Knicks Trading Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel To Pistons; NY Frontrunner For Jalen Brunson

The Knicks are trading shooting guard Alec Burks and center Nerlens Noel to the Pistons in an effort to shed some salary, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.Alec Burks

According to multiple reports, New York is considered the frontrunner for Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, an unrestricted free agent. As Wojnarowski noted, trading Noel and Burks will allow the Knicks to shed around $30 million in salary and offer Brunson a near-max contract.

The Knicks recently hired Brunson’s father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach. They appear confident that they can steal Brunson away from Dallas, where he had a breakout season.

In order to sweeten the deal, the Knicks are also sending a 2023 second-round pick, 2024 second-rounder and $6 million to the Pistons, Wojnarowski reported.

Noel had been at the center of trade talks between the Knicks and the Clippers, as we relayed here. But Pistons GM Troy Weaver is happy to have the veteran big man in Detroit. Per Wojnarowski, the Pistons are “eager” to add both Noel and Burks to their otherwise fairly young rotation.

Burks, 30, is 6-foot-6 and averaged 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 81 games last season, his second in New York. The Pistons become his sixth team in five seasons after spending the first eight years of his career with the Jazz.

Noel, 28, is 6-11 and averaged just 3.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in limited time last season — but is still viewed as a high-energy guy who can make an impact on defense. He was a member of the Thunder when Weaver worked in the front office in OKC.

Brunson, 25, is 6-1 and just finished his fourth year with the Mavericks, averaging career-highs of 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds. There is still a chance he could return to Dallas, though those odds are beginning to seem slim.

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