The New York Knicks reportedly continue to show interest in Sacramento Kings star point guard De’Aaron Fox ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.
Fox, who has been sidelined since Jan. 19 with an ankle injury, is experiencing a down year in the Kings’ crowded backcourt. He’s averaging 21.0 points and 5.2 assists this season, down from last year’s 25.2 and 7.2. He’s also shooting a career-low 24.8 percent from behind the arc.
The continued rise of Tyrese Haliburton and the emergence of Davion Mitchell have made Fox expendable.
“This has been reported elsewhere, but I’ve heard as well that the Knicks have shown some interest in De’Aaron Fox,” said Brian Windhorst on The Hoop Collective podcast. “The player that makes the most sense in that swap would be Julius Randle.”
Like Fox, Randle’s numbers (18.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists, and 30.3 percent 3-point shooting clip) are also down this season after leading the Knicks to the playoffs last year and making it to the All-NBA Second Team.
— Fireside Knicks (@FiresideKnicks) February 4, 2022
Both the Knicks and Kings are currently out of the playoff and the play-in picture. A swap between their two struggling stars could give them a jolt.
“I’ve run hot and cold on De’Aaron. I like his mentality, and I think if you could get him, I’m not sure if that trade changes that much for the Knicks, but it certainly alleviates the deteriorating issue in New York with Julius Randle — both his relationships with Thibs (Tom Thibodeau) and his relationships with the fans.” Windhorst added.
Randle has earned the ire of a section of the Knicks fan base due to his inconsistent effort and poor body language this season. There are no signs, however, of a Randle-Thibodeau rift. The Knicks coach has been Randle’s most vocal ally, lawyering for the struggling Knicks star in press conferences.
Fox is in the first year of a five-year super-max extension worth $163 million, while Randle signed a four-year, $117 million extension last summer.
Meanwhile, a section of the Kings fan base wouldn’t have an issue with the possible Fox-Randle swap.
"If they moved Fox for Randle, I wouldn't have an issue with that…"
— Sactown Sports 1140 (@Sactown1140) February 4, 2022
Randle has familiarity with current Kings coach Alvin Gentry, who handled the Knicks star in New Orleans before moving to New York.
Fox could become the best Knicks points guard entering his prime in a long while if he lands in New York.
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