Knicks News: Lonzo Ball free agent target, Raptors present underrated challenge

There is an argument to be made at the New York Knicks made a mistake not trading for a player at the deadline a few weeks ago. With reports swirling that the Knicks were interested in Pelicans’ point guard Lonzo Ball, there was a moment where the two teams could have connected on a deal, but the Knicks will likely wait until free agency to take another shot at the 6’6”, 190 pound PG.

It seemed as if New York had more desire to add draft capital than give it away, and they did just that by parting ways with Austin Rivers and Ignas Brazdeikis, adding two second-round selections.

The Knicks now have two first-round picks, likely in the middle of the draft unless they tank the rest of the season, and multiple second-rounders. They could consider pairing their draft picks to move up and get their player of choice, but free agency also offers a different approach. They could look to Ball to fix their point guard problems, letting Elfrid Payton walk simultaneously. At 23 years old, Ball is averaging 14.5 points over .424 shooting from the field, both career highs.

Otherwise, they can use their draft picks to find a point guard, as some have New York taking guard Sharife Cooper out of Auburn.

The New York Knicks have an important game on Sunday:

Taking our attention toward the present, the Knicks are gearing up for a contest against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday evening. The Raptors are coming off a blowout win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, with both Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam resting on the bench. A few individual performances boosted Toronto toward an impressive victory, but the Knick defense won’t allow that to happen. New York currently hosts the best defense in basketball, allowing a league-low 104.5 points per game.

New York finally extracted a victory in a close contest against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night, inching a four-point victory after falling numerous times in close games to playoff-bound teams. The Grizzlies are just about as good as the Knicks but far more offensive than defensive.

In the contest, RJ Barrett finished with 20 points and Immanuel Quickley the same. The two youngsters fueled the Knick offense, which desperately needed a pick me up after falling by four combined points to the Nets and Celtics two games prior. Tom Thibodeau must limit Toronto from scoring, so playing his usual aggressive defense style is exactly what they need to focus on.