Knicks move elite defensive big-man to Warriors in mock trade

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks face several pivotal decisions this off-season, particularly regarding potential trades to enhance their roster alongside Jalen Brunson. While Julius Randle appears likely to remain with the team, the possibility of trading him to acquire another championship-caliber player cannot be discounted.

Strategic Moves for the Knicks This Off-Season

Another significant consideration involves Mitchell Robinson, one of the Knicks’ top defensive assets, who, unfortunately, has become synonymous with injury. His performance in the postseason was commendable, particularly against Joel Embiid, until a foot injury cut his season short.

Robinson, who is in the midst of a four-year, $60 million contract, will earn $14.3 million in the upcoming season. Despite his talent, his frequent injuries make his contract a burden, especially as it will decrease to $12.9 million in the 2025–26 season.

May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) grabs a rebound against Indiana Pacers forward Isaiah Jackson (22) during the fourth quarter of game one of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) grabs a rebound against Indiana Pacers forward Isaiah Jackson (22) during the fourth quarter of game one of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As Bleacher Report suggested, a proposed trade with the Golden State Warriors:

“The Knicks have tangible proof they can win big without Robinson, so maybe they aren’t keen on keeping his $14.3 million salary on their books,” Bleacher Report writes. “The Warriors, who could be angling for more size, could give New York an out with Robinson while sending back a bulldog defender in Payton, a young three-and-D wing in Moody and a lightly protected future first-round pick to help reel in a bigger fish at a later date.”

Analyzing the Trade Components

The proposed trade components are intriguing. Gary Payton II played 15.5 minutes per game across 44 games this season, averaging 5.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. While Payton might not significantly impact the team’s performance, his experience and defensive prowess add valuable depth.

Moses Moody, only three years into his career, played 66 games this past season, averaging 17.5 minutes, 8.1 points, and three rebounds per game, with a shooting percentage of .462 from the field. Moody’s solid defensive skills, combined with his untapped offensive potential, make him a promising asset for the Knicks’ future.

The most strategic asset in this trade would be the 2026 first-round pick, top-five protected. This pick could be instrumental in acquiring a star player or enhancing the Knicks’ bargaining power in future negotiations.

Although losing Robinson would be difficult, given his potential, the Knicks must face the reality that his frequent injuries render him unreliable. Continuing to count on his availability could prove costly, particularly when critical games arrive. This trade, while tough, could provide the Knicks with the flexibility and assets needed to build a more robust and reliable team.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: