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Report: Knicks joining Lakers-Cavaliers Rajon Rondo trade

Denzel Valentine, who's getting traded from the Cavaliers to the Knicks (not the Lakers)

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 22: Denzel Valentine #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball during the game against the Boston Celtics on December 22, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers are still trading Rajon Rondo to the Cavaliers.

The trade will just now include the Knicks, who’ll get Denzel Valentine from Cleveland.

Los Angeles will send New York $1.1 million to take Valentine, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

By re-routing Valentine in this trade rather than taking and waiving him themselves, the Lakers reduce their luxury-tax liability by about $2.9 million. That’s obviously worth sending New York $1.1 million.

Los Angeles will probably eat into that savings by signing another player – perhaps Stanley Johnson – into the cleared roster spot.

The Knicks get nearly free cash. They’ll have to pay Valentine for the time he spend on the roster ($11,146 per day). However, if not waived by Friday, Valentine will have the rest of his salary for this season guaranteed.

Valentine has an unguaranteed minimum salary for next season. So, New York – without taking long-term risk – can gain team control over Valentine and keep him for cheap if he impresses. He probably won’t, though. Valentine is already 28.