Knicks: Top superstar trade targets for the 2024 offseason

Dec 15, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives between New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) and  guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) in the first half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks don’t require a massive retooling this offseason, but upgrades in an ever-changing league can be a ticket to the NBA Finals. The Knicks looked like a contender when healthy this past season, and now is the perfect time to push all the chips in for another star.

Big names have been attached to New York, but the hurdle of parting ways with a tenured player might be the holdup, as the Knicks have only recently restored front-office morale around the association. 

Top Knicks trade targets for the 2024 offseason

Could LeBron James come to the Big Apple?

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

An early February contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks turned into a media frenzy as Lakers star LeBron James dropped near-cryptic messages to the media about his interest in playing for the New York Knicks.

“I’ve had that thought in my career,” James told reporters.

James, now 39 years old, has a player option on his upcoming season with the Los Angeles Lakers. The arrival of his son Bronny James to the NBA has been a headline across the basketball world. The possibility of LeBron teaming up with his son in Los Angeles or declining his player option to join his son on whatever team drafts him is possible

Being the media mastermind that James is, he has much awareness of the weight of his words. Going as far as praising the current status of the Knicks while wearing the Knicks towel in post-game interviews stirred the pot on well-timed speculation on the future of the legend’s future.

Devin Booker would give the Knicks another elite scorer

Apr 28, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (9) guards Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) during the second half of game four of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Booker being a former client of current Knicks President Leon Rose adds fuel to this fire, and the “Booker to New York” talk has been white noise since 2021. Currently on a four-year, $221 million deal with Phoenix, the prospect of Booker is ultimately speculative, but Phoenix is in a tumultuous situation after overspending and underperforming this past season.

New York could offer a lucrative trade package for Booker if he speaks on any unrest. The long-term scenario is in four years, Booker will be only 31 years old.

Adding Booker to the culture of the Knicks would be seamless. Name value holds weight with the Knicks faithful, but his skill level is worthy of a blockbuster deal that would lift New York eye to eye with the Boston Celtics. 

Mikal Bridges would complete the “Villanova Knicks”

Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) looks to drive past New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden
Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) looks to drive past New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The perfect culmination of the “Villanova Knicks” would be adding former teammate Mikal Bridges to the fray. The 27-year-old former All-Defensive First-Team forward has had the New York Knicks on his radar his whole career, going as far to say, “I wanted to be in New York, I’m like that’s lit… and I love MSG, all my best games in college were there.”

Countless jokes between former teammates, most known has been Josh Hart’s constant bantering of Bridges missing out. Bill Simmons, the founder of The Ringer and prominent The BS Podcast, spoke on the Knick’s pursuit of Bridges this summer, even going as far as to say New York will overpay

New York has the assets to get the deal done, and with Bridges averaging 19.6 points per game last season, adding him to the fold would be a layer of protection coming off a season that saw big names miss extended time. The Knicks sustained defensively down the stretch, but a lack of offense and versatility was the deciding factor as they lost to the Indiana Pacers in six games. 

Honorable Mentions

Apr 9, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  (New York Knicks) LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) handles the ball against Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first quarter at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Trading for Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks before the deadline was a move for New York to add more scoring off the bench in the absence of Julius Randle. Sealing all holes in New York gives them the highest chance in the East, and securing another scorer would allow players like Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo to maximize themselves on the defensive end. 

Paul George might be had for an affordable price

George was tied to New York before the 2023 Draft, but the deal never went through due to the reported price tag of the nine-time All-Star. New York making 34-year-old George a priority would be malpractice for the Knicks, as he has played 70 or more games only twice in the last five seasons. If George is on the table, and it can be done without trading a star player, then it must be considered. 

Brandon Ingram would be another excellent scoring option

With speculation of changes looming in New Orleans, the prospect of Brandon Ingram to the Knicks isn’t impossible. His lack of availability has been a red flag from many Knicks fans on social media, and that is a fair retort to any speculation, as New York already has an availability problem. Then again, a secure role under the guise of Thibodeau’s regime may be the missing piece for both the Knicks and Ingram, coming off the season averaging 20 points per game. 

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