The Knicks made a slam-dunk trade before 2024’s NBA draft. They acquired forward Mikal Bridges from the crosstown Nets in exchange for five first-round selections, one pick swap and guard Bojan Bogdanovic. Even though this trade boosted perimeter defense and solidified New York as an NBA finals contender, financial limitations arose.

Beforehand, the deal would have hard-capped New York at over $178 million. The situation arose since more money was coming in than out. This caused the Knicks to add salary to stay within this amount.

Former 76ers guard Shake Milton agreed to a sign-and-trade in which he will be sent to Brooklyn for three years, worth $9 million. Milton’s contract gives the Nets room, as two years are non-guaranteed. Mamadi Diakite will see his $1.23 million salary become guaranteed, while the Knicks will retain Keita Bates-Diop on league minimum. Bridges, Bates-Diop and a second-rounder for 2026 will now go to the Knicks after the tweaks. These moves help the Knicks add to their roster to build on from 2023 and go $17 million under the second apron.

Following the moves, New York can resign Precious Achiuwa or acquire a backup center since Isaiah Hartenstein left in free agency. Achiuwa played in 49 games last season, averaging 7.6 points per game while grabbing 7.2 rebounds.

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The former Nets forward averaged almost 21 points per game, 4.7 boards and 3.7 assists in 66 games last season. Bridges will get the opportunity to play with Julius Randle and Donte DiVincenzo in 2024, his former teammates from Villanova’s 2015-16 championship season. As time expired, the Wildcats prevailed over the Tar Heels 77-74 off a game-winning three from Kris Jenkins.

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