Knicks: New frontcourt trade target emerges with trade deadline near

Charlotte Hornets forward center PJ Washington (25), New York Knicks
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

For the New York Knicks, Julius Randle’s recent dislocated shoulder has only heightened their need for depth at the power forward position. The Knicks’ 113-105 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in their last outing suggests that the franchise may need further reinforcements in order to weather their current midseason injury bug.

Knicks: Hornet’s PJ Washington is yet another impact player to have his name attached to the franchise prior to the deadline

In comes Charlotte Hornets power forward PJ Washington to the mix. Bleacher Report’s Erik Beaston emphatically declared that the Knicks “must” trade for the newest target to surface on their rumor mill, citing a report from Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer regarding the Knicks’ “legitimate interest” in the young big man.

The biggest way Washington could help the Knicks would be with his outside shooting range and ability to put the ball on the floor with his face to or away from the basket and create for himself.

Washington plays at a moderate pace but can turn on the jets in the open floor. Washington possesses underrated athleticism and sound footwork and finishing in the pick-and-roll.

Is Washington a must-have player for the Knicks?

On the 2023-24 season, Washington is putting up 13.8 points per game on just over 29 minutes a contest. His 33.8 percent connect rate from beyond the arc on 1.8 nightly three-pointers made shows that Washington can hit the outside shot with volume for his size and that his efficiency, while down compared to his previous seasons, would still be serviceable for the Knicks.

Washington is owed $45.5 million over the next three seasons. He comes at a price that the Knicks will have to mull over, but his natural gifts and feel for the game make him a great second-unit option as well as a flex starter who can play alongside Julius Randle, owning a career average of one block per game.

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