Knicks waive Denzel Valentine shortly after trading for him

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The Knicks added some money and back-of-the-roster intrigue, along with swapping a few draft rights, in a small three-way deal on Monday.

On a busy day of roster transactions, the Knicks traded for — and then quickly waived — swingman Denzel Valentine, who went from the Cavaliers to the Lakers to the Knicks in the deal that sent Rajon Rondo from Los Angeles to Cleveland. For the few hours Valentine was on the Knicks’ roster, they cleared space by waiving guard Wayne Selden, who had appeared in three games this season.

By jumping into the trade and momentarily acquiring Valentine, the Knicks picked up cash consideration, which reportedly amounted to about $1.1 million — a bit more than Valentine was owed, so a fiscally sound decision — and exchanged some future draft rights that likely will not pan out to much.

In the trade, the Knicks sent the rights to Louis Labeyrie — a 2014 second-round pick from France, selected by the Phil Jackson regime — to the Lakers in exchange for the rights to Wang Zhelin and Brad Newley. All of the international players are unlikely to make the jump to the NBA.

Denzel Valentine drives to the basket.
NBAE via Getty Images

Zhelin, a 2016 second-round pick, is playing in the Chinese Basketball Association, while Newley, 36, was a 2007 second-round pick who is playing in Australia’s National Basketball League.

So the Knicks saved some money and, in waiving both Valentine and Selden, cleared a roster spot. It is possible that slot goes to Ryan Arcidiacono, the former Villanova point guard who officially was welcomed on a 10-day contract Monday, ahead of the Knicks’ game Tuesday against the Pacers at the Garden.

Amid so much uncertainty at point guard — Derrick Rose is out likely until late February following surgery on his right ankle, and Kemba Walker is out indefinitely with a sore left knee after aggravating the surgically repaired knee Friday — Arcidiacono has a chance to stick.

The 27-year-old was averaging 12.7 points, eight assists and 5.7 rebounds in 32.2 minutes in six games with the Celtics’ G-League affiliate this year and had played his first four seasons in Chicago, where he did not overlap with Tom Thibodeau.

Arcidiacono has shot 43.1 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from 3 in 207 NBA games.


Walker will miss a third straight game since hurting his knee in warm-ups on Friday.

Big men Mitchell Robinson and Jericho Sims were cleared from the health and safety protocols, but both are questionable for the game for conditioning reasons.

Remaining on the COVID-19 list were Julius Randle and Nerlens Noel.


Indiana, meanwhile, listed eight players who would not take the court because of the protocols. The Knicks will dodge starters Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert as well as standout rookie Chris Duarte. Additionally out for the 14-23 Pacers are Isaiah Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Kelan Martin, Goga Bitadze and T.J. Warren.

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