As the clock struck 3 p.m. ET and closed the trade deadline, the New York Knicks came up big with a deal that put the league on notice. By acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, they added the pieces needed to make a run. Arguably, the Knicks may have won the trade deadline. Zach Lowe on ESPN said afterward: “The Knicks are operating like the single smartest franchise in the entire NBA.”
This is a big statement, but looking at the moves the front office has made in 2024, it’s accurate.
Admittedly, it was a quiet deadline. Dallas Mavericks made a move for P.J. Washington. This was a nice deal for Dallas, adding size, athleticism, and shooting to a Mavs team needing help for Luka Doncic. It wasn’t cheap, costing them a first-round pick along with Seth Curry. Buddy Hield being traded to the 76ers adds three-point shooting to Philadelphia and was among the standout moves.
However, the best deal was the Knicks making themselves a stacked team. Arguably, the Knicks may have won the trade deadline and, more importantly, made themselves a contender.
The Knicks May Have Won the NBA Trade Deadline
Analyzing the deal for the Knicks
Here’s the deal in full:
President Leon Rose pulled off a masterstroke by adding Bogdanovic to the deal. Reportedly, Rose speculatively brought up his name in negotiations for Burks. According to insider Ian Begley, they were always in on Burks, but it was a longshot if Detroit would be interested in moving one of their best scorers. However, Rose aggressively pulled the trigger and managed to include him without giving up a single first-round pick, which is phenomenal business.
Furthermore, this will help the Knicks next year, too. Bogdanovic’s contract is partially guaranteed at $19 million, which is moveable for a potential star, along with all their firsts.
Burks is familiar with Tom Thibodeau and was successful in his two years in New York between 2020 and 2022. He adds three-point shooting and solid ball-handling they were looking for off the bench at the guard spot.
Bogdanovic is the deal’s centerpiece. He’s a lights-out three-point shooter and a walking bucket, adding further depth to their loaded frontcourt.
They didn’t give up much, either. Fournier has been out of the rotation for a year and a half. They flipped Flynn from the earlier Raptors trade. Grimes had a limited role this year and was interested in a move. He’ll have a chance to impress in Detroit with a large role. He’s a solid three-point shooter and an excellent on-ball defender. The Knicks may have won the trade deadline by adding Bogdanovic to the deal.
How Do Burks and Bojan Improve the Roster?
Credit again to Rose; he didn’t rest on his laurels after the OG Anunoby trade, which helped them go 16-3 since dealing for him. He’s one of the best defenders in the league and spaces the floor with his shooting. However, he reportedly has bone spurs in his elbow, which require surgery, keeping him out for three weeks.
Julius Randle, fresh off his third All-Star selection in four seasons, dislocated his shoulder. The hope is he’ll be back a few weeks after the break, but shoulders are tricky.
Instead of the Knicks crossing their fingers, they were proactive. By adding Bogdanovic, he covers the Knicks while Anunoby rehabs from injury and helps the scoring load until Randle returns.
Bogdanovic averages 20.2 points per game this year, including 46.8% from the field and an eye-popping 41.5% from deep. This man is a bucket. Indeed, his career-high scoring output was 48 against the Nuggets in 2021. He’s coming off the bench!
Another aspect of this deal is the Knicks can now counter the zone, plus any double teams. The Lakers have doubled Jalen Brunson 30 times. They’re clearly afraid of him but not respecting his teammates’ shooting. Now, it’s impossible to do with Bogdanovic and Randle.
Last year in the Conference Semifinals, the Heat loaded the paint, daring the Knicks to beat them from the perimeter. Although Brunson carried the series himself, it wasn’t enough to beat the Heat. Now, the Knicks have the shooting to counter the zone.
As for Burks’s addition, he cooked the Kings Wednesday night, scoring 25 points. He’ll be a valuable backup to Brunson off the bench. He can create in a pinch and knock down threes at a 40% clip.
Deepest Team in the NBA?
When discussing the possibility of adding Burks, I felt he was the most likely addition due to his solid first stint in New York. On his own, I wasn’t convinced he would move the needle. However, adding Bogdanovic makes this trade a winner by a mile.
It’s put the league on notice, and the Knicks have a real shot at making a finals run, as few teams can match their depth. However, it’s all health dependant. At least now the Knicks have the depth to spell guys once they secure a playoff seed.
Leading the show is Brunson, averaging 27.2 points per game; he’s hard to stop. Randle, if healthy, is a good secondary scorer and a beast in the paint. Anunoby provides 3-and-D. Donte DiVincenzo is in the prime of his career, coming off the most threes made in the NBA in January. Isaiah Hartenstein and Mitchell Robinson are probably the strongest rim-protecting center duo in the NBA. That’s a strong lineup.
Now their bench boasts Burks, who shoots 40% from three and around 90% from the free throw line. Bogdanovic averaged 18 points per game in the postseason. Josh Hart is the quintessential glue guy. Miles McBride provides on-ball defense and three-point shooting. Precious Achiuwa has been in great form of late, averaging just under 10 points and 10 rebounds in his last seven games.
It’s also a versatile roster. Whichever way the game is going, the Knicks can adapt. If it’s a shootout, the Knicks have the shooting. In a defensive game, they can gut it out with the best of them with a ton of size. Hart loves to go downhill in a transition game, as does Anunoby. This is a deep, versatile, well-coached roster under Thibodeau. In Brunson, buoyed by his All-Star inclusion, they have the star they need; now they gave him the support he needs.
The Knicks should be a team to watch in the playoffs, health dependant. Overall, the Knicks won this trade deadline.