Knicks eyeing a new All-Star trade target to strengthen backcourt

Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) dribbles against the New York Knicks in the second half at State Farm Arena
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

A new All-Star has emerged on the New York Knicks‘ radar prior to the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline.

SNY reported via Twitter that Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray is a player the Knicks would like to pursue despite the fact that his agent Rich Paul has his qualms with the franchise.

Knicks Would Benefit From Murray’s Style of Play and Long-Term Contract

Acquiring Murray would give the Knicks long-term security. Murray, 27, signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Hawks in July.

Murray’s pairing next to Trae Young has not fared well for Atlanta. They are five games below .500 at 12-17 and have fallen from their status as contenders in the Eastern Conference. The dual point guard backcourt has not meshed seamlessly, which could open the door for the Hawks’ front office to seek a change.

Will Rich Paul Be Willing to Overlook His Gripe With the Knicks Brass?

However, Paul, who has represented Murray since 2016, reportedly has underlying strife with Knicks President Leon Rose. The latter made his bones as an agent at Paul’s former employer, CAA. Paul’s reluctance to deal with the Knicks stands as a potential roadblock in executing a trade.

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Knicks Have Several Pieces They Could Offer in Exchange for Murray

Nevertheless, the Knicks have several pieces that they could package to entice the Hawks to make a trade happen. RJ Barrett started the season off on a strong note but has since seen his efficiency numbers take a dip.

He and Murray are on the same level as scorers, separated by only two points per game. Barrett has shown flashes of brilliance but could be made expendable for a facilitator in Murray who thrives at making quick decisions from the top of the key and getting others involved, something the Knicks desperately need in their offense.

Ultimately, Paul is a businessman who will surely look out for the best interest of his client and the right offer from the Knicks will give them a great chance at finally landing another star in the Big Apple while remedying more than one issue standing in their way of contention in the East.