Knicks

Can the Knicks Make a Splash in the Trade Market This Offseason?

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The New York Knicks’ lottery day — as usual — did not go as expected, leaving them with the eight pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Due to this, the team is hoping to acquire a star via trade.

 

General Manager Leon Rose has continued to express the desire to gain star talent, but the only way to convince a team may involve surrendering several core pieces and future draft picks. Rose made it clear that he wants to compete while continuing to develop his young team.

Potential trades would all require clearing the cap space that was spent on Julius Randle and Bobby Portis last offseason. The Knicks would like to hold on to RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, but if the right deal arises, both sides could part ways.

 

That said, who are some trade targets the Knicks could pursue this offseason?

Chris Paul

35-year-old veteran Chris Paul just completed his 15th NBA season. Although his years are limited, Paul has proven that he can still be productive, even on an inexperienced team. The situation in Oklahoma City has shown that Paul is willing to give it his all no matter what organization he plays for.

CP3 can offer mentorship to Frank Ntilikina and Barrett (among others) that would help them push through the struggles of their young careers. On the court, his play would help space the offense for Barrett and Robinson. Plus, feeding RJ open shots helps increase his percentages and gain confidence while he continues to develop a consistent jumper.

 

Potential Trade

#1

OKC Receives- Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Dennis Smith Jr., 2020 first-round pick (via LAC)

NYK Receives- Chris Paul

#2

OKC Receives- Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington, Dennis Smith Jr., Taj Gibson

NYK Receives- Chris Paul, Nerlens Noel

The Knicks would have to send a large package in order to acquire Paul, as he’s owed over $40 million for the next two seasons. Therefore, New York would need to unload either Randle or Portis for either of these to work.

Mike Conley 

Conley is Utah’s highest-paid player right now. Ultimately, his play has shown that he might not be the best fit for Utah. The Jazz may look to move on from him to allow the maximum amount of Donovan Mitchell touches, who is reportedly poised to sign a max extension when free agency opens. Conley, meanwhile, is expected to decline his $34 million early termination option for the 2020-21 season, making him a potential cap clearer that the Knicks could jump on.

Conley can add veteran leadership to a youth-enriched Knicks squad. Additionally, his basketball IQ can make him New York’s desperately needed floor general. The stagnant offensive struggles can be avoided with Conley’s playmaking and instant offense.

Potential Trades

#1

UTA Receives- Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick (via DAL)

NYK Receives- Mike Conley

#2

UTA Receives- Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington, Frank Ntilikina, 2020 first-round pick (via LAC), 2020 second-round pick

NYK Receives- Mike Conley

#3

UTA Receives- Bobby Portis, Dennis Smith Jr., Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock, 2020 first-round picks (via LAC and NYK)

NYK Receives- Mike Conley, Nigel Williams-Goss

A trade would require the Knicks to unload some of their larger contracts and Randle/Portis would need to be included as well to comprise a sizable package of picks or players. This could end up being an all-or-nothing deal if Conley does not want to re-sign, however.

Devin Booker

The Phoenix Suns have continued to struggle even with Devin Booker posting historic numbers. Even after going 8-0 in the bubble, they fell just short of the playoffs. The Knicks’ hiring of Kentucky’s Kenny Payne could help lure Booker to New York if he wants out of Phoenix. Payne has maintained a strong relationship with all of his former players who are now in the NBA.

Booker has proven to be a go-to star in the league. Phoenix, meanwhile, has struggled to lure stars to help Booker reach the next step in his career. New York’s market can help him recruit the help he needs.

His numbers have continued to skyrocket to the top of the league. His offense can tremendously help push the Knicks into playoff contention.

For the Suns to unload his massive contract, they would need to blow them away with a surplus of talent and picks. With Booker on the table, Rose would not hesitate to trade his young talent away.

Potential Trade

#1

PHX Receives- Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick (via LAC)

NYK Receives- Devin Booker

#2

PHX Receives- Mitchell Robinson, Mo Harkless, Bobby Portis, 2020 first-round pick (via LAC)

NYK Receives- Devin Booker, Cheick Diallo

Acquiring Booker may be the least likely of the three to happen, but anything can happen in 2020.

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