Knicks showing interest in acquiring recently-traded scorer

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Denver Nuggets
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the Knicks looking to add bench scoring, they could potentially acquire Bruce Brown, who was part of the Pascal Siakam trade and could be re-routed from Toronto. Ian Begley of SNY is reporting that the Knicks have an internal interest in acquiring the 27-year-old guard, as they showed a heavy interest in him in free agency this past summer. This year, Brown is averaging 12.1 points per game but has seen his three-point shooting take a hit from 35.8% in 2022 to 32.7% in 2023.

The versatile guard can play multiple positions and ranks in the 81st Percentile in Defensive Versatility, but can he provide the spark on offense that New York is searching for from their bench?

Does Bruce Brown Make Sense For the Knicks?

NBA: Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers
Jan 10, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Bruce Brown (11) celebrates a made basket in the second half against the Washington Wizards at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks are looking for a bench scorer who can help jolt their offense for the second unit, and Bruce Brown can be a potential fit, but is he another catch-and-shoot option on a bench full of them? Brown ranks in the 63rd Percentile in Self-Created Shot Making but is pedestrian in terms of shot creation. He isn’t a dominant scorer the way a Dejounte Murray or Terry Rozier would be, but he has playmaking abilities that could pair nicely with the plethora of shooters New York has on their bench.

Bruce Brown has experience as a point guard and has always been a solid playmaker in his career, which is potentially how the Knicks feel they can optimize his value. His versatility to guard three different positions proficiently while having the ballhandling skills to run the offense when Jalen Brunson is off the court. One of the issues the Knicks could find with trying to acquire a player who can run the second unit is that they’d likely have to find a starter to stagnate minutes with, creating a weird fit to open and close games with three ball-dominant players.

Instead, Brown would give the Knicks a player willing to generate offense for himself and others, and that ability to create shots for himself and distribute the basketball would make his fit in New York make plenty of sense. This does mean a slight shift in his role, but Brown’s game has always centered around an ability to provide solid scoring and versatility. This could also keep Miles McBride in the rotation, who has been brilliant since being inserted back in, although he wouldn’t be the primary ballhandler.

NBA: Orlando Magic at New York Knicks
Jan 15, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) dribbles in front of Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs (4) and guard Caleb Houstan (2) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

To acquire Bruce Brown the Knicks likely wouldn’t have to part ways with much, meaning they could also hang onto most of their assets and get an immediate upgrade to their bench. The Raptors have made it clear that they’re going to move Brown, and with only a few weeks left before the Trade Deadline, they’ll have to make a deal happen quickly. Perhaps a first-round pick and Evan Fournier is what it would take, with the Knicks able to match salaries with Toronto and acquire a player who instantly provides an upgrade for their roster.

A seemingly odd fit, there’s a reason the Knicks have coveted him heavily even during their pursuit of Donte DiVincenzo, and with Quentin Grimes falling out of favor internally, this could be the right upgrade for them. It wouldn’t require moving Grimes either, as they could find a better match for him in a deal, potentially netting valuable draft capital that aids their pursuit of a superstar in the summer, although it remains unclear as to who that superstar could be for the Knicks.

Bruce Brown is a versatile scorer who can give the bench a scorer who can be ball-dominant and aggressive with his shot selection, and if the price is right, the Knicks might be all over a chance to land him.