The New York Knicks are headed into a busy off-season that will likely include them finding a solution at the point guard position. Whether that solution involves Derrick Rose and a youth prospect is yet to be seen, but they have the draft capital and assets to trade for an established option. There are a few teams that could be willing to part ways with their current point guard.
Three names specifically come to mind as suitable choices for New York, but the asset allocation differs vastly, so they must consider that when bringing in alternative players. The more efficient method would be to spend in free agency instead of trading away assets, especially with a deep FA class.
Evaluating three trades, the Knicks could execute:
1.) The mammoth Damian Lillard trade
Of course, the blockbuster deal would inevitably include Damian Lillard, who is a bonafide superstar at 31 years old. Last season, he averaged 28.8 points, 7.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and shot 45% from the field. For a high-volume shooter, attempting 10.5 shots from three per game, he averaged 39%, which is a mind-blowing success rate.
Acquiring Lillard to pair with Julius Randle would be a dream come true, but the Knicks would have to give up the farm in the process, which is something they should think long and hard about before pulling the trigger.
Portland would want a massive haul in return, which would likely include draft picks and young talent to work around. In this scenario, the Knicks would 100% percent have to part ways with RJ Barrett, who, in my opinion, should be off-limits.
-3 first-round picks
2.) The efficient Collin Sexton trade
The second trade that could be intriguing for New York is the acquisition of Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton. Reports have bubbled to the surface recently that Sexton could be on his way out of Cleveland, especially with the emergence of Darius Garland.
Sexton is only 22 years old and averaged 24 points this past season, shooting 47% from the field and 37% from downtown. Ultimately, if the Knicks are looking for a scoring point guard who can be a consistent threat driving to the rim and as a shooter, Sexton makes a ton of sense, but he offers little in terms of defense. There will be plenty of teams requesting a price tag for Sexton, and the Knicks luckily have plenty of assets to throw Clevelandâ€™s way in this scenario. He also wouldnâ€™t cost an exorbitant amount, compared to Lillard.
-2021 first-round picks
3.) Cardiac Kemba trade
The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Kemba Walker from the Boston Celtics this off-season, and they could execute a flip and trade. Walker has traditionally been one of the best point guards in the NBA but has suffered from injuries the past few seasons.
Walker hasnâ€™t played over 56 games in three years but is only one year removed from being an All-Star in four consecutive campaigns. He regularly averages over 20 points per game and is a solid facilitator but struggled from range this past season, shooting 36% over 8.2 attempts per contest. If heâ€™s healthy, heâ€™s capable of leading an offense admirably, but his contract is quite lofty for a team that might not value him as a consistent option due to his health history. He is set to make $36 million next season with a player option during the 2022-23 season.
Guaranteeing him for just one year might be a questionable move, especially if Oklahoma is demanding solid value in return. Walker is one player I would steer clear of based on the nature of his contract and bill of health.
-2021 first-round picks
Out of these three options, which trade would you execute if you were the Knicks (if any)? Comment below!