I’d be surprised if Samuel Dalembert is on the Knicks roster at the start of next season. I’ll give you two reasons.
One is that he is not a long term answer in New York, and if you watched him play last year in Dallas you’d know he’s not much of a short term answer, either (the Mavs defense was better with him in the paint, but the offense dropped off so much it more than cancelled it out). So Phil Jackson is going to see if he can trade him and get an asset they want in return.
He’s already started, reports Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal.
That’s exactly what the Knicks should be doing — acquire assets then try to turn those assets into something else that can really help you. Shane Larkin may be able to help you in the future, but you see what he can bring you back.
Let’s say Jackson can’t find a taker for Dalembert in a trade. The other reason I’d expect Dalembert will not be on the Knicks roster is he can be bought out of his contract for $1.8 million, saving a couple million dollars for the Knicks in salary, plus the tax money that comes with it.
The New York Post reports that’s not going to happen, the Knicks plan on keeping him on the roster.
Despite speculation following the massive six-player swap with the Mavericks, The Post has learned Dalembert will not be waived by the Knicks in order to create a larger mid-level exception to spend on a July free agent. He may be the Knicks starting center this season, providing the defense Tyson Chandler once brought….
“He was in New York last night and for the last few days and that had nothing to do with the trade,’’ (Dalembert’s agent Marc) Cornstein said. “He loves the city. It will be a good fit. He gets to New York frequently, does a lot of charitable stuff here.’’
Of course the team didn’t say they were going to waive him — if you’re trying to trade him the last thing you let out there is that he’ll be available as a free agent in a few weeks.
Maybe the Knicks are serious and Dalembert is on the Knicks roster when the season tips off. But I wouldn’t bet on it.