Knicks trade Rivers, Brazdeikis in 3-way deal with Thunder, 76ers

New York Knicks, Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers knew his days with the New York Knicks were already numbered upon Derrick Rose’s arrival.

As expected, the Knicks traded Rivers to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a three-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, as first reported by ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Rivers first hinted about a trade for him last month he fell out of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation.

“They had told me after the game [Feb. 7 versus the Heat] that they were bringing Derrick in,” Rivers said. “I had already kind of heard stuff even before the season started that he was going to be coming here. My whole thing is, control what I can control. When they had told me he was coming, I said ‘OK,’ and obviously, there’s been stuff about me being moved to other places. With all this kind of up in the air right now, my thing is, as long as I’m a Knick, just to be professional. I don’t know what can happen today or tomorrow or next week or the week after that. Every day that I’m here I’m always going to be all in.”

The Knicks got Terrance Ferguson, a former Thunder first-round pick in 2017, in return. New York also sent Ignas Brazdeikis to Philadelphia and picked up Vincent Poirier and two future second-round picks.

Drummond to the Knicks?

Meanwhile, Kevin O’ Connor of The Ringer reported that the Knicks are a serious landing spot for Andre Drummond on Wednesday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers are still trying to find a trade for Drummond, a former two-time All-star and a four-time rebounding leader.

The Knicks only need $13.7 million in salary to trade for Drummond.

But a better scenario for the Knicks is if Drummond is bought out, they can lure him a multi-year deal which he will likely prefer than what contenders Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers can offer.

In this scenario, the Knicks can offer Drummond a pro-rated four-year, $64-million deal, according to The Athletic’s front office insider and former Memphis Grizzlies executive John Hollinger.

Drummond is a Mount Vernon native but considers Middletown, Connecticut, as his home, which is only a 15-minute drive from New Britain, Connecticut, where Tom Thibodeau hails.

Thibodeau coached Drummond in the 2014 FIBA World Cup as an assistant coach of the Team USA that won the gold.

Drummond also played for Thibodeau’s good friend, Jim Calhoun, in college. Thibodeau used to visit Calhoun’s practices in the Northeast. Drummond considers his UConn coach as one of his best friends.

The Knicks can also pivot to another asset accumulation move as a third team to use their $15 million cap space.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Randle, Knicks vent ire on hapless Wizards as trade deadline looms

Coming off four straight games that went down to the last possession—losing three of them—Julius Randle and the New York Knicks left nothing to chance on Tuesday night.

Randle’s day started with a $15,000 fine for his sharp criticism of the officiating. It ended with a 37-point performance that fueled the Knicks’ surgical 131-113 win over a hapless Washington Wizards team.

Randle set the tone early, firing 12 in the opening quarter. By halftime, he already had 21 points, and the Knicks sat on a huge 20-point cushion.

The Knicks vented their frustrations on the Wizards after a frustrating last week that culminated in a one-point overtime loss to Eastern Conference leader Philadelphia 76ers.

In that heartbreaker, Randle, a first-time All-Star, blew his top after he was whistled for a loose ball foul that doomed the Knicks.

Two days later, Courtney Kirkland was back as the crew chief, but Randle and the Knicks made sure they wouldn’t leave the outcome at the referees’ whistles.

Thibodeau challenged a call early in the game, overacting his hand gesture. He lost the challenge, but he delivered his message after Kirkland said the Knicks coach was late to challenge the crucial call on Randle last Sunday.

Randle came back with a vengeance and shot 7 for 10 from deep. He scored in a variety of lefty moves and even had all of his 21 first-half points from the court’s left side.

“I think the statement was ‘the win was the most important thing.’ [Randle] has done that a number of times to bounce back after a tough loss—the way in which we lost the game. That’s what leaders do,” Thibodeau said of Randle’s performance.

Randle outplayed the Wizards’ All-Star, Bradley Beal, who only had 22 points way below his league-leading 32.1-point average. Beal was a game-worst minus-20 in the game.

Both All-Stars had a little exchange in the third quarter, and Randle had to be restrained after the buzzer, with the Knicks leading comfortably, 108-80.

Sophomore wingman RJ Barrett continued to make a leap this season. He played as facilitator compiling five assists with 21 points, five boards, and two blocks.

New York’s tough defense smothered Russell Westbrook and forced him to shoot 3-for-14 from the field. Westbrook, though issued 12 assists but was a second-worst minus-17 in the game.

Six players scored in double figures for the Knicks.

Mitchell Robinson has his best game since his return from a fractured right hand.

The 23-year old center was catching lobs left and right. Robinson was a dominant force inside and finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and three shot blocks.

Alec Burks had his third straight 20-point game. Reggie Bullock, who was questionable to return after sustaining a sprained ankle midway, came back and ended up with 10 points.

