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Knicks Gain Space for Brunson, Trade Burks & Noel to Detroit

The move is set to save the Knicks $19 million.

Per ESPN, New York Knicks have opened more cap space in their quest for Jalen Brunson, calling on a familiar trade partner for financial assistance.

Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Knicks are sending both Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to the Detroit Pistons, a move that will save them $19 million as they attempt to close in on free agent max deal target Jalen Brunson. The deal has since been confirmed by the team. 

The Knicks and Pistons previously collaborated on a draft night trade that sent Kemba Walker's $9 million-plus contract and 13th overall pick Jalen Duren to the Motor City. New York has hardly kept its quest of shedding pricey contracts as they seek to close in on coveted free agent point guard Jalen Brunson. 

In addition to the expensive veterans, the Knicks will also send back the 2023 second-round pick they gained from the Pistons in last week's deal, as well as a 2024 second-pick that originally belonged to Miami (which the Knicks obtained in March 2021 from Philadelphia in a deal that involved Austin Rivers and Ignas Brazdeikis). Cash considerations worth $6 million will also be exchanged.

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Unlike Walker, who is set to be released once the new transactional year begins, the Pistons have some use for both Burks and Noel in terms of veteran leadership as they plan to start a new era of Detroit basketball led by draft night acquisitions Duren and Jaden Ivey. 

Noel, seen as a valuable commodity amongst backup interior threats despite losing most of the 2021-22 season to a foot injury, also reunites with Detroit general manager Troy Weaver, who was part of the Oklahoma City front office that brought him in from Dallas in 2018.