Done Deal: The New York Knicks used a 2nd round pick to trade for a retired basketball player

The New York Knicks Used a 2nd Round Pick to Trade for a Retired Basketball Player


The highlight of the 2024 NBA draft wasn’t Zach Edey being picked ninth by the Memphis Grizzlies or Bronny James joining the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead, it was a second-round trade between the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks that ended with the Knicks acquiring the rights to retired Finnish player and current San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Petteri Koponen. Here’s how it happened.

The Trade Details


In the second round of the draft, it’s common for teams to swap picks. On this occasion, the Mavericks traded up seven spots from the 51st pick, giving the Knicks their 58th pick and cash considerations. What made the trade intriguing was the inclusion of Petteri Koponen’s draft rights as an extra incentive.

Who is Petteri Koponen?

Koponen, a Finnish player, was originally drafted 30th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2007 NBA Draft but was immediately traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. He never played in the NBA but enjoyed a successful 14-year career overseas, playing in Italy, Spain, Russia, and most recently for the Helsinki Seagulls in Finland before retiring in 2022.

Koponen’s Current Role


Despite retiring, the Mavericks retained his draft rights. Just three days before the 2024 NBA Draft, Koponen joined the San Antonio Spurs’ Summer League team as an assistant coach and signed a two-year deal to coach the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian Basketball League (ABL).

Upon learning of the trade, Koponen humorously tweeted that he’d only consider playing if given an irresistible offer, stating, “I’m honored (Knicks) but I’m still going to honor my commitment with the Spurs. Of course, a financially ridiculous offer could change things. I got the new hip! I’m ready.”

Koponen’s Future with the Knicks


While it’s improbable that Koponen will play for the Knicks, the team has added him as the 11th overseas-stashed player on their roster, more than any other NBA team, which has no more than six according to Basketball Reference.

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