Dion Waiters to Thunder, J.R. Smith to Cavs in blockbuster three-team trade
The Knicks, Cavaliers and Thunder have agreed to a six-player trade that will send J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland and Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City will send a future first-round pick to Cleveland. The pick is top-18 protected in 2015, top-15 protected in '16 and '17 and becomes two second-round picks in 2018 if it doesn't render before then. Despite earlier reports, top reserve Reggie Jackson will not be included in the deal. Rival executives believe Jackson is available, but sense he will only be dealt for comparable talent.
Waiters, 23, has struggled this season, averaging a career-low 10.5 points on 40.4 percent shooting, including 25.6 percent from the three-point line. He was removed from the Cavaliers starting lineup just three games into the regular season.
The Thunder will also send forward Lance Thomas to the Knicks. In turn, New York will receive rookie center Alex Kirk, veteran power forward Lou Amundson and a 2019 second-round pick from the Cavaliers.
The deal is a salary dump for the struggling Knicks. New York has lost 12 straight, including a franchise-record 10 straight at home, and are 5-32 on the season. In trading Smith, the Knicks get out from the $6.4 million Smith was due next season. The former Sixth Man of the Year is averaging just 10.9 points on 40.2 percent shooting this season and boasts his lowest Player Efficiency Rating since his rookie season. Shumpert, 24, will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
The Knicks also plan to waive center Samuel Dalembert, according to a source. By cutting Dalembert before Wednesday, the Knicks save $2 million on his contract the rest of the season. The Knicks had reportedly been trying to trade Dalembert, who had fallen out of Derek Fisher's rotation in New York.
"As our journey moves through this season, we will search for the type of players that fit the style we hope to exhibit for our fans. Our desire is to improve our ability to compete," Knicks president Phil Jackson said in a team release. "In addition, these transactions improve our flexibility to the current roster and the salary cap for future seasons."
The deal was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.