Ranking the Knicks’ top 3 trade targets ahead of the deadline

Toronto Raptors forward Bruce Brown (Knicks trade target)
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are expected to be very active ahead of the NBA trade deadline. After trading for F OG Anunoby, the team has been looking to add depth to their roster after losing G Immanuel Quickley and G/F RJ Barrett. As New York continues to make significant strides in the Eastern Conference, many different players have been linked as potential suitors for the Knicks.

3. The Knicks could make a splash with Dejounte Murray

Trading for Dejounte Murray would be the Knicks’ “splash” move if they were to make one. The Atlanta Hawks have struggled mightily this season, currently 10th in the Eastern Conference at 19-27, which has enticed them to listen to offers on its star players such as Murray. For the season, Murray is averaging 21.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. Murray has made strides as a 3-point shooter this season, shooting 38.8% from beyond the arc, the highest mark since his rookie season.

Adding Murray to the Knicks’ lineup would give them a very solid starting five of Brunson-Murray-Anunoby-Randle-Hartenstein. However, Murray figures to be the most expensive option for the Knicks, and for a team that is currently struggling with depth, they can hardly afford to lose any more depth pieces, even for a player of Murray’s caliber.

Also, the Knicks current starting five of Brunson-Divincenzo-Anunoby-Randle-Hartenstein has produced great results, helping lead the Knicks to a 12-2 record in their last 14 games with a 15.1 net rating over that span, making Murray much less of a need for the Knicks.

2. Adding depth with the reigning NBA Sixth Man of The Year

The reigning NBA Sixth Man of The Year Malcolm Brogdon has also been linked to the Knicks in trade rumors. Following his impressive campaign last year with the Boston Celtics, Brogdon was traded to the Portland Trailblazers in the offseason, who have struggled tremendously. The Blazers are currently 14th in the Western Conference at 13-32.

Portland features an incredibly young roster that is in the early stages of a rebuild following the departure of franchise icon Damian Lillard, making veteran talents such as Brogdon more expendable. On the season, Brogdon is averaging 15.7 points per game, shooting 43% from the field and 42% from beyond the arc.

Brogdon would give the Knicks a primary ball handler and scorer in the second unit, which has struggled to provide offense since the departure of G Immanuel Quickley. While G Miles McBride has been a pleasant surprise for the Knicks, he has visibly struggled the run the Knicks’ offense at times, making Brogdon a seamless fit.

As a player, Brogdon fits the team’s needs perfectly, however, he comes with an extensive injury history, only playing in 60 or more games in a season in three of his eight NBA seasons. Brogdon would be a high-risk, high-reward type of player for the Knicks.

1. The Knicks should make a trade for Bruce Brown

Toronto Raptors G Bruce Brown makes the most sense for what the Knicks need, and he fits the team’s identity better than nearly all other possible trade candidates for the Knicks. Recently acquired by Toronto from the Indiana Pacers as part of the Pascal Siakam trade, Brown is enjoying a career year, averaging a career-high 11.8 points per game in 37 games with both the Pacers and the Raptors. An integral part of last season’s Denver Nuggets championship run, many have speculated that Brown could be traded once again before the trade deadline, with the Knicks viewed as top suitors.

Brown has experience playing backup PG in the NBA, and his hard-nosed, two-way style of play is a perfect fit in Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau’s system. Recently, Brown spoke in high regard for Thibodeau, showing his respect for the two-time NBA Coach of The Year.

“I would think [I’m] the type of player that he likes,” Brown told The New York Post. “Every time we play Thibs I go up to him and shake his hand, just because of what he’s done. Nothing but respect for Thibs.”

With the trade deadline looming, the Knicks will weigh their options to improve the roster. As the team’s ceiling continues to grow, New York is aiming to build upon their first real chance at contention in the 21st century.

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