Knicks could open up almost ‘any’ player to be traded this off-season

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The upcoming off-season for the New York Knicks is filled with anticipation and a clear focus on building a championship-caliber team. After a season where Jalen Brunson showcased his ability to lead the team during the playoffs, it’s evident that the Knicks need more depth and must address injuries that curtailed their competitive edge.

Under President Leon Rose’s leadership, the team is rumored to be considering major roster changes, with Ian Begley of SNY reporting that almost “any” player could be traded, except for Brunson.

Strategic Moves for the Knicks’ Off-Season

The Knicks are contemplating significant moves, including the potential acquisition of Karl-Anthony Towns, which would enhance their offensive and defensive capabilities in the big-man role.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives to the basket against New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden
Jan 18, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives to the basket against New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

However, this move might necessitate offloading Mitchell Robinson to free up over $14 million in salary space, and possibly even Julius Randle, despite the financial stretch his salary demands could pose. An alternative could involve trading Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic, whose contracts together approach $35 million, with Bogdanovic’s deal becoming fully guaranteed on June 28 unless the Knicks opt to release him and save $17 million.

Balancing the Books: Financial Decisions and Potential Trades

Retaining Bogdanovic could instead allow the Knicks to be more aggressive in their trading strategy, potentially packaging him with Randle or Robinson. The flexibility of these contracts makes them attractive in trade scenarios, providing the Knicks with various options to reshape their roster.

Robinson, when fit, is among the league’s top defenders, but his frequent injuries have become a significant concern, prompting discussions about his future with the team, particularly as the Knicks consider securing Isaiah Hartenstein on a long-term contract.

Jan 15, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) celebrates with forward Julius Randle (30) after a basket against the Orlando Magic during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) celebrates with forward Julius Randle (30) after a basket against the Orlando Magic during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, the Knicks face a decision regarding OG Anunoby and a possible extension that could exceed $150 million. The complexity of acquiring Towns, given his recent poor playoff performances and injury history, suggests that a multi-team trade might be necessary. This scenario would likely involve significant roster changes, potentially requiring the Knicks to seek replacements through the NBA Draft or by signing depth-enhancing free agents for the 2024-25 season.

In trade discussions, Brunson remains untouchable, and the team should also protect Donte DiVincenzo, who has proven to be a valuable asset due to his scoring efficiency and defensive prowess.

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