Could the New York Knicks find a way to acquire a star player for the 2021 season?
Even when the Knicks attempt to piece things together through free agency, optimism turns into anguish faster than anyone imagined. The signing of Julius Randle and Marcus Morris represented a light at the end of the tunnel, but Morris didn’t even last one season before being traded, and Randle has been more of a ball-hog than Carmelo Anthony with 20 seconds left on the clock.
The Knicks have been connected to big-name players for years — the latest being Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving before both signed on with the Brooklyn Nets. They continue to lose out in the superstar sweepstakes, but things could finally change directions with NBA super-agent Leon Rose taking over the reins for the Knicks.
Earlier in March, Rose detailed how he intends to rebuild the tumultuous roster Steve Mills left behind.
“Nothing about this is easy, or quick, so I ask for your continued patience. What I promise you in return is that I will be honest and forthright. We will develop a plan that makes sense, both to jumpstart our short-term growth and ensure our long-term success.”
Here are three players Rose might be able to lure to New York:
1.) Donovan Mitchell
Unless you live under a rock, you know what’s going on between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Gobert, jokingly touching everything in sight before coronavirus wrapped its arms around society, contracted the virus, giving it to numerous people, including Mitchell, who was angry at his teammate, rightfully so.
If the Jazz are forced to trade one of them away, the Knicks could be a team looking to benefit. While I don’t imagine a deal, including Mitchell, will ever go down, they’re in a great position with seven draft picks over the next four drafts to steal a premium talent away.
2.) Jrue Holiday
Holiday is one of the league’s premier isolation scorers and defensive point guards — essentially what everyone wishes Frank Ntilikina could be. This last season he was as dynamic as ever, breaking down opposing defenses and was the NBA’s second-most efficient iso-scorer (57.7 eFG).
With the Pelicans already stocked full of talent, the Knicks could trade for Holiday, using their ample draft capital and lock down the PG position for the next few years with an elite scorer and defensive player. While he’s not the most effective three-point shooter, he’s adequate to great in various other categories.
3.) Aaron GordonÂ
Gordon, who is a frequent flier at the Dunk Content, is a solid target for the Knicks who could be looking to steal a significant piece away from the Orlando Magic, who are flush with front-court options.
Averaging 14.4 points per game this past season doesn’t make him an elite scorer, but he’s electrifying around the rim and disruptive defense. There’s still potential to be unlocked with Gordon, which is why he’s an attractive target for Rose. Adding Aaron to a Knicks team in need of front-court talent would be beneficial, but he’s not slotted into the “elite” category of players.