The New York Knicks are coming off their most successful season in a decade and appear to want more. The Knicks were linked as a possible trade destination for Karl-Anthony Towns at the end of April. While the Knicks would seemingly interested in making that deal, several other big names have been bantered around as possible trade targets.
NBA Rumors: New York Knicks Targeting Another Star To Team With Jalen Brunson
New York won 47 regular season games and then defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. It was the Knicks’ most victories and the first time they won a playoff series since 2012-13. 2020-21 was the only other season that the Knicks made the postseason during these ten years. So, why are the Knicks all of a sudden being a destination of potential again?
Jalen Brunson is the two-word answer. However, the Knicks are well over the salary and luxury tax with 15 players under contract. While the Knicks have some flexibility with their roster, the most likely way that the Knicks add another star is via trade, as they will still be over the cap. They can cut salaries by waiving the nonguaranteed salaries of Derrick Rose, Miles McBride, Isaiah Roby, and Daquan Jeffries. Rose and McBride have club options, although their no chance Rose’s gets exercised. Josh Hart has a player option.
Evan Fournier, who is essentially on an expiring contract, does not expect to be back. Fournier spoke to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News following the Knicks being eliminated from the playoffs.
“You know I’m not gonna be back. There’s no way they’re gonna keep me. I would be very surprised if they do. This officially is the end, but my season was over a long time ago. It took me a good month to understand that. At first, I was like, just be patient in seeing how the team developed. Obviously, there are gonna be changes and I’m gonna get traded.”
R.J. Barrett, Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson, and Julius Randle are all on the table to be traded. Depending on the provisions, the Knicks have their own first-rounder through 2029 and could have multiple first-rounders from 2024-26.
Three-point shooting is New York’s most significant area of need. Although the Knicks could use any shooters as they finished 20th in field goal percentage, 19th in three-point percentage, and 22nd in free throw percentage. They could also use another playmaker and shot-blocker.
“Been told since midseason that Joel Embiid is the guy to watch for the Knicks, and Philly’s playoff flame out only intensified that belief.”
Embiid hasn’t expressed any desire to leave Philadelphia. However, he did say that he and Harden couldn’t do it all after the 76ers’ Game 7 loss to Boston. General manager Daryl Morey also said that Embiid was unhappy with Doc Rivers being fired. So, we’ll have to see if there is any traction.
NBA Insider Marc Stein, in his latest substack, said the rumors connecting Embiid to the Knicks are “strictly media chatter.”. However, he also made it clear that things could change quickly.
Embiid is coming off a career year. The 2022-23 NBA MVP begins his four-year, $210.11 million super-max extension this year.
Embiid has put up quality numbers at Madison Square Garden but has not been overly efficient. The 29-year-old center averages 27.7 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks while compiling a shooting slash line of .446/.267/.822 at the historic facility. He has produced five double-doubles and scored at least 25 points in nine ten appearances.
Could Kristaps Porzingis return to the Big Apple, where he began his career? The 27-year-old center was once considered a future franchise player in New York, but his relationship with the front office soured after he suffered a torn ACL in 2018. However, Steve Popper of Newsday notes that everyone involved with that past bitterness is now gone from the organization, and both sides may benefit from a return.
Porzingis has a $36.016 million player option for the upcoming season though he and the Washington Wizards were reportedly discussing a contract extension before the trade deadline. Porzingis is coming off a career year this past season, averaging 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He also shot 49.8% from the field and 38.5% from the three-point line on 2.1 treys a game.
The Role Players
Torrey Craig, an unrestricted free agent, is a three-and-D wing coming off a career season. The 32-year-old wing averaged 7.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 79 games for the Phoenix Suns. He knocked down a personal-best 1.3 treys at a 39.5% clip.
Josh Richardson is a scorer off the bench. The 29-year-old wing is coming off an average season, although he did make 1.6 treys a game at a 36.5% clip in 65 contests between San Antonio and New Orleans. Richardson is an unrestricted free agent.
Alec Burks has a $10.48 million club option that the Detroit Pistons are expected to pick up. Therefore, the Knicks would have to work out a trade for the 6-6 electric scorer. Burks, who has shown defensive ability throughout his career, topped the 20-point seven times and averaged 12.8 points a game this past season. He is a prolific three-point shooter knocking down nearly two treys a game since 2019-20 while being a 38.4% shooter from beyond the arc for his career.
Seth Curry, one of the best three-point shooters of all, is an unrestricted free agent. The 33-year-old shooting guard is coming off a disappointing campaign where he averaged 9.2 points on 46.3% shooting from the field and 40.5% from the three-point line in 61 appearances for Brooklyn. He has not appeared in at least 70 contests since 2018-19.