With just five days until the NBA trade deadline, the New York Knicks are in the middle of a rumor storm. Ranging from Jalen Brunson to De’Aaron Fox, Leon Rose could go in a variety of different directions, but one thing is for sure, their interest in a point guard is obvious.
On Friday, it was reported that the Knicks were intrigued by Fox, who currently plays for a problematic Sacramento Kings team.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported the news Friday on The Hoop Collective podcast:
“This has been reported elsewhere, but I’ve heard as well that the Knicks have shown some interest in De’Aaron Fox,” Windhorst said. “The player that makes the most sense in that swap is Julius Randle.”
With Randle un-following the Knicks Instagram, there could be blood in the water.
Randle has been frustrated with his role this season, failing miserably to replicate his All-Star performance from last year. The fans and media have gotten on his case about the reduction in production, causing him to lash out and portray hostility.
With his average points per game down five compared to last season, the Knicks have had to look elsewhere to supplement his scoring. However, with the front office and fan base souring on Randle’s contributions after signing a four-year, $117 million extension, there’s a chance the team could move him at the deadline.
Windhorst mentions a swap of Randle and Fox. Fox is currently at the beginning of a five-year, $163 million deal, preparing to earn $30 million next season, a similar number to Randle. However, Fox plays point guard, a position the Knicks have failed miserably to solve in recent years. Despite the presence of Derrick Rose, who has contributed valiantly, his injury concerns are mounting.
This season, Fox has played in 43 games, averaging 21 points, 5.2 assists, and shooting 46% from the field. By no means is Fox an above-average three-point shooter, averaging less than one attempt per game this year, but he is elite around the rim and offers solid defense.
Given his value at a position of need for the Knicks, the financial situation makes perfect sense for the two teams to swap players. Sacramento could use a quality power forward to pair with their youngsters, and the Knicks have Obi Toppin waiting in the wings to fill Randle’s shoes once he departs.