3 New York Knicks players that could be traded

New York Knicks, Austin Rivers

The New York Knicks are actively scouring the trade market for ways to improve their team, as they recently acquired Derrick Rose, sending point guard Dennis Smith Jr. to the Detroit Pistons. Smith Jr. was “all smiles” after being treated by the Knicks, and now they can finally move on from what was a massive mistake several years ago.

Rose has already shown his quality on the court, scoring 14 points over 20 minutes in his first game this season. The Knicks are currently 11-15, four games from .500. The most recent loss of the Miami Heat was disappointing, as they had a slight advantage going into the fourth quarter and blew a late lead, coming up short for a second consecutive night.

Once New York can close out tight games, it will make them a far more exciting team. One way they can improve their performance is to strike a trade for a premium asset. However, they would have to part ways with some of their current talent.

Three tradeable players for the New York Knicks:

1.) Elfrid Payton

One player that might draw some attention is Elfrid Payton, who is averaging 12.1 points per game and 3.7 assists. He was far more resourceful with the ball in his hands last year, averaging 7.2 assists per game, but his aggressive defense is why Tom Thibodeau continues to utilize him as a starter. There’s likely a team out there looking for a solid defender and reserve point guard to utilize in a rotational aspect. The Knicks are preparing to thrust Immanuel Quickley into the starting role at some point, which makes Payton expendable, especially since he’s on a one year contract.

2.) Frank Ntilikina

There’s always a need for a quality defender on the bench, but the Knicks have completely disregarded Frank Ntilikina over 26 games. He’s only made four appearances, and at 22 years old, a team out there will likely see the value in his fantastic defense.

There is still potential left offensively, but they have tried every which way to improve his scoring abilities. He has never averaged more than 6.3 points per game, and Thibodeau is looking for players who can put points on the board as well as dominate on defense.

I see the value that Ntilikina has, but at the end of the day, if Thibodeau isn’t going to utilize him, it is best to cash in on his value.

3.) Austin Rivers

The Knicks landed Austin Rivers on a three-year, $9.975 million contract this past off-season. While he started the year nursing an injury, he has provided a spark with his solid dribbling and off-ball movement.

He’s averaging just 8.1 points per game, which has value as a rotational player off the bench. At some point, he seems like he could be an adequate starter, but inconsistencies have dismantled his case. He is shooting a bit better from the field and three-point line, but nothing to be overzealous about.

Rivers is a player who could draw some attention on the market, and if the Knicks could package a few players together to land a more valuable asset, it might be worthwhile to explore a trade.

New York Knicks’ rookies aren’t getting the playing time they deserve

Through 25 games, the New York Knicks have turned some heads this season. Currently 11-14 and just 0.5 games out of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks are seemingly headed in the right direction under coach Tom Thibodeau.

However, despite the surprisingly strong start, many Knicks fans are disappointed in the lack of playing time for rookies Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. Some struggling veterans are getting playing time instead, and the team’s rotations may have cost the Knicks some games.

Toppin, the eighth pick in 2020’s NBA draft, averages just over 11 minutes a game. He’s doing okay in his limited minutes, 4.6 ppg and 2.6 rebounds, but doesn’t get enough playing time to really show what he’s got. Playing time certainly isn’t given, but the eighth overall pick on a rebuilding team needs extended minutes.

Although many of Toppin’s minutes are taken by the forward duo of Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, Toppin should be getting some of Reggie Bullock’s minutes. Bullock’s know to be a “three-and-D” player but has struggled a lot this season. He scored 21 points the other night against Miami, but averages just 8.9 ppg in 27 minutes.

Quickley has had some games this season where he’s completely lit it up, yet he sits on the bench. He’s scored 16 or more points eight times this season but averages just 19 minutes. Despite the Knicks winning two of their last three games, Quickley has played no more than 17 minutes in those games.

Elfrid Payton, on the other hand, continues to be an offensive nuisance. In nearly 29 minutes per game, Payton averages 12 ppg (same as Quickley), while shooting just 43% from the field and 24% from downtown. His defense keeps him in the lineup, but his offense is just brutal to watch.

Over the weekend, the Knicks acquired Derrick Rose, adding another guard into the mix. While Rose and Payton will likely see the bulk of the minutes, the Knicks must continue to give Quickley playing time. Rumors indicate that the Knicks could eventually move on from Payton, but for now, he’ll remain a Knick and another obstacle blocking Quickley’s minutes.

