GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Phil Jackson recently said the Knicks had enough assets to get what they were looking for by Thursday's trade deadline, but as it turned out, they didn't have enough to get a player they wanted and needed.
Flashy point guard Goran Dragic, who listed the Knicks among the teams he would have liked to join, will be at the Garden Friday night -- as the newest member of the Miami Heat.
The Heat acquired Dragic from the Suns for a package that included Danny Granger and two first-round picks just before the 3 p.m. deadline. The Knicks were said to be dangling Jose Calderon and Tim Hardaway Jr., but the only first-rounder they could offer was in 2018.
The Knicks ended up making a minor trade, sending veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni to Houston for the Rockets' second-round picks in 2017 and 2019 and 6-6 guard Alexey Shved.
For salary-cap purposes, the Knicks also sent Houston one of the trade exceptions they acquired from Cleveland for J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in January. The move shaves nearly $300,000 off the Knicks' payroll for next season. Shved, who is playing for his third team this season, has an expiring contract. Prigioni had a partial guarantee of $290,000 for next season.
There was plenty of movement before the deadline, especially point guards, but the Knicks couldn't upgrade that position. Jackson had said he hoped he could make "a substantial addition" now so the Knicks wouldn't have to bring in so many new faces in the summer.
Reggie Jackson, Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Knight and Isaiah Thomas were among the point guards dealt. Dragic was the most coveted of the group after his representatives informed the Suns that he would not re-sign with them this summer. The Suns wanted to make sure they got something for him.
Miami also was on Dragic's list of preferred destinations, putting the Heat in the driver's seat to re-sign him in July.
Jackson is expected to pursue Dragic, last season's Most Improved Player, but Heat president Pat Riley can offer him more money. He retains his Bird rights, so Miami can give him a five-year deal. The most the Knicks can give is four.
Dragic is a good fit for Miamiand will take some pressure and ballhandling duties away from Dwyane Wade. Considering how much the Heat gave up for Dragic, it's safe to assume that Riley has a sense that Miami can keep him.
The Knicks might have to look elsewhere, but they're set to have roughly $30 million to spend on free agents.
They were looking to free up more by dealing Calderon. The point guard, who was Jackson's big acquisition last summer in the trade for Tyson Chandler, has two years and $15.1 million left on his deal.
"I know my situation," Calderon said. "I have a contract and I know it's not easy to just trade my contract away.
"I feel like we're building something special here and I want to be part of that. I've been in the low part of this. But I know it's going to be the nice side soon."
The Knicks are Shved's fourth team in three years. The Russian guard averaged 7.6 points and shot 39 percent from the field this season.
Prigioni, who was a valuable member of the Knicks' 54-win team in 2012-13, averaged 4.7 points and 2.4 assists in 43 games this season.
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