Knicks having conversations with Pistons about 2 brilliant three-point shooters, according to insider

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Detroit Pistons
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With the New York Knicks looking to add much-needed scoring depth to their bench, they’ve been showing interest in various three-point specialists across the league. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, both Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic have been names of interest to them. The Philadelphia 76ers have also shown interest in the two, but they’ve found ‘no progress’ according to Fischer, who reports that all signs point to the Knicks still being involved in a potential trade.

It’s not an either-or situation either, with the Knicks looking to acquire both scorers to add to their rotation and greatly improve their roster.

Pistons and Knicks Could Come Together on a Huge Deadline Deal

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers
Jan 31, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) shoots in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Bojan Bogdanovic is a dynamic three-point shooter and scorer who can improve any team with his aggressive and effective scoring abilities. Averaging 20.2 points per game while shooting 41.5% from downtown, he’s a lethal threat who can cause defenses to crumble as they scurry to try and cover him on the perimeter. Effective three-point shooting isn’t the only thing he brings to the table, as the 34-year-old forward can pull up from anywhere on the court and bury a three, something that their bench has struggled with.

He ranks in the 96th Percentile in Pull-Up three-pointers, and his high-volume shooting would certainly prove valuable for the Knicks’ offense. They’re currently nursing a myriad of injuries and need someone who can help them stay afloat as well, but there’s likely another reason why the Knicks want this to be a two-player package. If they were to acquire Alec Burks, he’d be on an expiring contract, and that means potentially trading Evan Fournier and no longer having a salary matcher in a blockbuster deal down the road.

Since Bogdanovic still has a year remaining on his deal after this season, he fills in for Evan Fournier’s contract and likely has positive trade value on the market. The contributions he could provide on the court and off of it could prove extremely important to the Knicks’ plans, but he’s not the only player they’re looking to bring in from Detroit before today’s deadline.

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 Sports

Alec Burks is a player the New York Knicks are very familiar with, acquiring him midseason back in 2020 when they made a playoff push and ended up as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The veteran guard is a versatile shooter who can play a myriad of roles due to his size and fits in nearly any system. It was clear that Tom Thibodeau liked having Burks, as he would even play him at point guard while with the Knicks (although that didn’t work out).

This season he’s averaging 12.6 points per game off of the bench, draining 40.1% of his threes with a 90.3% success rate from the charity stripe as well. Adding Burks into this deal would give the Knicks another high-efficiency shooter who can space the floor and come off the bench, and given his versatility in a lineup, one could expect him to play a variety of roles on offense as a ball-handler, spot-up shooter, or the engine to their bench unit when they need a spark.

Something that Alec Burks was known for in New York was his ability to dominate in the fourth quarter, and the Knicks could certainly use some late-game heroics off their bench. When Jalen Brunson isn’t on the court, the offense falls flat, but with Burks and Bogdanovic, they might be able to generate offense albeit at the sacrifice of some defensive prowess, as one would expect Quentin Grimes to be traded in this kind of deal.

New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) shoots in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Oct 31, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) shoots in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Hart and Miles McBride would become the team’s primary defenders, and both are certainly adequate for the role, especially given that second units typically run out worse scorers. Burks has also been a solid defender at times, so it’s not completely out of the picture that he could hold his own defensively, but you’d certainly expect Bogdanovic to struggle on that side of the ball given his history as a score-first player. The progression of Mitchell Robinson will certainly help the bench, as he’s a defensive anchor that can hold the fort down for any lineup.

We could also see the Knicks get creative with their rotations as Anunoby and Randle nurse their injuries but expect at least one of these two players to come off the bench if they were to pull off this deal. It would certainly be a monumental upgrade, but it’s a matter of whether the Knicks and Pistons can come together on a potential deal or not.