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Knicks talked to Sixers about Amar'e Stoudemire trade

By James Herbert | NBA writer

More Offseason Analysis: Coaching changes, news | Free Agency | Draft

Update: A league source told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger that conversations between the Knicks and Sixers took place two weeks ago, and there has been no traction since then.

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New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is trying to cut salary and has spoken to the Philadelphia 76ers about a potential Amar'e Stoudemire trade, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

The Sixers have $30 million in cap space and have made it known they'd be willing to accept an undesirable expiring contract if a pawn is thrown in. That extra pawn likely would be Iman Shumpert — something the Knicks prefer not to do.

The idea is, at the least, to reduce payroll so the Knicks can make a sign-and-trade to obtain a free agent and be able to wield the full mid-level exception of $5 million instead of mini-mid-level $3.27 million. Currently, the Knicks are above the luxury-tax apron and are forbidden to obtain a free agent through a sign-and-trade or use the full mid-level to try to lure free agent Pau Gasol.

ESPN's Ian Begley reported that Tim Hardaway Jr.'s name has also come up in conversations involving Stoudemire, and that the Knicks are also trying to move big man Andrea Bargnani's deal. Stoudemire is owed $23.4 million this coming season, and Bargnani is owed $11.5 million. Both will be free agents next summer.

There's nothing wrong with Jackson exploring options to improve the team now rather than waiting a season, but it's probably unwise to surrender Iman Shumpert, Hardaway or future draft picks without being assured that a real difference-maker would be acquired with the gained flexibility. And without giving up a young player or pick, teams like Philadelphia have no reason to trade with New York.

Stoudemire can still contribute offensively, as he showed late last season, and Bargnani can spread the floor, at least in theory. Contenders aren't going to be lining up for either of them, though. Jackson will have to weigh the cost of losing other assets against potentially adding players this summer.

Amar'e Stoudemire is reportedly being shopped by the Knicks.
Amar'e Stoudemire is reportedly being shopped by the Knicks. (USATSI)

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