Knicks send haul to the Suns in latest mock trade for Suns star scorer

NBA: Playoffs-Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves, kevin durant, knicks
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The New York Knicks have an opportunity to make a play for Phoenix Suns superstar Kevin Durant this offseason and ship out two of their best starters to acquire his services in a recent mock trade.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley has the Knicks dealing All-Star Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, along with three future first-round picks, to Phoenix in order to bring Durant to the city of New York once again. He referenced Durant’s rave remarks about the Knicks earlier this season as an indicator that he could desire a move to New York (h/t Heavy Sports’ Jon Conahan):

“It should be, as having a scorer of his caliber alongside ascending star Jalen Brunson might make this attack unstoppable. It would take a fortune to get Durant—maybe three first-round picks, plus Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson—but he’d be worth it if he can stay healthy,” Buckley wrote.

Knicks would benefit greatly by giving up massive haul for Kevin Durant

As good as Randle has been for the Knicks as a two-time All-NBA honoree and three-time All-Star in his five years with the franchise, Durant would be a clear upgrade.

The former 2014 NBA MVP played like one again in the regular season. He finished No. 5 in scoring among qualified players with 27.1 points per game on 52.3 percent shooting from the field and 41.3 percent shooting from the three-point line. He also put up five assists, though his rebounding and free-throw shooting were rather down for his career.

NBA: Playoffs-Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns, kevin durant, knicks
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Durant would create the most potent scoring duo in the league next to Jalen Brunson, who finished No. 4 in the Association in scoring with 28.7 PPG in 2023-24. The future Hall-of-Famer would also give the Knicks everything they need heading into a promising 2024-25 campaign as a versatile forward who can man the three or four slot and make huge plays in the biggest moments.

Knicks have the depth to deal Mitchell Robinson and multiple first-rounders

Isaiah Hartenstein’s breakout season, as well as Precious Achiuwa and Jericho Sims’ presences at center on the Knicks’ bench, makes Robinson expendable despite his sheer dominance on the offensive glass, having led the league with 4.6 OREB per game this year. It’s important to note that all three are set to be free agents, so the Knicks will have some business to take care of supporting the center position.

Additionally, three first-rounders is a massive compensation, but not for a player like Durant, even with his history of injuries at 35 years of age. The Knicks have eight first-rounders in the next four drafts to make up for the three they’d cough up.

The former two-time NBA Finals MVP may want to run it back with Devin Booker and Bradley Beal in Phoenix next season. However, if he doesn’t, the 6-11 star would give the Knicks as good a playoff performer as there’s ever been in the league over a talent in Randle, who has regressed in several postseasons in New York. He’d also give the Knicks another elite defender and help attract more top talent around their championship-contending core.

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