Knicks finalize trade to add 2 dynamic shooters to their lineup

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are finalizing a deal to acquire guard Alec Burks and forward Bojan Bogdanovic from the Detroit Pistons, sending a four-player package including Quentin Grimes. They will also send over Ryan Arcidiacono, Malachi Flynn, and Evan Fournier to help fill out salary, and in terms of draft compensation, they’ll send over two second-round picks to finalize this deal. New York desperately needed scoring depth off of the bench, and they got exactly what they were looking for.

By acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic, the Knicks will also have a salary to move in the summer if they decide to make a blockbuster deal over the summer.

Two Lethal Shooters Are Headed to the Knicks

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons
Jan 24, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dribbles in the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Fans have clamored for the New York Knicks to add shooting, especially off of the bench, and that’s exactly what they’ve accomplished in this deal. While they’ll take a hit to their defense, adding both Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to the rotation will give them plenty of scoring, and the only notable loss to the rotation comes in the form of Quentin Grimes, who has fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. It’s a deal that could be questionable to some, as trading more youth is always controversial, but when it comes down to what the Knicks needed, this is a home run move.

Both Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic are lethal shooters who can pull up from anywhere on the court with high volume, and that should create more space to operate for various players on the team and ease the pressure on Jalen Brunson as well. For starters, Bogdanovic is averaging 20.2 points per game with a 60% True Shooting%, and his value stems exclusively from his offense. His defensive skills have never been good, but the Knicks have a strong enough defensive core to mask his deficiencies on that side of the ball.

While some may ponder about the defensive hit the Knicks are taking, Alec Burks has shown the ability to hold his own on defense due to the size advantage he has over most two guards. Positions matter much less now than they did in years past, but having Josh Hart, Miles McBride, and Precious Achiuwa in the second unit should allow Burks to take on easy defensive assignments and hold his own. In his stint with the Knicks previously, he held a Defensive EPM that ranked at or above the 80th Percentile in both seasons.

Detroit Pistons guard Alec Burks (14)  (New York Knicks trade target)
Jan 15, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Alec Burks (14) runs down the court during the game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks bench unit is now dangerous on both sides of the ball, and teams will have to respect these two dynamic shooters whenever they’re on the court. For now, we could see them in the starting lineup, especially given the injuries they’re currently dealing with, although I heavily doubt the Knicks would want Brunson-DiVincenzo-Burks-Bogdanovic in the same lineup given how poor the defensive fit could be.

We could see Precious Achiuwa in the starting lineup with Bogdanovic either at the three or simply coming off of the bench, with Burks starting instead. However the Knicks choose to align their roster, they’ve got more offensive firepower to work with, and they’re in a great position to contend with some of the best teams the NBA has to offer. Leon Rose’s aggression at the deadline signifies a belief that the current core they have, and they’ll get to see how this iteration of the Knicks stack up in the Eastern Conference in the second half.

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