Despite an offseason overhaul, the New York Knicks have been underwhelming this year, to say the least. They’re 17-20 and have really struggled to build some consistency, but being the weak Conference that the East is, the Knicks still have a shot at making the playoffs. As a result, they’ll likely look to the trade market to find an upgrade, so here are five potential trade targets for the them.
Potential Knicks Trade Targets
What The Knicks Are Working With
While the Knicks will look to the trade market to find a rotation upgrade, they’ll still have to give to get, meaning they’ll have to part with some familiar faces. Some names who have been said to be available include: forwards Lance Thomas and Mindaugas Kuzminskas, and big man Kyle O’Quinn; however, the Knicks will likely be in the market for frontline pieces, making Thomas and Kuzminskas more likely to be dealt.
The Knicks have been recently linked to Suns forward P.J. Tucker. The 31 year old Tucker is a defensive minded player. He’s a well rounded defender who can guard the perimeter, and the post; however, Tucker’s not much of a scoring threat, as he’s averaging just over 6 points a game on the year, and is averaging just under 7 a game for his career.
If the Knicks do choose to make a run at Tucker though, they’ll likely have to surrender a young shooter such as Kuzminskas, and probably a second round pick or two.
The Suns will be looking to get what they can for Tucker before he hits the open market this summer, and acquiring a shooter like Kuzminskas may be enticing for them; however, if the Knicks decide that they don’t want to give up Kuzminskas, they could opt to pursue a trade with the Atlanta Hawks.
Just a few days ago, the Atlanta Hawks dealt sharpshooter Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers – a move which will likely be the beginning of a fire sale for the Hawks. While the Hawks are still a playoff team, the organization fears that it will lose it’s best player, forward Paul Millsap, in free agency this summer, so they are contemplating whether to sell off their impending free agents such as Millsap and maybe even swingman Thabo Sefolosha.
Sefolosha, like P.J. Tucker, is a defensive minded player who is amongst the elite at his position, but he’s also a free agent this summer. That makes his market value slightly lower than it would be if he were under contract another year; the Knicks could take advantage.
While still a very good defender, the Hawks likely don’t envision Sefolosha as a part of their future, so a deal for him may be a win-now, worth it deal for the Knicks. He’d bring a defensive swagger to a team who is one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
A deal for him would likely result in the Knicks sending forward Lance Thomas to Atlanta and maybe a second round pick or two; however, if the Knicks are all in on making the playoffs this year, they could put the full court press on the Grizzlies’ Tony Allen.
Despite being a playoff team in the West, the Memphis Grizzlies are at least making phone calls to see what they could get for veteran guard Tony Allen. While he’ll hit 35 in just a few days, Allen is still one of the best, if not the best on-ball defender in the league. His defensive tenacity and aggression make him the great defender that he is, and the Knicks are in search of a defender like him; however, while he is hitting free agency this summer, he’ll likely cost more than it would to acquire Tucker and Sefolosha.
If the Knicks were to make a run at Allen, they’d have to put together a nice package. While the Grizzlies would likely ask for their first round pick, the Knicks can’t afford to surrender that pick for a player on an expiring deal. A first round pick for a team that is deprived of picks is way too valuable to trade away in a desperation or adjustment type move; that means the Knicks will have to counter by offering up a bevy of players.
A legitimate offer for Allen that doesn’t include their first round pick would have to include Kuzminskas, big man Kyle O’Quinn, and either forward Lance Thomas or a couple second round picks. Kuzmiskas and O’Quinn could be beneficial additions for Memphis. While both productive players, forward Chandler Parsons and center Marc Gasol have a history with injuries, and acquiring Kuzmiskas and O’Quinn could help provide a temporary safety blanket for them.
The forgotten Curry, Seth Curry, could be a very intriguing option for the Knicks. While not as stellar as he was from three a year ago, Curry is still shooting roughly 40% from long range. His three point shooting ability is something the Knicks could use.
While they do have some good shooters at their disposal in Courtney Lee and Kuzminskas, the Knicks offense has a tendency to gradually disintegrate in the second half of games, as they don’t have enough guys who can spot and hit big shots; Curry could help out from that standpoint.
Last year, Curry shot 45% percent from three, and under the bright lights of New York, he may thrive. Under contract for the remainder of this year and next year at roughly 3 million a year, Curry could help the Knicks bench production now, and potentially in the years to come.
With the reeling Mavericks looking like a team on the decline, getting Curry shouldn’t be all too difficult for the Knicks; however, a trade for him would still likely require dealing a young player such as rookie guard Ron Baker and a couple second round picks.
Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried is in need of a new home. The energizing, explosive Faried is a two way player; he can defend the paint, but he’s also a high flying, above the rim finisher; however, his role has recently been diminished and at times unclear. He’s only averaging 9 points and 8 rebounds a game, in just 21.7 minutes. He’s been moved into a reserve role, and he’s not a reserve player. The Knicks could offer the perfect solution for him.
While they would have a crowded front court with Faried, the Knicks could move big man Joakim Noah into a reserve role – a role with contract aside, he could thrive in. Faried would start at power forward, which would move Kristaps Porzingis to his natural position at center. Faried put in between Carmelo Anthony and Porzingis at forward would give the Knicks an explosive and dangerous frontline. Faried would also be valuable in terms of his contract.
Under contract for the next two years at roughly $13 million a year, Faried is on a very team friendly deal which could allow the Knicks to go all out on a top point guard this summer such as Chris Paul or Kyle Lowry.
Although his role has been a bit decimated, a trade for Faried would still cost. The Knicks would have to deal Kyle O’Quinn, Lance Thomas, and maybe even Ron Baker, who solidified a spot on the roster for the time being earlier in the week.