The New York Knicks reportedly agreed to deal two veteran players on Tuesday, all part of their expected pursuit of free agent guard Jalen Brunson.
Center Nerlens Noel and guard Alec Burks, two future second-round picks and cash are headed from New York to the Detroit Pistons, according to multiple media outlets. The Knicks would receive nothing in return — aside from clearing salary-cap space as they prepare to chase Brunson.
ESPN reported that the Knicks can now offer Brunson up to $110 million.
Noel is set to make $9.24 million in the 2022-23 season, and Burks is due to receive $10.49 million, per Sportrac.com. The contracts for both players include team options for 2023-24.
Brunson is due to be one of the top players on the market when NBA free agency opens on Thursday. The 25-year-old guard enjoyed a career year with the Dallas Mavericks in 2021-22, averaging career best in points (16.3 per game), assists (4.8), rebounds (3.9) and steals (0.8).
He and backcourt partner Luka Doncic powered the Mavericks’ run to the Western Conference finals, where they lost to the eventual league champion Golden State Warriors in five games. Brunson contributed 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in the postseason.
Noel, 28, averaged 3.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in 25 games (11 starts) for the Knicks in 2021-22. In an eight-season NBA career, he has played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas, Oklahoma City Thunder and New York, averaging 7.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in 450 games (219 starts).
Burks, 30, put up 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and three assists per game for New York in the just-concluded season. In 625 career NBA games (135 starts) for the Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia and New York he has contributed 10.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and two assists per contest.