Despite the Knicks having a deep roster, the Knicks must give their rookies decent playing time. You can’t turn a team into a dynasty without young talent, and they have plenty of young talent. The Knicks aren’t a contending team this season, so they need to make time for their rookies and development.



Report: Knicks could trade Elfrid Payton after Derrick Rose acquisition

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton

The New York Knicks made an interesting trade over the weekend, acquiring Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons. Rose hasn’t started a game this season at 32 years old, but he’s averaging 22.8 minutes per contest off the bench. He’s putting up 14.2 points per game and 4.2 assists, edging current Knicks Elfrid Payton in the scoring department.

The Knicks now have multiple point guards, including Payton, Rose, Immanuel Quickley, and Austin Rivers. This will likely make someone expendable, and Payton might be the player who can attract the most interest and add the most draft capital.

At this point in his career, Rose is more of a rotational player, who can offer Quickley a mentor and teacher. He does provide some spark on offense, but the Knicks might feel IQ is ready to take a step forward into the starting five. If that is the case, NY should be looking for trade partners who want a solid defensive point guard in Payton who is averaging 11.9 points per game.

According to Bleacher Report, teams have inquired about Elfrid Payton, who’s now expendable after the acquisition of Derrick Rose.

After ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Knicks traded Dennis Smith Jr. and a second-round draft pick to the Detroit Pistons for Derrick Rose, Ian Begley of SNY reported “at least one team in playoff contention has shown interest in Elfrid Payton.”

Payton started Sunday’s loss to the Miami Heat, but there will be less need for him following the Rose trade.

In addition to the veteran Rose, New York can turn toward Austin Rivers and Immanuel Quickley to handle the ball. Quickley, who was the No. 25 overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft, has been a pleasant surprise for the Knicks this season with his ability to provide an immediate boost off the bench.

The question remains, is Quickley ready to take that step forward and retain a starting role?

Over 21 games, he’s averaging 12 points over 18.9 minutes, and while his defense is a work in progress, he has the effort and athleticism to develop in every category. I would like to see him move the ball a bit more efficiently and increases assist numbers, but that will likely come with more time on the floor. Payton is simply taking up too many minutes, and while he has been playing well as of late, selling high would be a good move for New York, who likely feel confident IQ can replace his production with ease.

New York Knicks: How important is Elfrid Payton to the team’s success?

New York Knicks, Mike Miller

When New York Knicks starting point guard Elfrid Payton plays well, the Knicks end up winning most of the time. There seems to be a strong distaste from Knick fans towards Elfrid Payton. Fan emotions, however, doesn’t change the fact that Payton is important to the current Knicks team due to the position he plays.

Tom Thibodeau makes that obvious by starting Payton on a nightly basis at point guard. The Knicks are now 8-2 when Elfrid makes 5 field goals or more. It’s important for Payton to be a threat and put some kind of pressure on opposing defenses. Wally Szczerbiak of MSG Networks mentioned the following over the air during the halftime show of the Knicks victory in Chicago Wednesday night, February 3rd.

Elfrid Payton quieted his haters Wednesday night against Chicago with 20-points, eight rebounds, and four assists in 35 minutes. The Knicks improved to 8-2 when Payton connects on 5 or more field goals after the victory. Thibodeau stated the following after the Knicks win against the Bulls.

Elfrid’s strengths are his defense, running the team and being an opportunistic scorer. I thought he was very aggressive. Everyone has confidence in him. Just play as hard as you can. Some nights it’s his night and some nights into someone else’s night. That’s what I love about our team. We have to share in that and we have to do it together.

Elfrid Payton is capable of putting up triple-doubles in points, assists, and rebounds. When he is aggressive, it tremendously benefits the Knicks. The Knicks roster is still getting used to each other, and only time will tell when it comes to improvement and more victories in the win column.

In addition, having a stellar young talent in Immanuel Quickley is complement him helps the Knicks change their pace and give the offense a spark when necessary. The one-two punch of Payton and Quickly is starting to become a more lethal tandem. 

Knicks deny Carmelo Anthony a historic moment at home, climb to 6th spot

Carmelo Anthony was one of the league’s brightest stars when the New York Knicks were still relevant.

