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Knicks trade Ronnie Brewer to Thunder

Feb 21, 2013, 4:03 PM EDT

Knicks forward Ronnie Brewer fouls Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa during their NBA game in New York

The Knicks have traded reserve wing Ronnie Brewer to the Thunder in exchange for a second round draft pick, according to reports from Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

Brewer started the season in New York as an important part of the Knicks rotation, averaging 7.0 points and 3.5 rebounds while playing 22.7 minutes per game through the team’s first 15 contests. Brewer shot 46.1 percent from the field during that stretch, as New York got off to an 11-4 start.

Brewer’s production (and subsequently, his minutes) began to decline, and he had fallen out of Mike Woodson’s rotation almost entirely over the Knicks last 15 games.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Brewer’s regression coincided with the return of Iman Shumpert to the Knicks lineup over the team’s last 14 games. Shumpert is quicker, more athletic, and a better overall defender than Brewer is; the writing was on the wall regarding Brewer’s future in New York, both this season and next.

In Brewer, Oklahoma City gets a player who can defend, and a veteran in his eighth season who is playing out an expiring contract that pays him less than $1.1 million. It’s low risk for Oklahoma City, and they may have acquired someone who can sneak into the end of its rotation to play some meaningful minutes as the team heads down the stretch of the regular season.

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