Knicks could land former No. 2 draft pick at the trade deadline

Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) controls the ball against New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) and center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks may be able to get a talented scoring guard in return for Quentin Grimes with the NBA trade deadline less than three weeks away. According to Let’s Talk Knicks, Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green was among five players whose names came up in scenarios involving Grimes:

Green’s natural talent is what made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The G League Ignite alum has the tools to be a dangerous scorer in the NBA once he reaches full maturity.

Knicks: Jalen Green’s Game Still Has Growing to Do

From the eye test, Green already possesses a feel for shooting off the catch and off the dribble that opens up the rest of his game. Efficiency is where the concern lies.

Green entered the league shooting 42.6 percent from the field. Rather than seeing improvement, he’s regressed to 39.7 percent thus far this season. His true shooting percentage of 52 percent also ranks in the bottom 24 among all guards. His clip from outside reflects his rawness.

Could the Knicks Get the All-Star They’re Looking For a Year or Two Early?

However, investing in Green would give the Knicks a player who can already get his own shot and play with an infectious pace, which would help a Knicks team that has yet to play faster.

Could Green blossom into a 25-point-per-game scorer in short order? His career 28.5 points per 100 possessions average says so.

Something the Knicks don’t have is a naturally gifted athlete. Jalen Brunson is on his way to his first All-Star nod while Julius Randle is a legitimate All-NBA player, and the Knicks’ role players thrive on the glass and from an outside shooting perspective.

But Green’s ability to jump out of the gym is just another incentive for the front office to take his name seriously in trade talks. The 21-year-old is in the midst of his four-year, $40.8 million rookie deal, making him a perfect option to pursue prior to the deadline.