The reasons why the sensational trade of Mikal Bridges between the Knicks and Nets is not yet concluded

It’s been more than five days since the Mikal Bridges trade between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets shocked the NBA. However, it has not been officially announced yet. While both teams have agreed to most of the deal, New York’s end may not be complete.

Teams are scrambling to fill their rosters this offseason within the constraints of the new collective bargaining agreement. One clause puts the Knicks in financial trouble: If a team receives more money in a trade than it sends out, it becomes rigidly limited to the first apron, a threshold $7 million above the luxury tax threshold. In other words, if the Knicks trade only Bojan Bogdanović ($19 million) for Bridges ($23.3 million), their payroll cannot exceed the first apron ($178 million).

One day after the Bridges trade, New York signed OG Anunoby to a four-year, $212 million contract. Including Anunoby’s projected salary, New York is $9 million under the starting apron with four roster vacancies, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. If they move forward with the Bridges trade as reported, they will be limited to minimum signatures to fill out the team.

If the Knicks hope to avoid that, they need to make up the difference between Bridges’ salary and Bogdanović’s, which is $4.27 million. This would allow them to spend up to the second apron ($189 million), freeing up another $11 million.

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