Why the New York Knicks shouldn’t trade for a superstar

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett
Jan 10, 2021; New York, New York, USA; RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks heads for the net as Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets defends at Madison Square Garden on January 10, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are gearing up to face off against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday evening, but news has been revolving that Tom Thibodeau and his squad could acquire a big name in a potential trade. The question is, how valuable would that be and what would be the asking price?

Reports have indicated that the Knicks have been keeping tabs on a variety of players, including star Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, and CJ McCollum. Beal has been the focal point the past few days, but the asking price would be significant, including multiple first-rounders and a young player with potential.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks told Empire Sports Media that the Knicks would have to be OK parting ways with RJ Barrett, two first-rounders, and two unprotected first-rounders. That is an astronomical price tag for Beal, but he would immediately make them a playoff-contending team.

Beal is averaging 32.9 points per game this year over 26 games, a career-high coming off a 2019 season where he was averaging 30.5 points over 57 games. Bradley is a bonafide star who is only 27 and has room to grow.

If New York truly sees him as a future part of the team, parting ways with Barrett might be a good move. However, the argument against it is simple and straightforward.

Don’t fix what’s not broken. The Knicks have made a significant turnaround in just one off-season under Thibodeau and new management. In fact, it has been one of the biggest surprises of the year so far, as New York consistently beats winning teams and has the number one ranked defense in the NBA. Thanks to stellar performances by Julius Randle, who is averaging 23.2 points per game and 11 rebounds, and the emergence of a youngster Immanuel Quickley, Thibodeau has some interesting pieces to work with.

The benefits of landing a star would help the Knicks, but might harm them too:

Of course, landing a superstar would be a positive move, but they might have to give up too much in which it would hurt their future. Mortgaging your future on a star always has its cons, and the Knicks might be better off waiting until free agency to acquire a big name.

Considering the team is still developing, getting minutes to their younger players should be a priority, building the continuity within the current starting unit and then injecting more talent in FA should be the move. Sending off multiple first-round picks and a player like Barrett would only hurt the team’s long-term future.