The Eastern Conference conversation has taken a turn as of late, and the New York Knicks must be prepared. The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics have taken the media by storm with blockbuster trades this offseason. With high expectations following last season, acquiring a star to add to the puzzle might be Ace of Spades for the Knicks.
Bringing the reigning MVP to the Big Apple
Any franchise trading a reigning MVP would be unprecedented. Unfortunately for the 76ers, the turmoil surrounding James Harden has been more noise than even Joel Embiid could anticipate. With Harden not committed to the 76ers long-term and with four years left on his deal, expect Embiid to request a trade if the return for Harden is not of greater or equal value.
Stretching the floor with Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns, a three-time all-star and former number-one overall pick, has resided in Minnesota his entire career. With only three playoff appearances over eight seasons, the Timberwolves may look to pivot to a new face of the franchise sooner rather than later.
The emergence of Anthony Edwards has been prominent, but a career shooting average of 39% from three for Towns can’t be denied. A slow start to the season for the Wolves, a team also with high expectations, may mean the end of KAT’s time with the franchise.
Donovan Mitchell Sweepstakes 2.0?
The Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes of last off-season saw the Knicks lose the bidding war to acquire the four-time all-star. Reports indicate the Knicks are “ready to pounce” at the opportunity to trade for Donovan Mitchell. Going as far as keeping a disgruntled Evan Fournier on the roster to add him in any deal they make this season. Eliminating the Mitchell-led Cavaliers last playoffs adds intrigue on Mitchell’s part if the Cavaliers haven’t shown improvement.
Who should the Knicks target?
The Knicks adding without subtraction is key in any trade. A team currently built on defensive instinct and chemistry will be altering that approach in any of these scenarios.
Embiid is the hardest to gauge, given his MVP status. A legacy being built on Embiid’s part would hold hesitancy on his end.
The go for Towns would align him with the defensive-minded Coach Thibodeau, developing a defensive mentality needed in Towns.
Trading for Mitchell answers the question of guard depth in the current regime. The Knicks boast the best guard rotation in the entire NBA, and in any scenario, two of the stellar guards could be seen on different teams by season’s end.