Anthony returned to The Garden on Saturday as one of the league’s elder statesmen. The Knicks denied him a historic moment while they continue their rise back to relevance.

The Knicks (11-13) climbed to the sixth spot in the East after turning back the Portland Trail Blazers, 110-99, for their second consecutive win.

Needing only 13 points to catch Oscar Robertson in the NBA scoring list at No. 12, the Knicks vaunted defense held Anthony to just a single field goal after exploding for 22 points in Portland’s big win in Philadelphia last Thursday.

Even Portland star Damian Lillard’s return from an abdominal strain couldn’t help the Trail Blazers break down the Knicks’ stingy defense.

Lillard had a game-high 29 points but couldn’t score in the last 3:28 as New York staved off Portland’s late rally.

Elfrid Payton picked up from where he left off in Chicago, while Immanuel Quickley had a timely mini spurt in the fourth quarter.

Payton was a steadying force at the point of attack for the Knicks. He finished with his second straight 20-point performance with 22 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Quickley had 12 points in 13 minutes, including seven in the early moments of the fourth period that restored order after the Blazers got within five.

Julius Randle continued playing at an All-Star level with 22 points, including four clutch free throws that sealed the win.

In one pivotal moment in the third quarter, he barrelled his way against Anthony and buried a jumper over his outstretched arms—a passing of the torch moment.

Anthony was the last Knick to play in the All-Star game. Randle is poised to be the next one.

The current do-it-all Knicks’ forward added 11 rebounds and four assists for his 16th double-double of the season.

Reggie Bullock and Alec Burks combined for six of the Knicks’ 13 triples in a total team effort.

The Knicks will have another acid test tomorrow against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.

Anthony, who waxed nostalgic and heaped praise on what Tom Thibodeau has done so far for the Knicks, saw first hand what it’s all about.

It starts with defense.

The Knicks held the Trail Blazers to their second-lowest scoring performance this season.

Unlike in their 116-113 loss in Portland, the Knicks didn’t play catchup basketball this time. They were in control for most of the game and played like a playoff team.

It was sweet revenge.

And it came at the expense of Anthony, their former franchise player and the last symbol of Knicks playoff basketball.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Knicks’ Elfrid Payton offers motivating words about team’s development

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton

The New York Knicks currently said 10-13 on the season, but they have played well above their expectations heading into the 2020 campaign. Most expected them to be a struggling team, but head coach Tom Thibodeau is not known for putting together losing squads. In fact, he’s better known for his ability to reach the postseason and execute with his aggressive style of coaching.

Thibodeau demands stellar defense, which is something the Knicks are thriving in this season, despite taking a few weeks to find their sea legs. Composing a group of new faces and a fresh coaching staff is never easy, but the Knicks are once again defeating odds and are just three games back from .500. Most recently, they overcame the Chicago Bulls in the second game of a two-game series. Their defense once again showed up big, overwhelming Chicago and allowing players like RJ Barrett and Julius Randle to dominate in transition and take high-probability shots.

One player who has emerged as a consistent option is point guard Elfrid Payton. Payton signed a one-year, $5 million deal this past off-season with New York, and while he lacks the consistency to be a dominant PG in the NBA, he is a solid defender and makes flashy plays on occasion. He provides Thibodeau with exactly what he asks, defensive prowess, and the ability to run the offenses with pace.

Payton did state that the team is making significant progress, but it was never an overnight thing. They needed time together to refine their abilities and build chemistry, and it is finally taking hold in-game.

“Stuff takes time,” Payton said after the Knicks’ win over Chicago on Wednesday evening. “Everybody, we live in a world, they want stuff so instant. It takes time to learn people, it takes time for things to work. So I think playing a whole year together, learning each other, learning each other’s strength, working on their games, I think you’re seeing the fruits of their labor. Sometimes you’ve got to take a few L’s.”

The expectation is that the Knicks will continue to improve, especially as rookies Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley adapt to the league. The only way is up, and with stellar coaching and potential personnel decisions on the way, we should be optimistic about the teams future for the first time in years.

“Everyone’s role is different,” Thibodeau said. “Some guys play more than others. Some guys are just there to be ready when the opportunity comes. And it will come. That’s sort of the nature of this league. When that opportunity comes, be ready to go in and help the team.

