Houston Rockets & New York Knicks Trade #2: Eric Gordon for Kemba Walker and Kevin Knox II
While the previous trade sees the Rockets taking on future salary, this deal will help them shed it. Kemba Walker and Kevin Knox II have both become non-factors for the Knicks this season, and neither are on the books past 2022-23.
Knox is on an expiring contract and Walker is only owed $9.1 million in 2022-23, which makes him a potential trade chip or a low-cost buyout candidate. This deal could see the Rockets shed close to $19 million from their salary cap in 2022-23.
While the Knicks will be taking on money, they are flipping two players who can barely get on the court for a player who should be a major factor. Gordon’s on-court fit with the Knicks should be seamless.
He is an excellent floor spacer which will help him play alongside Julius Randle, and his ability to run an offense will give the Knicks one more offensive initiator. Derrick Rose has been excellent this season, but his minutes need to be managed, and Alec Burks is pitiful at penetrating a defense.
If RJ Barrett breaks out of his season-long slump, suddenly the Knicks could field a deadly three-guard lineup of Rose, Barrett, and Gordon. All three can penetrate a defense off the dribble and hit open threes.
Draft capital could be contentious in this deal. The Rockets will surely want something in return for Gordon, but the Knicks will argue them taking on his salary is more than enough compensation. A couple of second-round picks or a highly protected first might be the sticking point, but it’s worth it for the Knicks to figure something out.