In the face of scarce news concerning the New York Knicks, they are nonetheless gearing up for a busy few weeks. The team’s agenda includes offloading some high-priced assets to introduce a third star alongside Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle.
The Knicks hold both the draft capital and young talents that can be leveraged in a major trade. However, the team has adopted a patient approach, choosing to hold out for the right opportunity rather than initiating moves just for the sake of change.
That being said, several players are being spotlighted as likely trade candidates should the Knicks decide to get into the mix.
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Top 3 Trade Candidates for the Knicks
Despite holding limited value, Evan Fournier is a primary candidate for a trade, given the Knicks’ attempts to move him over recent weeks. The team’s goal is to sell his value for a return rather than bundling him with draft picks simply to make a trade.
Fournier, a French sharpshooter due $18.9 million for the 2023–24 season, is hoping that a solid World Cup performance will catalyze a potential move. After realizing that head coach Tom Thibodeau would be sidelining him, Fournier discarded his training regimen last year. He saw action in merely 27 games, averaging 17 minutes and 6.1 points, with 1.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and a .337 field goal percentage.
However, Fournier’s previous season saw him averaging 14.1 points and nearly 39% from downtown, indicating his potential as a quality producer. For a team seeking a solid shooting option, Fournier might appeal, and considering the current high price of scorers, the Knicks are looking to offload him at a net neutral cost.
Any trade negotiation for a legitimate star begins and ends with RJ Barrett. At only 23 years old and with four NBA years under his belt, Barrett is poised for significant advancement.
Last year saw Barrett averaging 19.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and a .434 field goal percentage. Despite a regression in his three-point shooting from the 2020–21 season, Barrett has shown glimpses of star potential, albeit without consistent full-season performance.
Prior to an early-season finger injury, Barrett was delivering excellent offensive performances. While his defense has been inconsistent, a team could be willing to gamble on his upside given his youth. Barrett is about to step into a four-year, $107 million deal. Should he make the right developmental strides, this deal could turn out to be an absolute bargain.
If the Knicks are seeking value, young guard Immanuel Quickley certainly fits the profile. Quickley, currently in the final year of his rookie deal before a significant extension, presents an ideal opportunity for the Knicks to capitalize on his services.
Quickley could be a key piece in a larger deal, particularly if the Knicks are unwilling to pay him over $20 million per season on a four-year contract. Aged 24, Quickley averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and shot .448 from the field last year, with a 37% hit rate from downtown.
Although Malcolm Brogdon of the Boston Celtics narrowly outperformed him for the Sixth Man of the Year award, a team searching for a young guard to extend may see great value in Quickley, whose potential remains untapped.