Why the Knicks should avoid this potential trade target at the deadline

Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant (9) drives past New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) for a layup in the second quarter at Madison Square Garden
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have options to go for in the trade market before the Feb. 8 deadline arrives. However, one player may not be the wisest to chase.

Knicks: A Huge Offer May Not Be Enough to Move the Needle in a Hypothetical Jerami Grant Trade

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley isolated three players the Knicks should stray away from, markedly saying this about Portland Trail Blazers star small forward Jerami Grant:

“The biggest issue with Grant, though, is cost—both in terms of what it would take to get him and how much he’ll make going forward,” Buckley asserted.

“The Blazers aren’t looking to move him, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, so it might take a massive offer for them to rethink that stance. Plus, this is Grant’s first season on his five-year, $160 million deal, meaning the Knicks would essentially have zero wiggle room financially moving forward with him.”

Grant’s name has not come up next to the Knicks’ in reports up until now. Grant is ideally just the player the Knicks could use in their chase for another All-Star to put next to Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle.

A dynamic two-way shooter with elite athleticism, Grant’s length, and ability to play three positions would allow the Knicks to play faster. The problem is, that absorbing Grant’s contract, as Buckley lightly touched on, would necessitate moving a combination of Evan Fournier, Josh Hart, and Mitchell Robinson’s contracts.

How the Knicks Could Free Up Cap Space If They Chose to Chase Grant Prior to The Deadline

The Knicks will likely get a Fournier deal done at some point between now and this summer, freeing up $19 million next year. Hart has not had the same impact as he did last year, giving the Knicks the option to clear another $58 million over the next three years while Isaiah Hartenstein has proven to be an exceptional option at center in Robinson’s stead.

Nonetheless, the hypothetical scenario won’t even get legs unless the Blazers make Grant expendable. Elsewhere, Buckley also threw Dejounte Murray (Atlanta Hawks) and Nic Claxton (Brooklyn Nets) into the same pot with Grant.

Grant is a player for Knicks president Leon Rose to keep in the back of his mind moving forward, whether or not he can make haste to reel him in by Feb. 8.

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