With free agency only three days away, major moves are already being made across the NBA that are making major headlines.


Starting with the first story that broke today, Phil Jackson is out as the General Manager of the New York Knicks.


This move being announced set off a frenzy of jubilation from Knick fans across the country as many have wanted Jackson to be ousted as GM for a while now.


Since Jackson had taken over the role as GM, the Knicks have gone 80-166 and have easily been one of the worst and least progressive teams in the league. At its onset, the move to make Jackson the GM was met with general praise as he possesses one of the most polished resumes in NBA history and many thought he would follow along the lines of those such as Pat Reilly, Larry Bird and even Jerry West who have successfully gone from player to coach to GM. However, those hopes were instantly dashed as Jackson made it clear that it was his way or the highway.


His first move was to employ his former player Derek Fisher as head coach only one employ his famed triangle offense in the Knicks’ offensive system. This was a total failure as he built it around Carmelo Anthony, a player who stops the flow of the offense because he is at his best when he is isolated and able to be given time to operate in addition to the fact that he never surrounded Anthony with shooters and floor spacers needed to effectively run this offense.


(Good Fella Media)

On top of this, due to Jackson’s stubbornness, he alienated multiple players in the process and completely lost respect of his team and of the Knick faithful which caused many rumors about trades, friction in the locker room and most notably friction between him and Anthony which resulted in Jackson publicly stating that this team could basically never win with Anthony.


So, earlier this morning, news broke from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that The Knicks and Jackson had “mutually agreed” to part ways in the best interest of the team.


What stands out most about Jackson’s tenure is the money factor. During his three seasons as GM, Jackson made more money than Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green among many other players in the league. However those three stand out because the Warriors have been the best team the past three seasons and have won two championships while Jackson, the GM of one of the worst over that same span, has made more money.


This is a move that was expected to be made, but maybe not this soon and abruptly. Any way you slice it, it is a win for the Knicks who are in a clear rebuilding stage.


The other major headline that broke today was Chris Paul’s trade to the Houston Rockets.


With Paul initially opting out of his contract to become a free agent this summer, he was clearly looking to join a serious contender this upcoming season. Many thought it would either be the Cleveland Cavaliers or the San Antonio Spurs that had delved up the most interest, but as reports started circulating that James Harden had been seriously recruiting Paul to come to Houston, the possibility became more and more serious.


As of this morning, Paul had been reportedly leaning toward opting back into his contract with the Clippers as that presented him the best money option, but as it turned out they felt the better offer was with the Rockets in exchange for Lou Williams, Pat Beverley, Sam Dekker and a 2018 top 3 protected pick.


Since he opted out the final year of his deal with the Clippers, he will become a free agent again next season, making this a one year experiment in effect.



This is a clear win for the Rockets who not only gain added firepower in their backcourt, but also give some relief to James Harden who shouldered a heavy load last season that clearly took its toll on him during the playoffs.


With Paul, Harden can focus on scoring even more, although he had a career year last season. Paul is one of the best point guards in the game who can give you a pretty much guaranteed 18 and 10. His ability to knock down midrange jumpers and threes will force teams to have to respect him, opening more lanes for Harden to operate.


In my opinion, the Rockets are a good post threat away from having a legit shot at beating the Warriors and with free agency coming, and some good big men looking for new homes, the Rockets will be sure to be continually active.


We’ll see how these big moves will pay off for each team.


Do you think the Knicks and Rockets were made better with these moves? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.