacks the athleticism and inside presence of someone like Tyson Chandler. While there were a lot of names shipped to New York, the Mavericks didn’t lose a lot. Shane Larkin who showed promise last season is a long-term project the Mavericks don’t have time to wait for. Wayne Ellington was basically irrelevant for the Mavericks last year as he only contributed 8 minutes a game. Chandler is an upgrade over Dalembert, which leaves Calderon, who is the only player the Mavericks could understandably be sour about letting go. As a great passer and spot up shooter, Calderon was an integral part of their playoff run, which was unfortunately ended in Game 7 of the first round against the eventual NBA Champions; the Spurs. Chandler fills a hole in their defense and maybe a return to Dallas where Chandler won a championship in 2011 can spark another run next season.
And people doubted Phil Jackson… This coming season for the Knicks will most likely be a sham – simply a season before another. With Carmelo Anthony unlikely to re-sign with New York, Phil will have to wait for the summer of 2015 where Stoudemire and Bargnani’s contracts expire for him to make any major changes to the roster. Shedding Chandler’s contract now for value in return is smart as he was unlikely to re-sign next summer with New York anyway. Chandler struggled with injury early on but had one of his worst seasons since 2010, averaging 8.7 points and 9.6 rebounds. His defensive presence, while still very much alive, looked worse because of the awful defense he was in charge of anchoring. He was due 14.6 million next season. The Knicks not only got rid of him now, but in his place found the perfect point guard for the triangle offense. Calderon, an exceptional passer and spot up shooter is custom-made for a triangle offense and a huge upgrade over Raymond Felton who is coming off the worst season of his career, averaging 9.7 points and 5.6 assists on 39% shooting and 31% shooting from deep. Dalembert, while older and not the same player he used to be, can still man the paint effectively. Larkin can be a project the Knicks develop over time and Ellington is someone who despite limited minutes last season has range – he’s shot 38.6% from deep throughout his career. While Calderon is surely a long-term piece the Knicks will likely rebuild with, Dalembert and Ellington both expire after this season, and the Knicks will have a team option with Shane Larkin. The Knicks also acquired the 34th and 52nd picks. The 34th pick while a 2nd rounder, is probably the equivalent of a mid-round 1st pick in any other years draft due to the plethora of talent in this years draft class. According to sources, Phil Jackson has also looked to flip Larkin and Dalembert along with a 2nd round pick they acquired in this deal with the Mavericks for a late 1st rounder. This is the first of presumably many deals Phil will make to try and rebuild the Knicks team who disappointingly went 37-45 last season while missing out on the playoffs.