Knicks are reportedly exploring a deal for 2023 Sixth Man of the Year winner

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks need help on their bench given just how poor the bench scoring is without Immanuel Quickley, and preferably they’ll need an option who can handle the basketball as well. Miles McBride is an excellent defensive guard but doesn’t possess the offensive upside necessary to run the offense, and Josh Hart’s value stems from his ability to play a supplemental role defensively. Quentin Grimes losing the consistency of his shot has created issues as well, and overall the bench unit needs a jolt following their acquisition of Anunoby.

Malcolm Brogdon, who beat out the aforementioned Quickley for the 6th Man of the Year Award last year could be available on the trade market, and according to Kris Pursiainen of WFUV Sports, the Knicks have explored the option of trading for him.

Knicks Searching For Bench Scoring Options

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) defends Portland Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon (11) during the first half at Chase Center (New York Knicks)
Dec 23, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) defends Portland Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon (11) during the first half at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

New York needs a primary ball-handler on their bench who can score and space the floor, and Malcolm Brogdon is one of the more efficient guards in the NBA. He’s shown the ability to run an offense at a high level, and the 31-year-old guard has both the playmaking and shooting ability to give the Knicks’ bench the exact offensive spark they’re looking for. He’s shooting over 40% from three and is averaging 15.7 points and 5.6 assists a night on under 30 minutes a game, and his on-court impact has been apparent throughout his NBA career.

He’s a sharpshooter who is hitting 41.4% of his attempts from beyond the arc on 5.4 attempts a game, and adding more spacing to the bench unit can give other options on the court more room to operate. Furthermore, his excellent playmaking could set up three-point opportunities for shooters like Quentin Grimes and take the pressure off of other players on the court to handle the ball throughout the game. It’s a seamless fit for the Knicks, and his $22.5 million salary over the next two seasons would also make him a great salary-filler if they looked to pull a huge deal off over the summer.

New York Knicks shooting guard Evan Fournier (13) warms up prior to the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden
Nov 6, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Evan Fournier (13) warms up prior to the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

It would also be an expiring contract, meaning that any team looking to trade a star and reset could flip Brogdon to a contender at next year’s deadline or that very summer. As for what a package could look like, Evan Fournier is the most logical candidate for a deal since he matches his salary with Brogdon and the Trail Blazers would be able to turn down his fourth-year club option, allowing him to once again hit the market or even buy him out. It’s likely a contender would take the flier on a shooter like Fournier to give them bench scoring if needed, and it’s unlikely Portland has him in their future plans.

Draft compensation could include a first-round pick and a second-rounder or pick swaps, as the Knicks have an abundance of draft capital, even after the OG Anunoby deal. It seems as if that deal was specifically structured to include as few picks as possible so the team could improve at the deadline and over the summer, and this move would certainly bolster the roster significantly. Pursiainen also reported that another Eastern Conference team is looking into Malcolm Brogdon, so the Knicks will have some competition on that front.