New York Knicks Offseason: Trades to Improve the Future

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The New York Knicks are looking to build itself a new image, hoping to build around young studs, RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. General Manager Leon Rose instated a brand new Front Office with his biggest hire being head coach Tom Thibodeau. The 62-year-old brings experience, grit, and a hardworking attitude to a franchise in desperate need of a culture change.

As one of the few teams with cap room this offseason, New York could look to take advantage of teams desperate to get off big deals. With fans unable to attend games, the salary cap projected for the 2020-21 season could lower, placing further pressure on teams over the cap. The Knicks stand to be a big beneficiary of an unfortunate situation but one that will be welcomed openly.

Leon Rose’s first offseason stands to be a big one full of hope and optimism. Let’s see what he can do to point the Knicks on a positive path.

New York Knicks Offseason: Trades to Improve the Future

New York Knicks Give Houston Rockets a Call

The Knicks receive most of the Houston Rockets’ remaining assets by absorbing Eric Gordon‘s four years, $70-million contract. In this transaction, the Knicks receive a 2023 first-round pick and two second-rounders (2021 and 2023). Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington are two veteran shooters languishing at the end of New York’s bench so getting something for them is a huge plus. Bobby Portis is a capable offensive big and in the right system, can provide an offensive punch. However, Mitchell Robinson is now New York’s primary big so his days are numbered.

Houston gets off Gordon’s contract but also receive three players on partial or non-guaranteed deals. Bobby Portis’ contract is fully non-guaranteed while Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock have one-million guaranteed next season. The Rockets get a free look at three players who can all shoot the long ball.

Houston has the option of waiving all three to save money. Should they do this, only $2-million will count against the Rockets salary cap.

Take on Al Horford

The appeal for New York is receiving a first-round and three second-round picks (2020, 2021, and 2023). The draft has the reputation of being the most loaded in years and gaining two picks in it is outstanding. Philadelphia 76ers include two second-rounders as sweeteners with high schoolers set to enter the draft in the foreseeable future. Al Horford could serve as a mentor for Mitchell Robinson and play a back-up big role over the next few seasons.

The 76ers receive three players who can shoot the long ball. Bobby Portis is a big man who can play inside and outside (36 percent shooter) plus guards Reggie Bullock (38.5 percent three-point shooter) and Wayne Ellington (37.8 percent). If they want to save money, Philadelphia can cut all three and save close to $25-million.

The Leon Rose – Chris Paul Combo Reunite

This is a curious move by the New York Knicks but is one that has traction in the media. New General Manager Leon Rose trades for Chris Paul sending Oklahoma City Julius Randle, Dennis Smith, Kevin Knox, and a 2021 first-round pick (via Dallas). The Knicks are looking to change its image and Paul helps that substantially. From a PR standpoint to excellence on-court, Chris Paul brings leadership and a steady voice. At age 35, the veteran made an All-Star appearance as well as an All-Second Team appearance last season.

Oklahoma City acquires Randle, Smith, and Knox who struggled mightily in New York. All three were lottery picks in their respective drafts and may need a change of scenery. The Thunder also receive a 2021 first-round pick from New York as compensation.

What Will the New York Knicks Do?

Leon Rose has big offseason decisions to make, choosing whether to continue a slow rebuild or compete for the playoffs. New York is a premier market in the NBA but has been stuck in mediocrity thus the franchise could do with a change. Barrett and Mitchell are the team’s cornerstones of the future thus building around them is smart. Targeting the 2021 draft is an intelligent move and getting as high a pick as possible makes a lot of sense.

However, with rumors swirling around Chris Paul, one wonders if New York is set to pivot toward competing for the playoffs. Barrett and Mitchell would benefit greatly from playoff experience so there is an upside to making it to the post-season. If New York were to pivot, Paul cannot do it alone so I suspect there will be another trade or free agency signing to accompany him.

Whichever direction they decide to go in, it’s about time they begin to restore this wonderful franchise to its glory.

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