New York Knicks: Players Who Should Be Untouchable At Trade Deadline
The New York Knicks have improved a lot in this 2020-2021 season. They are currently playing for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
With the NBA trading deadline approaching on March 25, the Knicks could be compelled to improve their playoff chances with a blockbuster trade.
Big names like Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, and Victor Oladipo have popped up in trade rumors. They are all All-Star caliber players who will drastically improve the Knicks playoff chances and perhaps contend in the East.
But the Knicks have a solid young core that they can build around in the future. They also have a boatload of draft picks that they can use to keep stocking up on more young players. The Knicks can also use some of their young pieces and draft picks as trade for perhaps one of the big star names mentioned.
But will it be worth it? Is it worth giving up some of their future pieces to win now? Are they ensured that they will be built to contend for a championship by being active in the trade deadline?
There are players on the Knicks that can be used for trade bait for some improvement in their current squad. But there are some players who should be untouchable and ones that they should build around for the future.
Here are the untouchable players.
At the start of this season, it looked like Julius would be a definite name on the trading block, given his inconsistent season last year. All has changed this season. Randle is having an All-Star season and has clearly been the team leader.
He is currently averaging 22.8 points per game, 11 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. He’s scoring more efficiently due to his improved three-point shooting at over 40%. Unlike last season, he is sharing the ball more and passing more out of double teams rather than forcing a shot in traffic. It’s benefited his teammates and the team as a result.
I know trading a player like Randle, who’s having a career year, can bring lots of value in a trade. But Randle is also only 26 years old, so he is still in his prime and has many good years left. He can certainly still be a future centerpiece if the Knicks choose to do so. If Randle is still playing like an All-Star and the Knicks are still in the playoff race, it would be hard-pressed to deal him away.
The Knicks had high hopes for Barrett after drafting him with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Barrett had an up and down rookie year and was left off of both the All NBA Rookie First and Second team, raising doubts about his star potential.
However this year, Barrett has stepped up overall. He’s improved in every offensive category and he already has more 20 point games this season (15) than he had all of last season (13). Perimeter shooting has still been inconsistent but RJ has shot the three-ball well over the last month. He shot 45% from three-point range in February.
Being only 20 years old and with his improved play this year, Barrett certainly has star potential. The Knicks should keep developing him. He could perhaps be the next franchise player that they drafted since Patrick Ewing in the good old 1990s.
Mitch may not have the same offensive impact that Randle and RJ provide. But Robinson is a defensive guru who impacts the game in that category down low. He is one of the best shot blockers in the game at 1.5 blocks per game this season. He’s averaged at least 2 blocks per game in his first two seasons prior. His presence down low makes opponents think twice about going to the lane.
Offensively Robinson gets his points down low for dunks or layups and also off offensive rebounds. He’s been working on his perimeter game in practice. If he can work that up during a game, he would have the complete package.
Robinson’s presence is currently felt in his absence while recovering from hand surgery. Especially in the losses where opponents are driving to the lane with more ease. Nerlens Noel has played well at times and is a good shot blocker. But he can’t do it all by himself. Mitch really impacts the Knicks on a defensive level and that can’t be underestimated.
IQ has clearly been the steal of the draft class. He is having a great year for the Knicks. The Knicks could not have asked for anything more from him, considering he was projected to be a second-round pick. Quickley comes off the bench and quickly provides the offense with his three-point shooting and floaters. He’s also shooting over 90% from the free-throw line.
Quickley has a good and humble mindset. He is always willing to learn and get better. The Knicks should also keep him long-term and develop him. Even if he may not be a superstar at point guard, he can at least come off the bench to provide energy. He can definitely be one of the best Sixth Man of the game, a la Lou Williams from the Los Angeles Clippers. That would be more than enough for a Knick team that’s trying to compete in the near future.
What do you think? Are these New York Knicks players untouchable in your view? Leave a comment below.
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