Knicks Feel They’re Well Positioned To Trade For Star

Although the Knicks struck out in their quest to land a star player (or two) on last year’s free agent market, multiple people with the team believe the franchise is well positioned to trade for a “disgruntled” star if one becomes available, writes Ian Begley of

It’s the best path for us,” one member of New York’s front office recently said, per Begley.

As Begley explains, the Knicks hold all their own first-round picks going forward and also will receive the Clippers’ 2020 first-rounder, plus first-rounders from Dallas in 2021 (unprotected) and 2023 (top-10 protected).

Under previous presidents of basketball operations Phil Jackson and Steve Mills, the Knicks were reluctant – if not unwilling – to include first-round picks in trades, after having been burned by their willingness to do so in the past. However, that stance appears to be evolving under Leon Rose. According to Begley, multiple people within the organization are comfortable with the idea of giving up a first-rounder or two in the right deal, since the Knicks currently hold seven in the next four drafts.

The club has a fairly clean future cap sheet too, which would allow for some creativity in taking on salary in any trade. Additionally, while the Knicks would likely be very reluctant to include Mitchell Robinson or RJ Barrett in any deals, they have other young players like Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina, who could appeal to teams that believe they could rebuild the value of those former lottery picks.

For now, there’s no obvious trade candidate for the Knicks to target, but as Begley observes, it’s likely just a matter of time before an All-Star caliber player becomes dissatisfied with his current situation and pushes to be dealt. If and when that happens, the Knicks figure to be among the teams in the mix.

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27 thoughts on “Knicks Feel They’re Well Positioned To Trade For Star

  1. acarneglia

    Who the hell would the Knicks try to trade for that’s an actual star? Derozan if he opts in? KAT if he hates Minny that much? Not a whole lot of options

    • mcmillankmm

      You’re right, there aren’t a ton of options and the Knicks don’t have much desired young talent outside of Barrett and Robinson

  2. I give no fox

    Who thinks frank actually has any value? The season is lost. $6 million plus for one season hoping he can rebuild value to only have to pay a premium for one season of positive performance…that nets you a star? The only value frank has in a trade is salary matching purposes

    • king beas

      He’s actually very valuable on the defensive side but since no other Knicks play defense he can’t make too big of an impact

  3. uberalec

    Lol, well you already traded away your star!

    This organization is bad, I feel for Knicks fans because they were blinded. Anybody other than Knicks fans knew that KP trade was an absolute disaster, and all on the Knicks.

    Suck for a few years, pray you hit it big, and pray the team is sold or something.

  4. bballblk

    Wouldn’t a “disgruntled star” just become even more gruntled after getting traded to the dysfunctional Knicks?

  5. king beas

    Classic Knicks rushing the rebuild and going to make a trade that gets them a star and leaves them with 0 other solid players for depth. Did the same thing in the melo deal

  6. donkeygym

    Donovan Mitchell. 1 year left on his contract. If I’m Rose, I’m communicating Knick interest, gauging Mitchell’s interest, and drafting non-point guard this year. Shooting Guard or Power forward, and seeing how RJ does in 2020/21.

  7. donkeygym

    Donovan Mitchell. Free Agent after next season. Don’t draft a PG. Think we can get him here in ‘21. Draft a shooting guard or a power forward, and see how RJ does in ‘21.

    • Chucktoad1

      People always seem to forget it takes 2 sides to make a trade. The Knicks have no one the Jazz would consider for Mitchell. Gobert plays center so no need for Robinson. RJ Barrett will never be at the talent level of Mitchell. Maybe Barrett and like 2 unprotected 1sts would catch there attention but that would be too much for the Knicks to give up.
      Now Robinson, and a unprotected 1st for Gobert might be the start of a package the Jazz would be interested in. Still I doubt it though since the Jazz are looking to add players to make a run, they’re not in rebuild mode.

