The Knicks announced the trade two hours before Friday night's game in Milwaukee, completing a flurry of activity that also saw the team send guard Jamal Crawford to the Golden State Warriors for Al Harrington in the morning.
By trading their two leading scorers, the Knicks will clear approximately $27 million in salary-cap space for the summer of 2010 when their obsession, Cleveland’s LeBron James, can become a free agent.
Randolph will be making $17.3 million and Crawford $10.1 million in 2010. For the Knicks, this will create significant flexibility as that historic free-agent class of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh hits the market.
The teams had previously discussed a Randolph trade over the summer and the Clippers became motivated to do a deal after opening the season 2-9.
Randolph, who is averaging 20.6 points this season, gives the Clippers an accomplished low-post scorer to work with guard Baron Davis.
While there is some speculation the Clippers would now try to trade center Chris Kaman, one team source said coach Mike Dunleavy is hopeful Kaman and Marcus Camby can help negate some of Randolph's defensive shortcomings.
The trade for Randolph, coincidentally, comes on the same day the Clippers face their former All-Star forward, Elton Brand, for the first time. Brand had helped lure Davis to Los Angeles only to leave for a larger offer with the Philadelphia 76ers.