The New York Knicks have a history of making horrendous trades. The franchise truly has a knack for royally screwing its own future year after year. The team develops a promising young core, gives the fans hope, then trades it all away along with its future draft picks for some washed-up player who either gets injured or simply can’t handle playing under the New York City spotlight. But this isn’t the Knicks front office of old. The Donnie Walsh era is over. So should the Knicks be looking to trade for a star prior to the trade deadline this season? I’m against that idea, but lets at least weigh some of the team’s options at the moment.
1. Trade for Bradley Beal
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Bradley Beal is one of the elite scoring guards in the NBA today. Every Knicks fan would love to see him on the team’s roster. Unless, of course, it meant trading away the entire team to get him. Sadly, that’s what it looks like it would take to get Beal out of Washington.
After signing an extension with the Wizards in October 2019, Beal doesn’t have the option to opt-out of his contract until the summer of 2022. That means he’s stuck playing for the Wizards for at least one more season after this one. It’s going to take a massive haul to get Washington’s front office to give him up. If Leon Rose really wants to acquire Beal before the NBA’s trade deadline on March 25, he better be ready to give up multiple first-round picks, RJ Barrett, and likely much more. With the Knicks over the .500 mark at the season’s midpoint and the young core playing so well through the first half of the year, I personally don’t see Rose pulling the trigger on a Beal trade before the deadline. But who knows!
2. Trade for Andre Drummond
This idea has been getting a ton of media buzz. With both Mitchell Robinson and Taj Gibson currently sidelined with injuries, many Knicks fans believe the team is in need of a physical five that can assert his dominance in the paint. Drummond is capable of putting together 20-20 games on a nightly basis. Though he struggles with finishing around the rim, he is among the best rebounding bigs in the league. With that being said, he’ll likely come with a lofty price tag regardless of how the Knicks would go about getting him. It’s hard to imagine that Leon Rose would be quick to give up a ton of assets for a player like Drummond considering the team seems to be focusing on its youth and already has an All-Star forward in Julius Randle.
It’s also worth noting that Nerlens Noel has been playing great basketball as of late with the Knicks missing two of their bigs. But Tom Thibodeau can’t expect a highly productive 40 minutes out of Noel every night. Not to mention Noel is very limited on the offensive end. He possesses no post moves or outside jump shot. He also struggles with catching passes on the interior. His lob-catching ability and interior defense have helped fill the void left by Robinson, but the Knicks desperately need their starting center back in action.
Additionally, acquiring Drummond would mean fewer minutes for Mitchell Robinson when he returns from injury. Do Knicks fans really want to see Andre Drummond on the court as opposed to giving Robinson the minutes he needs to continue developing? I’m not so sure about that.
3. Trade for Victor Oladipo’s Myriad of Injuries
Don’t even think about it, Leon Rose. Trading for a banged-up Victor Oladipo is something the Donnie Walsh-era Knicks would’ve done. The culture is changing. Let’s act like it people! Oladipo’s body is almost as fragile as Kristaps Porzingis‘. Hard pass on that man. Let some other team deal with him. Next!
4. Wait for Free Agency
Undoubtedly my favorite of the four options listed, the Knicks could forego making a trade at the deadline and roll into the second half of the season with the roster as is. Though the Knicks’ front office is still concerned that the team does not have a proven starting point guard on the roster, there are plenty going into free agency this summer. Lonzo Ball will be a restricted free agent after this season. Jrue Holiday is another proven point guard that the Knicks could be interested in this offseason. There will be many other available options as well, such as Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Dennis Schroder. The Knicks will also have over $69 million in cap space to play with going into this summer. So why would the team give up valuable assets to acquire a point guard now? Summer 2021 is right around the corner.
I understand the desire to bolster the roster for a playoff push, but the team has been competitive as is. Personally, I think the Knicks should go with this option and see how far these young guns can go in the second half of the season. Nobody expected this team to be holding the fifth seed in the East at the All-Star break. So why not wait and see what they can accomplish by the end of this season?
This team has fans believing that the Knicks are back. It’s not that the fanbase expects the Knicks to win a championship this year. But they are enjoying the culture shift that has occurred this season, and I’m sure most Knicks fans want to see it continue into the second half of the season and going forward.
I truly believe that this team deserves to be kept intact for their quality performance through the first half of this season. Hopefully Leon Rose feels the same way.
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