Are there any New York Knicks players considered untouchable? Not according to Phil Jackson.
The team president said he is willing to trade anybody on the roster right now, or at least entertain offers for them.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that everybody that we have on our roster is up for discussion, if we have other teams call us up,” Jackson said. “I mean, we have players that are free agents in Amar’e (Stoudemire), Andrea (Bargnani), Carmelo (Anthony), Tyson (Chandler), guys that are in situations that are not to be discussed. But the roster that we have beyond that is open for discussion. And if people call up, want to talk about it, we’ll discuss it with them.”
Of course, some players are more tradeable than others.
Stoudemire, Bargnani, and Chandler are all entering the final years of their contracts, and expiring deals in the NBA are as valuable on the trade market as talented players. The Knicks could elect to hold onto those three players or trade them away to teams that can benefit from those salaries coming off their books for the summer of 2015.
Chandler, interestingly enough, has been the subject of trade rumors this spring. In May, he was mentioned as a potential target for the Dallas Mavericks. Chandler has stated he does not want to be a part of a rebuilding team in New York, which could be the case if Anthony doesn’t re-sign with the team.
Conversely, Jackson said he is also willing to hear trade offers to bring talent to New York.
While some teams are awaiting the summer of 2015 to sign prized free agents, Jackson said salary cap space for then is not a concern; he’s willing to bring in the valuable players whenever he can.
“It has to be part of a discussion,” Jackson said “But if we get back what we think we need to fill out the character and the type of player that we want to have, we’re going to go forward with it anyway. We’re not the only team that [is] going to be chasing these players [in 2015]. We have to understand that. We might feel that we have one of the best places in the world to play, but people are susceptible to their backgrounds and where they’re from and families, etc. We understand that, chasing free agency, this team has been through it.”
Of course, the one player Jackson could include in a sign-and-trade is Anthony.