      • x%sure

        Donovan M already has a wedge issue in Utah and experienced a significant decline in on/off, even as most personal stats were stable or improved. He’s on a rookie-scale contract so the Knicks won’t need to send much salary and they have maybe 7 firsts in 4 years, what most teams are interested in. He’s from NY state so might be sentimentally attached. He is known for a big personality but not necessarily Utah-like efficiency. Dono is probably who Rose is thinking of!

        Dolan does not like being mocked as a loser, Rose wants to make a splash, and they have not done that well in drafting.
        A green light here.

    • If he’s a FA anyway, why bother trading for him? If he wants out of Utah, the Knicks have no need to rush. They’re going to stink next year, Mitchell or not. Why trade assets for him just to win 30-35 games and maybe get an 8 seed? Better to win fewer games and improve their lottery draw.

  8. Yeah, so what? Trading for a star, at the price it would likely cost, would very likely put them further away from building a contender in this cycle. History is pretty conclusive on this, including Knick specific history. No poor team lifts itself into contention principally by trading for established players, for obvious reasons.

  9. whipmaster

    At this time last year the Knicks were confident that they would get Durant and Zion. Same BS, different year

  10. donkeygym

    I think we need 1 more rough year, get Mitch signed long term, and make a great pick this year (more size), and let’s get Donovan in next year. Bring some toughness to this team. And Randle should be traded while we can.

  11. Simmons>Russ

    Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and DSJ for Blake Griffin and 2 second round draft picks.

    Pistons shed the last remaining big ugly contract on its books with Griffin leaving which enables them to full rebuild mode and also be buyers in FA. To start the rebuild they will also get DSJ, Randle and Portis who are all young ish players and because Portis and Randle would be on 1 year deals it would be a good trail to give them an extension.
    Pistons would be staring it’s rebuild with DSJ Kennard Doumbouya Randle and Portis (possible starting 5) and its top 10 draft pick this year.

    Knicks on the other hand get a star player in Griffin which makes them more of a threat at FA. They get to keep some young stars like RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson and it’s top 5 draft pick this year. Griffins isn’t an ideal target cause of his contract and age and injury history but he’s worth having over Randle/Portis and DSJ. Plus your getting yourself back you picks.
    Knicks could start of next year with a new PG in Cole Anthony/LaMelo Ball/Tyrese Haliburton, while have RJ Barrett, Maurice Harkless, Blake Griffin and Mitchell Robinson (potential starting 5). With Taj Gibson, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Reggie Bullock all still on the bench.

    • The only positive for the Pistons having DSJ, Randle, and Portis at the start of their rebuild is that they will definitely help you lose games. DSJ in particular is a one man lottery ball.

      • Simmons>Russ

        They lose a huge contract in Griffin, they all have 1/2 year deals, they are all young players and yes they aren’t great so he’s you will lose.
        All three would be better for the pistons than having Griffin.

        If they keep Griffin then what, they aren’t a playoff team so they still win about 30 games. They can’t exactly make any big moves in FA cause firstly Detroit isn’t a it spot and Griffins big deal is still on the books.
        Keeping Griffin just makes a rebuild slower

  12. donkeygym

    Donovan Mitchell, I believe, is a Free Agent after next season. I’m not saying trade for him, I’m saying wait for him. Enough talk can happen behind the curtain to find out if he’ll come. And there just ‘happens’ to be a center in purple and gold THATS a FA at the end of the season. And he wants to come to NY. Him, Robinson, and Donovan in 22?

    • Simmons>Russ

      O way he hits the market. Jazz will give him a max deal, which makes him stay.

    • El Don

      Are you talking about JaVale or DH12? AD ain’t a center.
      BTW AD is where he wants to be, he ain’t gonna NYK ever, he left NOP fed up of losing, why on earth would he wanna go to lose in NYK? When he will win a ring in the Laker show?

  13. Grimjac

    The Knicks have so many natural advantages negated by the owner. No one can kill your culture like a douchey owner.

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