Grading Phil Jackson Trades Made As Knicks President

On the morning of June 28th, 2017, James Dolan and the New York Knicks announced that the Knicks, and their President of basketball operations Phil Jackson, had parted ways. This move came as a surprise to many, as it was expected Phil would stay with the team throughout his five year term.  Phil Jackson has been thought to be nothing short of a disaster for Knick fans.  Many believed that the man with eleven rings would lead the Knicks to the promised land, not the dumpster around the corner from the promised land. Here, we will see every trade that Phil Jackson made before he was fired.

Grading Phil Jackson Trades Made As Knicks President

Trade 1

Mavericks Receive: Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton

Knicks Receive: Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and the 34th and 51st picks in the 2014 NBA draft (Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo)

The inaugural trade of Phil Jackson’s career was a trade to acquire cap space.  The reason behind receiving cap space is because Phil needed a way to lure Carmelo Anthony back to NY.  Wow, a lot has changed in three years.  The Knicks gave away Tyson Chandler, one of the best defensive and rebounding centers in the league, who was only one year removed from being the Defensive player of the Year.  This already shows bad signs, then Phil also gives away a solid point guard in Raymond Felton.  To make matters worse, Felton and Chandler were replaced with Samuel Dalembert, who the Knicks eventually WAIVED, and Jose Calderon, who looked like he actively wanted the other team to score.  Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington, Thanasis, and soon-to-be gunshot victim Cleanthony Early did not make up for this mess.

Grade: F

Trade 2

Kings Receive: Wayne Ellington, Jeremy Tyler, 2nd round pick (2016)

Knicks Receive: Quincy Acy, Travis Outlaw

Clearly, not every trade is a blockbuster, so this will be kept short.  Phil traded away a 2016 second round draft pick, after the Knicks were already missing their first round pick in the dreaded Bargnani trade.  This was a bad move to give away both your team’s picks in the same draft.  Quincy Acy was a spark plug player who excited fans, so things weren’t all bad, but the trading of picks is not a great idea.

Grade: D

(Travis Outlaw to Philly will not be included, as nothing really happened)

Trade 3

Cavs Receive: JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, 2015 protected first round pick (via OKC)

Thunder Receive: Dion Waiters

Knicks Receive: Lance Thomas, Lou Audomndson, Alex Kirk, 2019 second round pick (via CLE)

Ouch.  This trade everyone knew was a complete failure.  Phil Jackson could have received boatloads more for JR and Iman, but he didn’t.  Kirk was cut immediately, :Lou was cut two summers later, and Lance is still sitting on the Knicks bench, thinking about going fishing. Smith and Shumpert were key role players in the Cavs redemption in 2016, Waiters could get a very big paycheck this summer, and the Knicks are sitting around having to pick up the pieces.  At least the Knicks ended the season with drafting Porzingis.  

Grade: Is there anything below F?

Trade 4

Knicks Receive: Alexey Shved, 2017 2nd round pick (Ogjen Jamarez)

Rockets Receive: Pablo Prigioni

Prigioni was quickly dubbed a fan favorite by Knicks fans, but he was 37 during this trade and Shved was an above-average shooter.  The part that really matters is what Jamarez turns out to be.  He played for the same team as Nikola Jokic, who through his first two seasons has been the Denver Nuggets’ best player.  If Jamarez turns into something decent, this trade is a success, but for now, who knows.

Grade: B

Trade 5

Hawks Receive: Tim Hardaway Jr

Knicks Receive: 19th pick in NBA draft (Jerian Grant)

This trade looked like a home run for the Knicks, especially as the 2015-16 season went and Hardaway was in and out of the D-League (Now G-League).  Jerian Grant spent one year with the Knicks, sitting on the bench as coach Derek Fisher would not play Grant.  Grant did end up becoming trade bait for the Derrick Rose trade, which helps this rating.  Hardaway did bounce back this year and have his best season so far, and is hitting free agency, but he is restricted.  He could probably get a sizeable contract to keep playing in Atlanta as they hope their young backcourt of Schroder and Hardaway can make some noise this season.  Hardaway could be helping the Knicks, but instead Phil wanted Grant, which was the wrong move.  

Grade: C-

Trade 6

76ers Receive: Two future 2nd Round Picks

Knicks Receive: Willy Hernangomez

Hernangomez was a draft and stash player, meaning after he was drafted, he wouldn’t immediately come to the NBA.  Willy spent an extra year in Spain and then came to the bright lights of Madison Square Garden in the ‘16-17 season.  Though he barely played in the first half of the year, he produced great numbers in the second half of the year. He averaged 8.2 points and 7 rebounds which was enough for him to make the 2017 All Rookie First Team.  Willy has room to grow and he could be the starting center in NY for the foreseeable future.  Most second round picks aren’t too great, so this trade looks like it will work out well.

Grade: A

Trade 7 (Final Trade we will look at)

Bulls Receive: Jerian Grant, Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon

Knicks Receive: Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday, 2017 2nd round pick (Damyean Doston)

This trade looked like it was great for all teams.  Bulls get Lopez, which would weaken the damage done by Gasol and Noah leaving, plus they get two point guards after giving away theirs.  This was a fresh start in Chicago, except two weeks later Calderon was traded, Rondo was signed, Wade was signed and there was nobody on the Bulls’ roster who could make a three point shot.  This team brought the Bulls to an 8th seed, and though almost completing the upset, the Celtics knocked the Bulls out in six games.  However, the Knicks were expected to contend, and that is what they did.  Except they were contending for the Draft Lottery, and falling to the 8th pick.  Rose is a free agent and it is unsure if he and the Knicks will work out a new deal, especially with the drafting of French guard Frank Ntilikina. Either way, at least NY cleared up Cap space, plus, Holiday was a surprisingly nice addition to the squad.

Grade: C

This was a sub-par trading job by former Knicks President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson.  Wow, it is great to say “former”. Knicks fans everywhere: you need to wake up now, because the nightmare is over, Phil Jackson is gone.

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