The New York Knicks are actively exploring options for a backup to Julius Randle to fill the vacancy left by Obi Toppin on the roster.
A Power Forward Void
Following the trade of Toppin to the Indiana Pacers, a gap for a power forward has emerged on the Knicks’ roster. However, the Knicks are not looking to make expensive trades or offload key players. Instead, they’re seeking a budget-friendly alternative that can create opportunities for teammates and offer strong defense.
Hypothetical Trade Proposition For the Knicks
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report suggested a hypothetical trade that would bring a high-potential power forward to back up Randle, but it would necessitate the Knicks giving up two valuable assets, making it a questionable move.
- The Knicks have a new rivalry brewing in the Eastern Conference
- The Knicks would have to work miracles to land Jrue Holiday
- Could Knicks’ defensive big-man become an offensive catalyst?
The Proposed Deal
In Buckley’s proposition, the Knicks would receive Jonathan Kuminga, Kevon Looney, Brandin Podziemski, and Cory Joseph.
Kuminga, a 20-year-old former lottery pick, averaged 9.9 points last season, shooting .525 from the field and .370 from beyond the arc, and recording 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists. While Kuminga has appealing attributes and potential for development, the Knicks might not have the patience to wait for him to reach his peak.
The deal would also bring Kevon Looney, a 27-year-old center who averaged seven points, 9.3 rebounds, and a career-high 2.5 assists last year, with a shooting average of .630. Looney is a strong defender, though his efficiency has shown signs of decline.
Receiving Podziemski and Joseph would be bonus additions, but the loss of Mitchell Robinson and Quentin Grimes might prove to be a significant setback.
If the deal went through, the Warriors would gain Mitchell Robinson, a top shot-blocker when fit, and Quentin Grimes, a promising player demonstrating solid defensive and scoring abilities.
Robinson’s performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason was outstanding, so his departure could be a hard pill for the Knicks to swallow.
Grimes, three years older than Kuminga, is also improving defensively and showing reliable scoring. Last year, he averaged 11.3 points, shooting .468 from the field, including a .386 average from the three-point line. He also contributed 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists across 29.9 minutes. Grimes shows a lot of potential to offer significant contributions to the Knicks in the next season.
Given the uncertainty of the proposed trade package, Robinson and Grimes are likely to remain secure unless a trade for a superstar necessitates their involvement.