What Might The New York Knicks Trade Deadline Moves Look Like?

The New York Knicks currently hold the second-worst record in the East, and that’s not a bad thing. After a four-point loss against the Rockets, and a game against the Nets this week, it’s clear leading up to the trade deadline that the Knicks are tanking.

The Knicks recently did the obvious and made Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Courtney Lee available for trade. If I was in Scott Perry and Steve Mills’ seats, here’s what I would do to brighten up the Knicks future.

Tim Hardaway Jr. Moves To Nola:

Knicks: Zach Randolph(SAC), Kosta Koufos(SAC), Wesley Johnson(NOP), Ben McLemore(SAC)

Pelicans: Tim Hardaway Jr.(NYK), Trey Burke(NYK), Noah Vonleh(NYK)

Kings: Enes Kanter(NYK), Solomon Hill(NOP), Cheick Diallo(NOP)

This trade accomplished something for each of the three teams. The Knicks clear cap space and only get expiring contracts back so they can make a run on some free agents.

The Pelicans get a wing player they desperately need, along with bench pieces that they need. The Kings get the big man they were rumored to have interest in a few weeks ago, along with an intriguing wing on a decent size contract that needs a fresh start, and a developmental big. There would be no picks involved in this hypothetical trade. Yes, the Knicks are giving Vonleh, Burke, and Kanter away and not getting any assets, but they’re getting cap space, and they may be able to flip some of the players they received for second round picks.

Thomas, Hezonja move across town:

Knicks: Jared Dudley

Nets: Lance Thomas, Mario Hezonja

This is a simple and easy trade. The Nets get two wings that can be good leaders off the bench for a fairly young team that needs wing players and veterans for a playoff push. The Knicks get an expendable player who can be waived and doesn’t have a contract past next season.

The reason why the Knicks would want to do this trade is money, as it saves the Knicks a million dollars next season, as that’s all Lance Thomas is guaranteed. You might be thinking it doesn’t make sense to do this trade just for saving a little money, but the Knicks should want to clear the books as much as possible to attract free agents.

Courtney Lee heads to the sunshine state:

Knicks: Kyle O’Quinn(IND),Khem Birch(ORL), Jarell Martin(ORL), 2024 2nd Round pick(via IND)

Magic: Courtney Lee(NYK), Emmanuel Mudiay(NYK), T.J. Leaf(IND), 2019 2nd Round pick(via NYK),

Pacers: Terrence Ross(NYK)

With the recent news about Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo the Pacers need somebody to try and fill his role. Terrence Ross is on an expiring contract and is having a career year. In exchange for Ross the Pacers are giving up reserve big man Kyle O’Quinn, and developmental big men T.J. Leaf.

The Pacers would also be giving their 2024 second round pick to the Knicks as they owe the Nets there 2019 second round pick, which has protections and seems unlikely to be conveyed until 2023. In exchange for Terrence Ross the Magic are taking on Courtney Lee’s contract, which is one year longer than Ross, but Lee can fill his role. For taking on Lee’s contract, and trading Ross, the Magic pick up a second round pick this year, while getting a developmental prospect in T.J. Leaf, and maybe their future point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay.

The only problem with this is that Mudiay will be out for about two weeks with an injury. Also, the Knicks shouldn’t be concerned about giving up there 2019 second round pick, as it will likely be in the back half of the second round in a weak draft, as it is the least favorable of the Cavaliers, Magic, or Rockets. The Knicks get back expiring contracts, and might be able to flip O’Quinn for a future draft pick.

Flipping Players:

With my mock deadline moves, I have the Knicks acquiring the following players, all in the final year of their contract Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos, Wesley Johnson, Ben McLemore, Jared Dudley, Kyle O’Quinn, Khem Birch, and Jarell Martin.

In my mock, I would waive the following: Zach Randolph, Jared Dudley, Khem Birch, and Jarell Martin. The Knicks could try to flip the other players for second-round picks to contending teams. I see the Nuggets as a potential option as they have three big Player Trade Exceptions. The only thing is these players can’t be traded in combination with another player, so they would have to be traded individually.

Play the young guys:

I would fill out my bench by signing high performing G League and free agent players with a partial guarantee for next year. The Knicks could then run out a starting lineup of Frank Ntilikina, Dameyon Dotson, Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson, and commit to player development.

While all of this happening would be unlikely, if I was in a position to manage the Knicks this would be my plan of action, to improve for next year(tank and open cap space).