Payton’s redemption game lifts Knicks to a split in Chicago

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton

In the face of the New York Knicks fanbase’s strong clamor to replace Elfrid Payton in the starting unit, Tom Thibodeau has stuck with his guns.

Payton repaid Thibodeau’s unwavering trust on Wednesday night as the Knicks avenged their earlier loss to the Chicago Bulls with a 107-103 win in their rematch.

Redemption was the theme of the night for the Knicks.

Payton got out of his slump and aggressively attacked the Bulls’ defense right from the get-go. He unloaded 10 of his 20 points in the opening quarter as the Knicks raced to as big as a 19-point lead.

Julius Randle atoned for his Monday night’s late-game blunder with 27 points, 11 in that Knicks’ hot start.

Thibodeau made adjustments that forced the Bulls to play catchup for most of the night.

Lauri Markkanen, who torched them with 30 points the other night, was limited to just nine. The Bulls’ outside gunners were silenced. Their 6-for-36 three-point clip was the second-worst performance by a Knicks’ opponent this season.

But it wasn’t an easy win for the Knicks. There were hiccups as the Bulls’ second unit led by Denzel Valentine came alive in the second half.

The Knicks’ 15-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter quickly evaporated. The Bulls came within three on Markkanen dunk, 99-96, with 5:45 left.

But the Knicks weathered the storm.

Reggie Bullock hit a three, then Payton followed it up with his last field goal of the game to quickly restore order.

The Bulls threatened once more on a Zach LaVine three-pointer, 104-99, inside the final 2:37. Randle answered with a fadeaway jumper.

It was enough to fend off the Bull’s comeback attempt and cushioned the impact of another series of misses and errors reminiscent of their late-game collapse last Monday.

Randle added six rebounds, six assists, and two steals in another tour de force.

Payton laced up one of his best games of the season with eight boards and four dimes.

RJ Barrett shot efficiently (8-of-16) to finish with 17 points. Mitchell Robinson regained his starter’s minutes and anchored the Knicks’ defense. He had eight points, 11 rebounds, and two steals in 28 minutes.

Quickley led the second unit with nine quiet points as the night belonged to Payton.

“I think Elfrid is a pro. He has a lot of pride in his game, and more importantly, he has a lot of pride in the team. I think the winning component is important to him, so whatever we asked him to do, he does it unselfishly. He’s always sacrificing for the team. It’s recognized by everyone,” Thibodeau said after the game.

The Knicks improved to 10-13 and stayed within striking distance of the East’s top eight teams.

They will head back to New York for a back-to-back homestand against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Miami Heat this weekend.

Against the Blazers, who beat them during their most recent West Coast trip, redemption will again be the name of the game.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Should the New York Knicks start Immanuel Quickley over Elfird Payton?

New York Knicks, Immanuel Quickley

The New York Knicks have surprised most with their start to the 2021 season. Despite sitting at 8-10, nobody anticipated them being this competitive, even in their losses. Thanks to several offensive weapons, including Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, the Knicks are slowly developing into an adequate team.

However, one rookie has made such an influential impact early on, he’s already pressing for a starting role. The Knicks went into the season with Elfrid Payton as their point guard, who signed a one-year, $5 million extension with New York this past off-season. He has started all 18 games, but Kentucky product Immanuel Quickley is gaining steam.

Despite Quickley posting 31 points in the team’s most recent loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, head coach Tom Thibodeau prefers to keep the rotation the same. Quickley coming off the bench will help him adapt to the NBA, utilizing his high energy approach to provide a spark. He’s not the most defensive player, which is why Thibodeau prefers Payton, who is more refined in the area.

“We like the group that he’s with right now,” Thibodeau said. “And we think it functions best that way. And so you want to have everybody play to their strengths and also you want to cover up people’s weaknesses. So right now we feel the best opportunity for us to win is doing the things we’re doing.”

It is nice to have two players that bring vastly different qualities while on the court, giving Thibodeau more flexibility and options during the game. If they need a defensive stop, they will roll with Payton, but if the Knicks need offensive production, Quickley is the way to go.

“I love both guys — they’re different and bring different things to the team,’’ Thibodeau said. “It gives us great flexibility. Elfrid, when you look at his defense and size, a lot of these guards, particularly point guards in the NBA today, they’re a load to deal with. Elfrid has a good understanding how to defend them. He can play-make for us. And when Quickley comes in, he gives us a different look.”

