NBA rumors: Knicks shopping Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks to create more space in salary cap

New York Knicks are shopping veterans Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to create more space in their salary cap ahead of the free agency. Both players were put in the trading block as New York is trying to generate enough space to sign Jalen Brunson.

In a recent piece by Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, he shared that the New York Knicks have had exploratory conversations with the LA Clippers centered around Noel. Noel has seen limited time during the past season.

Burks underwent foot surgery this spring after the Knicks’ season ended, and while that procedure has definitely hurt his trade value, Ian Begley of SNY says there are still multiple teams with some interest in the veteran guard, including the Celtics.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said in his latest podcast the Knicks may have moved ahead of the Mavericks as the favorites to sign Brunson long-term this offseason. Brunson is due to receive a $100 million+ offer this offseason.

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If Noel ended up going to the Clippers, then his presence there means that Clippers unrestricted free agent Isaiah Hartenstein ”may have priced himself out of Los Angeles”, per Scotto. Noel is due to make $9.2 million next season.

He has a $9.6 million team option for the 2023-24. He could be a valuable asset for the Clippers, who are expected to make a run for the title next season with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard back in action together.

The Clippers can offer a $9.7 million trade exception previously generated by the Serge Ibaka trade without giving up important assets back to add the rim-protecting big man. The LA franchise hopes to return to contention next season.

Noel would be the back-up behind starting center Ivica Zubac offering versatility and defensive excellence in the Clippers’ frontcourt. The Knicks on the other side could replace Noel’s value with free agent big Mitchell Robinson.

In addition, New York will generate around $24.5 million in cap space, including Taj Gibson’s non-guaranteed deal worth $5 million.

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