Rookie spitfire Immanuel Quickley went back to the bench and returned to his efficient scoring ways with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting and three triples.

The Knicks will face the Wizards again on Thursday, the last day teams can make a trade.

Multiple reports have signaled the Knicks are reluctant to offer assets and shake the boat, afraid of disrupting the current team’s chemistry. Only Austin Rivers, who was out of the rotation since Derrick Rose’s arrival, is likely to be traded or bought out.

But between now and Thursday, that’s plenty of time for everything to change when an offer too good to pass up comes along.

Against teams outside each conference’s top-10 like the Wizards, the Knicks look like a playoff-caliber team with a 12-5 record. But despite hanging with some of the title contenders, the Knicks have a losing record (10-17) against top-10 teams.

Randle’s leadership and Thibodeau’s coaching could only do so much.

For the first time in a long while, the Knicks are a .500 team at the trade deadline.

The Knicks’ front office is burning the lines but at the same time wrestling with a big decision that could make or break the team.

Randle didn’t leave tonight’s outcome to chance. It’s the turn of team president Leon Rose and the Knicks front office to ensure they are equipped not to blow their playoff chance.

The clock is ticking.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Knicks trade deadline rumors starting to heat up

New York Knicks, Bobby Portis

The New York Knicks have a lot of trade rumors circulating.  For the most part, it appears that the Knicks are willing to trade everyone except RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.

Last night, the Knicks defeated the Cavaliers, 139-134 , to win their second straight game.  However, all the attention was on the players on the trading block.  This was the last game for Mike Miller to showcase the veteran players before the trade deadline.

The deadline is this Thursday at 3pm EST.

NBA Trade Deadline Rumors

D’Angelo Russell

Again, the Knicks have made it clear that everyone is available for a trade except Barrett and Robinson.  The Knicks are linked to D’Angelo Russell.  They’ve, allegedly, offered Bobby Portis, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier and a 2nd second pick.

That is way to much to give up for Russell.  The Warriors didn’t seem to like that package and, allegedly, want Mitchell Robinson added in deal, along with a 1st round pick.  The Knicks should’ve been trying to get the restricted free-agent last summer.  And now, he’s making over 27 million a season.  But, that’s the Knicks for you.  At least, they don’t want to part with their 1st round picks, for now.

Julius Randle 

The Charlotte Hornets have been reported to have interest in Randle.  This comes after the Knicks always seem linked to Malik Monk around the deadline.  ‘Scary’ Terry Rozier has been reported to be in the deal, another point guard to add to the roster.  Rozier is like Randle but at the guard position.

Speaking of point guards, the Knicks have interest in Thunder’s Dennis Schroeder.  The Knicks continue to search for that everyday point guard, which they don’t have.

Marcus Morris and Bobby Portis

The New York Knicks have been trying to get rid of Portis rather than Marcus Morris.  Morris said that he wants to help the young players and be a Knick for the long-term.  However, his trade value has never been higher considering this is his best offensive season.

The Knicks have strong feelings that they would be able to re-sign the free agent Morris this off-season.  However, he’s going to be 31-years old and not getting younger.  The Knicks need to think about how his leadership was this season and consider their options.

With the Knicks off until Thursday night, the team could look very different come 7:30 pm against the Magic.  The Magic have interest in acquiring Dennis Smith Jr., who wants out of New York.  With his strong performance last night, he very well could be on the way.

However, as we all know, this is the Knicks.  There will be all of this noise about trades and nothing will happen or they will do something out of left field that gets fans scratching their heads.

New York Knicks, for once, might do the right thing before the trade deadline

New York Knicks, Kenny Wooten

The New York Knicks are always in the mix when the trade deadline comes around.  Last season the Knicks made a big splash with the Kristaps Porzingis trade in January.  They were able to acquire picks which is something rare for them.

The Knicks always seem to be the team that’s giving away picks for superstars and/or quick fixes.  That hasn’t happened for awhile now but back in the early 2000’s and 2010’s it happened a lot.

This time around the Knicks appear to be staying put on trading away any of their first-round picks.  That is the best news that fans can hear around the deadline.  First-rounds picks are where the Knicks are going to build their future.  Stock piling as many picks as they can is only going to be better in the long run.

The Knicks are finally doing the right thing when it comes to keeping all picks.

Another thing that the New York Knicks finally did right was calling up G-League stand-out Kenny Wooten Jr.  There were teams that were reportedly interested in trading for Wooten, so the Knicks had to act fast.  They signed him to a two-way contract and waived Ivan Rabb.

Wooten should get time considering other teams were interested in him and the Knicks need to see what he can go.  He had major ups and pairing him with Mitchell Robinson would be something to look forward to for the future.  Wooten’s highlight tape speaks for itself.