The New York Knicks are expected to have a very active trade deadline given how close they are to becoming contenders, and a new name has appeared on their rumored interest list: Toronto Raptors’ Gary Trent Jr.
According to Brett Siegel, the Knicks and the Phoenix Suns are two teams, in particular, to watch for with regard to pursuing the 6-foot, 5-inch guard, as both have expressed a “level of internal interest” in Trent Jr.
“Both the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns are two teams that have a level of internal interest in Trent ahead of the deadline, sources close to both organizations tell Fastbreak on FanNation”, said Siegel.“However, the asking price Toronto for Trent has not been revealed and rival executives believe that the Raptors will be aiming to add immediate draft capital given their recent struggles this season.”
Trent Jr. was dealt to the Raptors during the 2020-21 season and has begun to really break out in the league since being moved. This season, he is averaging a career-high 18.5 points per game and shooting 35.9% from beyond the arc on a struggling Raptors squad.
He is also highly impactful on the defensive side of the ball, averaging a career-high 1.7 steals per game this season, which is currently the fifth-best mark in the NBA.
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The Knicks would have to give up some draft capital:
Bringing him to the Knicks could cost a couple of players plus a draft pick or two. However, his capabilities can elevate New York into one of the deepest teams in the NBA, as he would provide elite and consistent scoring off of the bench (or even in the starting lineup) as well as mesh well with the team’s strong perimeter defenders in the backcourt like Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes.
The Knicks currently rank 26th in bench points per game this season, so it is clear that New York is searching for key depth pieces as the trade deadline approaches.
Trent Jr. is only 23 years old, and given the elevating level of production that he is giving as each season goes by, it is not premature to assume that he will continue to ascend in the right direction and become one of the better two-way guards in the league as more experience comes for him.
Trent Jr. played against the Knicks very recently, scoring 27 points and shooting 8-16 from the field and 4-8 from deep despite losing to New York at home back on January 6th.
Will the Knicks make a strong push for Trent Jr. and pull off a trade him? Only time will tell, but he brings a lot to the table and could be a very valuable addition.
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