It is clear that the Knicks are focused on winning, and Payton completely understands that mentality. Whether it means coming off the bench or letting Quickley earn more minutes throughout the course of any given game, Payton is content as long as the team is extracting wins on a daily basis. He’s happy for any player that is helping them in that category, and he expressed that when asked about the potential for IQ to earn starting minutes.

“I don’t pay attention to none of y’all. No disrespect,” Payton said. “I’m just worried about what’s going on with this team. And rooting for guys. Whoever night it may be. Whether it’s Quickley’s night, whether it’s Julius (Randle’s) night, whether it’s RJ (Barrett’s) night, whether it’s Austin (Rivers) night. Whoever is rolling and giving us the best chance to win, that’s who we should have on the floor.”

New York Knicks could target Isaiah Thomas to fill point guard needs

New York Knicks, Isaiah Thomas

When the New York Knicks settled on a one-year, $5 million deal with Elfrid Payton, everybody in the fan base gave a simultaneous sigh of mediocrity. Payton is a good filler and back up option, but he isn’t a trustworthy starter, clearly.

So far this season, he’s averaging 13.5 points and a .448 percentage from the field. On most days, he’s a body on the court who can convert layups occasionally. He has flashes of quality, but the inconsistencies are glaring.

In fact, most teams don’t even bother to guard him when he standing at the top of the arc, waiting patiently for a pass to come his way so he can airball a three-pointer.

The Knicks knew that point guard would be a position of weakness heading into 2021, and they did virtually nothing to solve it. You could make the argument that Immanuel Quickley is their solution, but he is still young and learning the NBA game. They are being forced to settle with Payton as a primary starter, but over the past few games, head coach Tom Thibodeau has realized that Quickley is their best option.

Against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday evening, the Knicks lost 103-106, with Payton scoring nine points and turning the ball over three times. Quickley, on the other hand, scored 23 points and turned the ball over once. He also recorded four assists, showing off a bit more vision on the court. He connected on 9-of-17 field goals and 3-of-7 deep balls.

Ultimately, it is becoming clear that Quickley should be starting a point guard, playing in 28 minutes this past game. He is agile and has aggressive energy, which is exactly what Thibodeau wants on the floor at any given moment.

Despite his rise, the Knicks could look to free agency help at the position, as former Washington Wizard Isaiah Thomas has made himself available.

Last year, Thomas averaged 12.2 points over 23.1 minutes per contest. He hit on .408% of his shots and attempted 4.73 pointers, coming in at .413 from downtown. He’s a solid three-point shooter, which is exactly what the Knicks desperately need as teams simply don’t respect their ability to connect in that category. He might be a cheaper option the Knicks can take a flyer on, especially with Payton struggling.

New York Knicks: Is it time to rotate Elfrid Payton out of the starting five?

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton

New York Knicks guard Elfrid Payton struggled against the Cleveland Cavaliers during a painful loss on Friday, January 15th. The Knick point guard finished with 9 points after shooting 4-7 from the field. Payton had 3-rebounds and 3-turnovers. The most glaring and disturbing stat category Elfrid Payton possessed was accumulating 0-assists for the entire game.

Cleveland did what many other teams will continue to do, play zone defense while Payton is trying to run the point- guard position for the New York Knicks. Payton struggled against the length of Cleveland’s team, leading to sloppy turnovers by himself and his teamate RJ Barrett.

Many Knick fans have lost confidence and patience with a few Knick players. However, Payton is leading the race as the most hated Knick by simply frustrated Knick fans. Some fans went as far as mentioning Elfrid’s ability to stay locked-in even when he’s struggling. There are whispers going around stating that Elfrid Payton mentally checks out if things aren’t going right for himself and the squad.

Rumors are circulating about Isaiah Thomas’s availability after a long period of being away from the NBA. Some chatter in Knicks universe states that the Knicks should give Isaiah Thomas a chance due to lack of shooting depth.

Overall, the Knicks are depleted by injuries. The players earning minutes currently are banged up. However, Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks must continue digging deep on defense in order to give themselves a chance for victory. Offensively, the Knicks need a starting point-guard who can shoot the basketball. Many are calling for Quickley to start. There’s definitely a possibility, however time will tell what these Knicks are really made of.