Tracy McGrady and his 23 million dollar expiring contract cost the Knicks Larry Hughes, Jared Jeffries, last year's lottery pick Jordan Hill, the right to swap 1st round draft picks in 2011, and their 2012 1st round pick.
I'm not going to argue the merits of what we did with that cap space as opposed to what New York will attempt to do with theirs, but I do think there's something worth noting, here. We essentially gave up Chauncey, who we all love, but should also all be able to admit was declining in Detroit before his rejuvenation in Denver for a 21 million dollar expiring contract.
For a similarly sized expiring contract, New York had to give up arguably its best guard (also his expiring 13 million dollar contract), its best defensive player (who they did want to dump thanks to his salary next year), and 3 1st round picks from last year to 2012. They have also already given up their first round draft pick this year, 2010, in a prior trade.
I'm willing to concede that Dumars has made several mistakes, but I think that trade, perhaps not what he did with the space, but the trade itself, was a very shrewd move. He received the opportunity to pursue any free agent he wanted that off-season without so much as giving up a second round pick.