With the NBA trade deadline on March 25 inching closer every day, the New York Knicks continue to scour the market for potential star auditions. Adding a significant player would help their playoff hopes, as the Knicks could use the extra town to push them over the edge. They currently sit at 14–16 on the season, giving them a .467 win percentage. They are the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference standings, putting them in a spot to compete during the postseason.
One more big player would allow them to climb the seeded ranks, potentially even earning a home-field series. Out of every team in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks are allowing the fewest points at 103.7. In fact, they are allowing the fewest points in the entire NBA, with the Los Angeles Lakers behind at 105.9.
While New York has been connected to several big-name players in recent days, including Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine, there are a few players that are untreatable.
Three untradeable players for the New York Knicks:
1.) Julius Randle
Randle has been playing an All-Star level this season, averaging a career-high 23.2 points per game, 5.5 assists, and 10.9 total rebounds. All of those numbers are personal bests over 30 games this year. He’s connecting on .480 from the field and .407 from three-point, which is by far his best success rate. His only problem is an increase in turnovers at 3.3 per game, but considering his influence this season, that is something the Knicks are willing to live with.
Prior to the start of the season, most expected the team to move on from Randle at some point, but he has made himself a key point in their success, and trading him away would be malpractice.
2.) RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett has clearly taken a step forward in his development this season, but his minutes per game have slowly decreased over the last few games. He’s averaging 16.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per, indicating a slight increase in production. At 20 years old, the sky is the limit, so the Knicks clearly won’t be shopping him before the deadline.
3.) Immanuel Quickley
If there’s any single player that the Knicks are keeping in their safety vault, it is Immanuel Quickley. Averaging 12.4 points and 2.7 assists, Quickley has emerged like a Phoenix from the ashes, as the Knicks didn’t expect to be getting such a prolific player with the 25th overall selection.
He has been a godsend for their offensive production, and acquiring Derrick Rose should likely make him an even better player as the season goes on.
4.) Obi Toppin
The Knicks spent the eighth overall pick on Obi Toppin, and while he’s struggled to get things going in his rookie season, he is a physically gifted player but hasn’t found his sea legs in the NBA yet. Giving him more time is a priority, but he has the potential to be an adequate shooter and solid rebounder in the paint.
5.) Mitchell Robinson
The New York Knicks have an opportunity to retain Mitchell Robinson for the 2022 season, considering they have a team option worth $1.8 million. I expect them to pick up that option, and given the step forward he took this season at 22 years old, it is worth sticking with him to see if his offense makes a significant jump under Tom Thibodeau.
Robinson has been a focal point on defense, helping the Knicks to the best unit in the NBA. A fractured hand recently sidelined him indefinitely but trading him with only hurt their defensive efficiency, which is something Thibodeau is unlikely to accept.