The Knicks already have made an oversized trade-deadline splash, shipping four players to Dallas ahead of Thursday’s deadline. At least two more players are expected to be on the move very soon. If the Knicks can’t trade the large contracts of center Enes Kanter and swingman Wes Matthews for an expiring contract and a draft pick before the 3 p.m. deadline, the players are expected to be waived or bought out, according to a source. They each make a difficult-to-move $18.6 million, but a league source said the Knicks still are still exploring trade options.
Mark Bartelstein, Kanter’s agent, told The Post, “[Knicks GM] Scott [Perry] and I are working together, collaborating and seeing if something makes sense. If nothing happens [Thursday], we’ll put our heads together.’’ By week’s end, the Knicks could have three open roster spots to fill with 10-day contract prospects. Former Westchester Knicks sharpshooter John Jenkins, who recently signed a 10-day contract with Washington, still is on their radar if he becomes a free agent.
New York does not want to take back salary in a trade of Kanter, sources say. If the Knicks can't find a trade that suits them, the club and Kanter could agree on a buyout, which would allow Kanter to sign with the team of his choice.
September 21, 2021 | 1:27 pm EDT Update
Complicating matters with that caveat of right now, of course, is the reality that the Sixers also do not appear close to a trade they are willing to go through with that gives Simmons his desired fresh start. More than two months after posting one of my Tuesday newsletter extravaganzas on Substack for the first time on July 13 — also a breakdown, on that occasion, of the latest on the Simmons front — Philadelphia looks no closer to a trade to bring an end to this stalemate.
Weeks of Philadelphia’s Simmons talks with various teams haven’t brought the Sixers to the brink of a deal, largely because Morey is the one faced with trying to get commensurate value for his All-Star and still asking for so much in return in his determination to recoup a trade package that, as one source put it, keeps Philadelphia in title contention. History, however, says that Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations shouldn’t count on getting a glittering package back when a deal finally materializes — his own history.
I reported Monday that the Sixers don’t expect Simmons to show and are resigned to try to keep working behind the scenes to try to convince him to reconsider that stance. After I published that, another source close to the situation told me: “Right now, I don’t see a scenario where Ben is back in Philly.” The source meant it with permanence. As in: Simmons’ career with the Sixers, to the source, is over.
Yet league sources maintain, as noted above, that the Sixers are actively trying to convince Simmons to rejoin the team even though he has made it clear to management that he doesn’t want to spend another second as a Sixer. I was told very clearly that the Sixers do not liken these circumstances to Al Horford’s last season in Oklahoma City or John Wall’s in Houston. As the start of training camp draws near, Philadelphia has shown zero interest to date in striking the sort of mutual agreement that Wall and the Rockets just hatched to shelve the former All-Star point guard.
The Sixers have not lowered the bar on what they’re seeking in a Simmons trade — yet. Toronto, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Antonio and Sacramento — all of them, league sources say, have engaged with Philadelphia in Simmons trade talks. They’re also all bubble playoff teams at best based in markets not known for attracting free agents and surely love the idea of acquiring Simmons when the 25-year-old is locked into three guaranteed seasons on his contract after this one.
Ian Begley: Nets GM Sean Marks says BKN has had ‘very positive’ conversations with both Kyrie Irving and James Harden about signing extensions. Says they are looking forward to continuing to talk to Irving and Harden about extensions over the next week or two.
Kristian Winfield: Sean Marks on James Harden/Kyrie Irving extension talks: “We’ve had very positive conversations with both of those guys and their family members. It always helps to do those things in person.” Says they’re going to resume talks in the next 2 weeks or so. #Nets
Alex Schiffer: Sean Marks said he’s still debating whether to use the final roster spot open for camp. Nets currently at 19, can add one more. Adds the open two-way spot will stay open and wants to see how training camp unfolds. Marks said no player has the edge for it. It’s wide open.