With the New York Knicks now officially within the championship window, their offseason focus will shift to acquiring external resources from other teams rather than concentrating on the lottery, which had been the Knicks’ annual routine prior to this year.
As Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle have emerged as an elite NBA duo, and the Knicks possess an abundance of draft picks and assets they are willing to trade, New York may be poised to make a significant move in the upcoming offseason.
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Here are some players the Knicks might target:
O.G. Anunoby’s name was frequently mentioned in trade rumors before the most recent trade deadline. The Raptors, who narrowly missed the playoffs and dismissed Head Coach Nick Nurse, may consider offloading some of their most valuable assets to rebuild the franchise.
The Knicks have shown great interest in Anunoby and his skillset, expressing high regard for him at the past trade deadline. Recognized as one of the league’s top perimeter defenders, Anunoby also offers strong three-point shooting, making him an ideal three-and-D wing player for the Knicks.
This season, Anunoby averaged 16.8 points and five rebounds while shooting 47.6% from the field and 38.7% from beyond the arc in 67 games for the Raptors. He also led the league in steals per game with 1.9. Consequently, his value will not be low, and although he may not be a traditional superstar, he remains an elite role player who could significantly impact New York.
Another name that was nearly traded at the deadline, Zach LaVine, could once again be a prime target for the Knicks.
LaVine and the Knicks have frequently been mentioned in the same trade rumors, particularly after Jalen Brunson signed with the team last offseason. However, nothing has materialized thus far.
The superstar shooting guard enjoyed a solid season with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 24.8 points per game while shooting 48.5% from the field and 37.5% from three-point range.
LaVine’s dynamic and fast-paced scoring ability, when combined with Brunson and Julius Randle, would create a formidable offense for the Knicks. With three high-level scorers on the court simultaneously, opposing teams would struggle to contain them.
Nevertheless, the Knicks would suffer defensively, as LaVine is not generally considered a strong defender. LaVine’s substantial contract and Chicago’s high asking price could mean that the Knicks would likely have to part with at least one of Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, or RJ Barrett, as well as a few first-round draft picks. This is a high-risk, high-reward scenario for New York to weigh.
Gary Trent Jr:
Another Raptor with significant potential that the Knicks could target this offseason is guard Gary Trent Jr.
Like his current teammate Anunoby, Trent Jr. offers elite two-way abilities and above-average outside shooting. He averaged 17.4 points, shooting 37% from three-point range, and also recorded 1.6 steals per game in 66 appearances for the Raptors this season.
Trent Jr. attracted interest from several teams during the past trade deadline, but like other high-value Raptors, he remained with the team.
If the Knicks aim to enhance their three-and-D depth without breaking the bank, Trent Jr. could be the player to pursue. As a young and improving talent, he has rapidly developed into one of the league’s top role players. Although not a superstar, he performs exceptionally well in his role and could mesh seamlessly with skilled playmakers like Brunson and Randle.
With the current playoff run re-establishing a winning culture in New York, the Knicks are expected to be active in the upcoming offseason. Possessing numerous tradeable assets, they could be in for an exciting summer.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_