The New York Knicks face a challenging decision this off-season as they seek to identify the perfect co-star to pair with Jalen Brunson for the forthcoming season.
Julius Randle, regrettably, fell short in affirming his value, manifesting poor performance in the playoffs and a lack of commitment during critical moments.
The Knicks have plenty of trade options this off-season:
Potential trade prospects for the Knicks, such as DeMar DeRozan, Jaylen Brown, and Joel Embiid, have emerged in discussions. Embiid, having completed an MVP-worthy season this year across 66 games, stands out as the best among the three.
The 29-year-old center averaged a career-best 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game, achieving a .548 field goal percentage. He also recorded a .330 three-point shooting percentage, attempting 3.0 per game, and boasted an .857 free-throw percentage.
Ultimately, Embiid could inject the Knicks with top-tier talent, providing a much-needed scoring threat from the center position. However, his acquisition could signal the end of Mitchell Robinson’s tenure, or the Knicks could opt for a larger lineup with two outstanding interior defenders.
The feasibility of a trade involving Embiid, however, remains in question.
With the Philadelphia 76ers enduring a tumultuous off-season, there is ample speculation that President Leon Rose might manage to acquire the superstar center.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the rumors regarding the Knicks’ interest in Joel Embiid are just that — rumors.
“Embiid to New York is strictly in the media chatter phase as we speak,” Stein said. “There are no legs to it … YET. Could that change? Of course.”
While Stein clarified that the rumors are mere media conjecture at present, he also indicated that the situation could evolve, potentially developing into a genuine narrative.
There are concerns that Embiid may not rise to the occasion in playoff scenarios, but coupling him with Brunson might offer the additional backing required to elevate his performance. Embiid is presently signed to a four-year, $210.1 million contract, with an estimated salary of $46.9 million for the upcoming season, consuming a substantial 35% of the league cap.
Assuming such a hefty salary, the Knicks would inevitably have to part ways with Julius Randle and find a strategy to offload Evan Fournier and his forthcoming $18.8 million earnings.
The Knicks could potentially pull off such a maneuver, but they would need to offer a significant trade package for Embiid while preserving the essential components necessary for a shot at an NBA Finals appearance, an opportunity they have not had in decades.
Nevertheless, with Brunson ascending to superstar status, it’s the perfect moment for the Knicks to make a major move and vie for a championship.