Knicks News, 7/23: Kelly Oubre a Reggie Bullock replacement? An ideal trade target at center

Kelly Oubre, knicks

There is a possibility the New York Knicks are forced to replace five players preparing to hit the open market, and one of them is small/shooting guard Reggie Bullock.

Bullock is reportedly receiving interest from multiple teams, including the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers. Reggie had himself a solid 2020-21 season with the Knicks last year, helping them take a big step forward in the three-point category, shooting 41% over 6.1 attempts per game. He averaged 11 points, 1.5 assists, and shot 44% from the floor over 65 games. In fact, he averaged the most minutes of his entire career last season with Tom Thibodeau’s, playing 30 per game.

Replacing his impact at the price point of $4.2 million is likely impossible, but there is one alternative option the Knicks could view as a long-term solution at small forward.

Golden State Warriors Kelly Oubre Jr. could fit the bill at 25 years old. Last season, he averaged 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, and shot 44% from the field. While his three-point percentage was a measly 31.6% over 5.2 attempts per game, the expectation is that he will elevate that number to a more consistent clip. His career-high sits at 35% from range, but it seems as if players under Thibodeau’s perform better, which Oubre hinted at when asked about the potential of signing with the Knicks this off-season.

Kelly Oubre raved about the Knicks on “The Putback” Podcast with SNY’s Ian Begley, stating:

”To come in and to help help the organization get better. They’ve already started, the uphill trajectory of what they’re trying to get to with this past year, having a great season and balling out, RJ coming into his own, everybody really coming into their own and making a family unit. That was pretty much the biggest thing and that is why I feel like Tom Thibodeau had a very big part in that.”

Replacing Bullock with Oubre has its pros and cons, as the younger of the two offers far better defense and potential, but Bullock is a more refined shooter, which the Knicks will undoubtedly miss unless they supplement his loss in other ways. However, I believe the team is looking to utilize Immanuel Quickley more strategically next season as a shooting guard, which would supplement the loss of Bullock’s three-point percentage to a degree.

Should the Knicks pursue a Myles Turner trade to bolster center position?

The Indiana Pacers could be looking to trade center, Myles Turner this off-season, and he is a player that offers not only quality defense, but scoring prowess. Last season, he average 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and shot 47.7% from the field. In addition, he’s even capable of shooting from range, connecting on 33.5% over 4.4 attempts. He is a legitimate starting big man, who posted a career-high 3.4 blocks per game, indicating a massive step forward with his defense.

Pairing Turner with Mitchell Robinson will give the Knicks one of the best center duos in the NBA, both capable of elite defense and scoring at an efficient rate. However, sharing minutes between the two would be tough — it would open up the door for the Knicks to utilize Robinson as a trade piece.

In fact, trading for Turner might force the team to include Robinson in the deal, but they would be gaining a fantastic player in return who they can depend on regularly. Contractually, Turner signed a four-year, $80 million deal in 2019, and has two years left remaining. He is owed $17.5 million next season, representing a far more expensive player than Mitchell Robinson at $1.8 million. Ideally, the Knicks will roll with Robinson and he will prove to be a force on both sides of the floor next year, earning a second contract with the team that will keep them in New York for the foreseeable future.