New York Knicks: Three Trade Targets For A Solid Playoff Run

The New York Knicks have gotten off to an 8-11 start. That’s better than expected and they are currently in the playoff race tied for the No. 8 seed. With the trade deadline approaching at the beginning of February, the Knicks could figure to be pretty aggressive at the deadline. In their current situation this season, they can either continue to be sellers in order to continually get younger and develop, or they can perhaps be buyers and improve their chances at a playoff berth.

With that being said, here are three ideal trade targets that the Knicks can perhaps pursue.

Detroit Pistons

Derrick Rose to the Knicks

Frank Ntilikina and a 2021 second round pick to the Pistons

There have been many talks of the New York Knicks perhaps re-acquiring DRose. Rose played for the Knicks for one season back in the 2016-2017 season. It didn’t go as well as they hoped. So why him again? Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau coached Rose in Chicago and also at Minnesota. Thibs got the best of Rose, especially in 2011 when Derrick won the MVP that year. Even in Minnesota when Rose looked done, he revived his career and even had a 50 point game. At 32 years old, Rose is clearly not the player he was back in Chicago but he is still a force offensively.

He’s currently averaging 14.8 points per game this season and has averaged at least 18 points per game in his previous two seasons. Rose won’t probably be in the Knicks’ future plans if acquired, but with NY playing for a playoff spot, he can help improve those chances with his scoring. Plus he can be a good mentor to rookie Immanuel Quickley and assist his development. Rose will be a free agent after this season, so he will most likely be a one-year rental. But he can make the most out of his one year here, with helping the Knicks improve and be a more attractive spot for future free agents, as well as mentoring Quickley. And if Rose leaves after this season, maybe Quickley will be ready to take the starting point guard helm.

The Pistons are looking to trade Rose because they are set at putting rookie Killian Hayes as their future starting point guard. They can also use another point guard as a backup and Ntilikina, while not much of an offensive force, can still help out defensively, where he’s one of the best out there. If Detroit is not interested in Frank, then the Knicks can also offer Dennis Smith Jr or Elfrid Payton instead. This would be a solid low-risk trade for the Knicks, where they would only give up one of their backup point guards and only a second-round pick.

Miami Heat

Julius Randle to the Heat

Kendrick Nunn, Precious Achiuwa, and 2022 1st round pick to the Knicks

Julius Randle is having the best season of his career and is playing at an All-Star level. The Knicks may be currently playing for a playoff spot but they clearly still have long ways to go, in competing with the top teams in the East in the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers. In order for them to get to their level long term, they got to continue to develop and load up on more draft picks. Randle is having a great year but he never had this good a season and so his value could be at an all-time high for more assets.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This could be the perfect time to trade Julius Randle for more pieces. In this trade, NY would acquire another first-round pick in 2022, adding up to a boatload of 1st round picks that they have over the next several years. They would also acquire more youngsters in Nunn and Achiuwa. Nunn finished second behind Ja Morant in the Rookie of the Year voting last year and Achiuwa is currently a rookie himself. Neither of them is stars, but both are very young, (Nunn: 25, Achiwa: 21) with potential. And by trading Randle, it’ll give rookie Obi Toppin more minutes and will give him more of a chance to develop himself. By adding Randle, Miami will enhance their chances of going back to the NBA Finals even more.

Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal to the Knicks

Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr, 2021 1st round, and 2023 1st round

Now if the Knicks really want to make a splash again, here it is. Knicks fans will probably share mixed feelings about this. It will take away from the rebuilding process that NY has been doing. It could go back to being the quick fix that they’ve done in the past and which often hasn’t worked out in the long run. People will compare this with the Carmelo Anthony trade that the Knicks made with the Denver Nuggets back in 2011, where NY gave up a lot. Here’s why this trade would be different and more efficient.​​​​​​​

Yes, the Knicks will give up a couple of first-round picks, as they did with the Melo trade. But unlike 2011, the Knicks are currently loaded with 1st round picks over the next several years. Only the Oklahoma City Thunder have more first-round picks in the next five years. So the New York Knicks are in a position where they can afford to give 1st round picks and still have a good number of them left.

The players the Knicks will trade didn’t have the same impact on the team as Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov had back then, before being shipped to the Mile High City for Melo. You can say that Knox, Ntilikina, and Smith Jr have all underachieved at the Big Apple, considering that they were all drafted in the Top 10. They can all perhaps use a fresh start elsewhere. Plus the Knicks will still keep Randle, RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Toppin, and Quickley.

Related Article – New York Knicks: Help RJ Barrett Become a Core Player

Adding Beal will instantly make the New York Knicks a playoff team and they can be a force in the East. Beal is leading the league in scoring at over 34 points per game and would be a franchise changer that the Knicks haven’t had since Carmelo Anthony. Plus he would make the Knicks more of an attractive spot for future free agents as well. Beal has been unhappy in D.C. and with the Wizards going nowhere, they will look to rebuild.

Who do you think the New York Knicks should target in a trade? Leave a comment below.

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