Ranking the Knicks’ top tradeable pieces

rj barrett, knicks

As we approach free agency, the New York Knicks are poised to have a bustling offseason in both the free agency and trade market. Armed with in-house talent and valuable draft capital, the Knicks are on the lookout for a superstar acquisition to catapult them into title contention next season. Here’s a look at the Knicks’ most valuable trade assets.

Ranking the Knicks’ tradable assets:

1. RJ Barrett: A Young Star with Potential

Topping our list is RJ Barrett, his youth and potential ceiling as a player making him a valuable trade asset. Since the emergence of Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson, Barrett’s fit with the Knicks has come under scrutiny. Despite his age and potential, his inconsistent fourth year has raised questions about his future as an All-Star player in New York.

Barrett’s performance on both sides of the ball dipped in the 2022-23 season, shooting a career-low 31% from three-point range and averaging a career-high 2.2 turnovers per game. Despite his proficiency in scoring under the rim, the Knicks are desperate to improve their shooting. Trading Barrett for an established star forward might be the solution to the team’s spacing issues.

A potential trade involving Barrett would likely include other players and draft picks to acquire a star player. As the Knicks’ best young player, Barrett could be offered in a trade for a player like Paul George, which would also lessen the amount of draft capital needed to finalize the deal.

2. Immanuel Quickley: A Valuable Two-Way Guard

At one point in the 2022-23 season, Immanuel Quickley was almost traded before the deadline. But a turnaround in his performance ensured that he ended the season with an impressive average of 14.9 points per game and became the runner-up for the Sixth Man of The Year Award. Quickley’s value as a two-way guard who can guard a team’s best player and provide high-level outside scoring is not to be underestimated.

If the Knicks decide to keep Quickley, they’ll need to negotiate a contract extension before he hits free agency. However, Quickley is reportedly seeking an extension north of $100 million. With much of their cap tied to Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett, the Knicks’ budget could tighten further with a new contract for Josh Hart.

If an agreement cannot be reached with Quickley, trading him while his value is high could be a strategic move for the Knicks. They could include him in a larger trade package to secure more flexibility for future deals.

3. Obi Toppin: Potential Power Forward

Since his 2020 draft, Obi Toppin has had trouble securing consistent playing time. The 25-year-old’s frustration with his bench role behind Julius Randle could lead to a mutually beneficial trade.

Toppin’s performance as a consistent starter has shown promise, averaging 20/5/3 on 57/44/83 shooting splits in 15 career starts. However, if Randle were to be traded, it’s unlikely that Toppin would be promoted to a full-time starter. Trading Randle would likely involve the acquisition of another All-Star caliber power forward rather than relying on Toppin’s development.

Rumors of Toppin’s trade on draft night to acquire more draft capital circulated, with the Indiana Pacers appearing as potential suitors. While no transaction took place, trade talks with the Pacers or other young, unproven squads could continue due to Toppin’s potential and young age.

Wrapping Up

The New York Knicks’ roster for the 2023-24 season may see a significant transformation from the team that progressed to the second round last season. As we kick off a potentially bustling offseason, three core in-house players stand out as ones to watch in the forthcoming reshuffle.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_

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