Business Insider, a place that I have never known to break NBA news of any kind, is reporting that the Pacers have traded a first-round pick to the Knicks in exchange for Anthony Randolph, a much-ballyhooed power forward who has never actually done anything in this league. It has long been rumored that New York had several suitors for the long, deerlike, athletic phenom who may or may not know how to play basketball, and were simply waiting for the best pick they could get, as they may want to include said pick into a deal for Carmelo Anthony.
The front-runners for Melo, the New Jersey Nets, yesterday pulled out of trade talks. Oligarch owner Mikhail Prokhorov has assured everyone that this isn’t some negotiation ploy; the Nets are done dealing with Denver. So the timing does make sense. New York would want to jump into the Melo sweepstakes immediately and thus a Randolph-for-a-pick deal with Indiana is logical.
But it’s all poppycock, says Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, the long-time NBA reporter we should be trusting right now. On Twitter, he has informed me that Knicks GM Donnie Walsh (and former Pacers GM who Wells knows well) is calling BS on the whole deal.
“Donnie Walsh has shot rumor down … He said Pacers have not proposed any offers to him for Randolph.”
More emphatically, he reported this:
Indy has NOT acquired Randolph. Pacers already have 15 players on the roster and they’re over the salary cap.
Well, there ya go.
Here’s another mitigating factor Wells notes.
Bird has always liked Randolph, but Pacers are looking to add veteran rotation players. They’ve already got enough youth on their roster.
Lastly, there is one more logistical hurdle of a Pacers/Knicks deal that makes Randolph-to-Indy unlikely. The Knicks don’t want a player in the deal; they just want a pick. And since both Indy and NYC are over the cap, the salaries would have to match. This means it couldn’t just be a pick for Randolph; the Pacers would have to add roughly $2 million to match what Randolph is making this year.
they would have to add a player. my man @alanhahn at newsday says knicks only want a draft pick. that eliminates indy
UPDATE: The Pacers do have a trade exception of $3.5 million that I forgot about, so may be able to get this done without sending any players to New York.
Probably for the best.
As mentioned, I’m pretty sure Randolph isn’t any good.
UPDATE: Business Insider is now admitting that they got this one wrong, adding this addendum to their original report.
Multiple reports say that Randolph is at practice [with the Knicks]. Appears as though our information is wrong. We sincerely apologize for the error. We’re reaching out to our source to find out what went wrong
So much for that.