The Knicks miraculously preserved salary cap flexibility and first-round picks in the Bogdanovic, Burks trade.
To complete the deal, New York sent Quentin Grimes, who recently fell out of the Knicks’ rotation to the Detroit Pistons. They also sent back Evan Fournier, who’s been out of the team’s rotation all season, Ryan Archidiacono, Malachi Flynn, and two second-round picks.
And this all comes after New York completed a trade earlier this season, in which they added OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa.
So, despite adding talent, New York’s rotation remains intact — hence why the deal is seen as a major success for the Knicks’ playoff push. But it also has longer-term implications from which the Knicks stand to benefit beyond this season. Let’s review.
Bojan Bogdanovic’s contract
First, there are contract implications that could impact a future trade. Fournier’s deal is an asset because there is a team option for next season, allowing it to be picked up and used in a deal this Summer, too. It’s never been a great asset because Fournier has been a limited player of late given his defensive deficiencies. Further, he hasn’t seen considerable or consistent action in more than a year. But in some unique circumstances — like this one — actual impact doesn’t matter.
So, the Knicks gave up an asset that could have been used to add a star in the near future. The thing is, Bogdanovic’s contract has a similar benefit to it. It is only partially guaranteed for 2024-25 and it expires after the next season. In other words, the Knicks still have a $19 million deal that can be included in a trade, should a suitable star become available. And given the difference in on-court utility, Bogdanovic’s contract is even more valuable than Fournier’s.
The Knicks’ litany of first-round picks
The fact that New York was able to hold on to all of its future first-round picks is also a major victory. Detroit allegedly turned down a deal centered around two first-round picks for Bogdanovic as recently as last season, according to HoopsHype. So, adding Bogdanovic and Burks for Grimes, Fournier, Archidiacono, Flynn, and two second-round picks is a huge win that helps now and preserves future flexibility.
Moving forward, the Knicks still have all their own first-round picks, a 2024 protected Dallas Mavericks pick that is likely to convert this season, the Washington’ Wizards’ 2024 protected first-rounder, the Detroit Pistons’ 2024 protected first-round pick, and the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2025 protected first-rounder. That a litany of picks to use in a future trade.
Granted, the Washington and Detroit picks are unlikely to convey anytime soon, and they may turn into second-rounders. But they’ll certainly have their own picks and two other useful ones (Dallas and Milwaukee). That’s an advantageous position to be in given how near its final form the Kncks’ roster is. And very few other teams can even compete with a best-possible New York deal.
So, after sitting with this deal for almost a day, it looks even better now than it did initially — and that’s saying something.
But for now, the Knicks will shift their attention to the buyout market, as they still have about $2.5 million in cap space to use. So as complete as the Knicks are now (when healthy), they might not even be done. Stay tuned.