It has become pretty obvious that the New York Knicks are not a good team at all. With a 10-33 record in mid January, the Knicks are the 3rd worst team in the league.
Most fans are actually quite pleased with how the season has gone (at least record wise) being that winning the lottery this year would be as exciting as ever. Whether it be Zion, RJ, Reddish or even Racer star Ja Morant, there is plenty of reason to want to lose every single game.
Can they lose a little more competitively like Sunday’s loss to Philly? Absolutely. However, a loss is another closer shot at a top pick.
The NBA trade deadline is just a few weeks away and while New York will obviously not be buying, they might really not have much to sell either. The only “untradable” guys are KP and 19-year-old rising star Kevin Knox. Mitch, Trier and Frank are all young and under contract but if they can get good value or package them to dump salary, it would be understandable. Everyone else is either gone due to impending free agency or should be gone via trade or salary dump.
Here are some potential trade ideas that would work well for all teams involved:
New York trades – Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina
Dallas trades- Dennis Smith Jr. and Wesley Mathews
It works for the Knicks because they get to dump THJ. The front office might still be high on Frank but you still have something in DSJ and Mathews will be a FA after the year. This starts opening the door for 2 big Free agents. Dallas can benefit from THJ as a bench scorer and he will not have to be a number 1 option. He can help them make a playoff push and might do well with Rick Carlisle.
New York receives – Memphis 2nd RD pick
Memphis receives – Courtney Lee
Memphis does not really attract any big name free agents and Lee would help spread the floor a bit. Maybe they package Justin Holiday and make the salaries work out. This obviously works well with the Knicks as they should do whatever they can to ship off Lee without taking on additional salary.
New York gets – Zach Randolph, Ben McLemore and Iman Shumpert
Sacramento gets – Enes Kanter, Noah Vonleh and Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Kings have been a fun surprise this year. I would love to see De’Aaron Fox in the playoffs and they are becoming one of the most exciting teams in the league. The salaries are close and could match up with another player or two but Sac Town needs some big men who can board and run and who better than Noah Vonleh?
Kanter wouldn’t help their defense at all but will rebound and put back some points. Timmy is someone they looked into in the past and tried for a similar player in Zach Lavine this past offseason so maybe they wouldn’t mind having him.
New York receives – Future 2nd RD pick
Houston receives – Enes Kanter and Emmanuel Mudiay
The Knicks shouldn’t be resigning either Kanter or Mudiay if they wan any chance at a big name FA. The Rockets continue to get hurt and there is only so much James Harden can do without much depth. Kanter and Mudiay can be decent in the regular season and provide some depth in the playoffs if need be.
New York gets – Tyus Jones
Minnesota gets – Courtney Lee and Trey Burke
Minnesota is not going to attract any real FA and could use a guy like Lee to spread the court a bit and be a good vet. Burke will add some scoring punch off the bench if need be and he will be gone after this year. Jones would actually be a nice fit for the Knicks, he is a pass first PG (something that Mudiay and Burke are not) and they can let go of him if they like.
I personally do not see the Knicks making an substantial trades by the deadline. Substantial meaning either freeing up future cap space (hello Lee and Timmy) or acquiring a real future asset. The players they currently have do not really offer much to a serious contending team. While some can provide bench minutes, no one would start for a top 4 team in either conference.
If, say, Scott Perry and Steve Mills do decide to trade some of these guys and get some additional 2nd rounders, they can maybe find another Mitch in the draft.
Please, try and trade Hardaway and Lee. Keep the eye on the loads of potential prizes that we may be able to find in the offseason. Whether it be KD, Kawhi, Klay or Kyrie or even just to hold onto that cap space. Wait until next year, please, we beg of you, play the damn cards right for once.