Trade-talk roundup: What we know

Chris Sheridan: Marc Stein has a news story with more on the
Knicks-Rockets-Bulls trade situation, to which we’ll add this nugget:
If Chicago is willing to deal the expiring contracts of Tyrus Thomas,
Brad Miller and Jerome James for McGrady and Brian Cook, it would shave
$2.75 off the Rockets’ payroll and move them just barely below the
luxury tax line. Here is how that deal looks in the ESPN NBA Trade


Chris Sheridan:The Houston Rockets and New York Knicks are "making progress" in their Tracy McGrady trade discussions, according to a source close to the talks, and Knicks president Donnie Walsh is expected to speak with owner Jim Dolan on Wednesday to discuss the parameters of the deals that have been discussed and how best to proceed.

Several sources say the main holdup to this point has been the Rockets’ insistence on asking for at least one future No. 1 pick as the price for taking on Jared Jeffries, who is owed $6.9 million next season. Dolan has always been amenable to throwing $3 million cash into the kitty to make a deal go through, but a decade of sacrificing first-round draft picks has left him hesitant to sign off on letting another one go (The Knicks owe their own 2010 pick to Utah).

The Rockets are believed to be seeking the Knicks’ 2012 first-round pick, along with the option to swap first-round picks in 2011, and there are unresolved issues regarding lottery protection on the draft picks.

But the bottom line for New York is that trading Jeffries opens up nearly $7 million in additional cap space for this summer, giving the Knicks the flexibility to not only make a max offer to LeBron James but also choose between retaining All-Star David Lee or trying to use Lee in a sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh.

If the teams swap McGrady, Brian Cook and Joey Dorsey for Larry Hughes, Jeffries and Jordan Hill, the Rockets would drop almost $2 million below the luxury-tax threshold and would be eligible for a $4-million-plus tax redistribution payment.

If Al Harrington were put in the trade instead of Hughes and Cook were removed, the financial savings for Houston would be about the same. As things stand now, the Rockets are $2.7 million over the tax threshold.

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