The Indiana Pacers are a team that many expect to be open for business this offseason and one player they could look to trade is veteran wing Jeremy Lamb. He may not be a star, but he is a quality role player on an expiring contract that some teams could have interest in. Among the teams that could trade for him are the New York Knicks.
Bleacher Report analyst Dan Favale mentioned the Knicks as potential trade destinations for Lamb. He has suggested that either team could send the Pacers a second-round pick to acquire Lamb.
But the Knicks just need bucket-getters, period. Lamb qualifies—and costs virtually nothing. Gobbling up his $12.7 million salary isn’t an issue. New York has all the cap space in the world and, given the shallow free-agent market, is better off saving some of its powder for future offseasons.
Why would the Pacers make this trade of shipping out a quality scorer off the bench for a second-round pick? Well, it is a pretty simple reason.
It enters the offseason within $15 million of the luxury tax before factoring in new deals for T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott. If the Pacers want to keep both and won’t enter the tax to do it, offloading Lamb into someone else’s cap space is the way to go.
During the 2020-21 NBA season with the Pacers, Lamb ended up averaging 10.1 points per game to go along with 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He shot 43.5 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 40.6 percent of his three-point attempts.
For the Pacers, trading Lamb would not be anything to hesitate on. He’s a decent role player, but he isn’t part of the core group of players. Trading him to the Knicks would simply open up some cap space and his role could easily be filled by a player on the roster like Edmond Sumner.
If the Knicks want to make an impact move without having to give up any kind of value, this is an ideal trade. Lamb will come off the books next offseason, so New York would not be giving up any long-term flexibility. Trading a second-round pick for a quality role player that can help them compete is a no-brainer.
Expect to see the Knicks and Pacers put together very active offseason periods. Coming together on a Jeremy Lamb trade certainly would makes sense for both parties.