NY Knicks retain top spot as most valuable National Basketball Association team

Wesley Matthews

Modal Trigger Wesley Matthews AP

If the Celtics clear Jabari Bird from the roster as expected, I'm open to bringing in Kanter who can help the 2nd unit scoring. This is pretty stunning considering he is on a terrible New York Knicks team. With the Toronto Raptors acquiring Marc Gasol, the Sixers acquiring Tobias Harris and the Bucks acquiring Nikola Mirotic, the Celtics are going to have come up with something in the buyout market to match what these other teams have done at the trade deadline. Kanter made headlines last month after refusing to participate in the Knicks' game against the Wizards in London because he said he feared for his life due to his opposition to the current regime in his native Turkey.

In his 25.6 minutes per game with NY this season he is averaging 14.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. However, David Aldridge of The Athletic is already reporting that Matthews will sign a deal with the Indiana Pacers once he's officially available. He was traded to NY by the Dallas Mavericks as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal. The veteran swingman is averaging 12.8 points this season.

The Knicks wanted to trade him, but there was no market for a guy making $18.6 million who, because of his serious defensive shortcomings, is nearly unplayable in the postseason. Kanter bristled at the move and went public with his discontent.

The Lakers have been strongly linked while the Portland Trail Blazers could also take a chance on the 34-year-old.

NY didn't execute any trades before Thursday's deadline. The club also received interest in recent days for big man Noah Vonleh, sources said.

Opposing teams expect the Knicks to be aggressive in pursuing the top free agents in the coming offseason, a group that includes Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.

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