The Knicks made a three-way trade in the in the final minutes before the N.B.A. trade deadline on Thursday that brings Emmanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets to New York. The 21-year-old guard was the most prominent piece of the trade which also sent small forward Doug McDermott to the Dallas Mavericks.
As part of the deal, the Mavericks agreed to send Devin Harris to Denver, and the Nuggets and Knicks exchanged second-round picks in the 2018 draft.
Mudiay is coming off a tough two seasons for the Nuggets. After starting for Denver in all but two of the first 109 games he played, the 2015 lottery pick lost the starting job to Jameer Nelson. In 2016, the Nuggets drafted Jamal Murray — another guard — leaving Mudiay to come off the bench. He is averaging 8.5 points in 17.9 minutes per game this season.
Mudiay has not spoken to the news media in Denver all season.
Even though Mudiay has yet to make an impact in the N.B.A., this is a low-risk trade for the Knicks because he arrives on a relatively cheap rookie contract that will pay him $3.4 million this season and $4.3 million next year.
With star player Kristaps Porzingis out for the season with an A.C.L. injury, the Knicks are free to experiment with roster and lineup shuffles. On Wednesday, the Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Hornets forward Johnny O’Bryant and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. O’Bryant was waived by the Knicks on Thursday. The Knicks are 23-32 this season and sit at 11th in the Eastern Conference.
Thursday’s trade reunites McDermott, who averaged 7.2 points for the Knicks this season, with high school teammate Harrison Barnes in Dallas.