With just a little over 48 hours left till this year’s trade deadline, the New York Knicks have emerged as sellers. Looking more and more like a lottery team, the Knicks have some tough decisions to make. Players such as Willy Hernangomez, Enes Kanter, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, Michael Beasley and others are all on the trading block. The Knicks should be proactive in engaging teams to change the shape of their team. That being said, we went crazy with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine and constructed 17 potential trades constructed hoping to make the Knicks roster a more youthful, athletic, and energetic one with an eye towards next season.
Let us know what you think!
Trade 1: Hernangomez to Utah for Burks, Exum, and O’Neale
With Utah’s reported interest in Hernangomez, I believe this would be a fair return for the Knicks as they get back a scoring wing in Burks and essentially a wildcard in Dante Exum. Despite all the time he’s missed, Exum is still only 22 years old and showed signs of improvement last year with a better looking jump shot. The Knicks would then own his rights and will have the chance to work out a bargain extension. Burks too has missed time and saw his playing time get reduced with the rise of Mitchell but his athleticism and scoring abilities would be a welcome addition to the Knicks.
Trade 2: Hernangomez to the Spurs for Derrick White, Bryn Forbes, and Davis Bertans
Another team reportedly interested in Hernangomez is the Spurs and it looks unlikely that they would give up talented young PG DeJounte Murray in return. However, I think Derrick White is an underrated PG himself who has a similar playing style to Kyle Anderson. Forbes is having a very nice season for San Antonio as a knockdown shooter and capable defender. Davis Bertans would be another good return and fellow Latvian for Porzingis with sneaky athleticism and good 3PT ability.
Trade 3: Hernangomez to the Lakers for Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr.
The Lakers have made it known Julius Randle isn’t in their future plans especially with their dream of chasing two max free agents this summer. Randle is a perfect complement in the frontcourt to Porzingis. With Randle, the Knicks would have the ability to play small with him at the 4, and KP at the 5. Porzingis would have help guarding more physical big men and Randle will have the proper spacing to operate as a slasher and distributor. You can see this pairing work especially with the Lakers recent success starting Randle and Brook Lopez. Hopefully Randle would agree to a mutually beneficial extension with the Knicks in free agency. Larry Nance is another young athletic big which will help fill the void of Kyle O’Quinn.
Trade 4: Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee to Minnesota for Justin Patton, 2018 OKC 1st round pick and Dieng’s contract
Due to obvious reasons, Noah’s contract is almost next to impossible to move. However, the Timberwolves may be one of the few teams who still think highly of Joakim. In this trade, the Wolves and Knicks will be doing bad salary contract swaps with Dieng and Noah. The addition of Lee hopefully entices the Wolves as he fits the mold of a solid vet Thibs values. The Knicks would also be taking back Aldrich but I believe the addition of young Justin Patton is worth it. He should be ready to start next year and reminded me of a very raw Karl-Anthony Towns with his size, touch, and feel for the game. Minnesota owns OKC’s 1st round pick this year as well and would be another valuable asset in this trade.
Trade 5: Joakim Noah and Willy Hernangomez to Dallas for Nerlens Noel
The only other way to get rid of Noah is to attach an asset. I would be very reluctant to part with a first round pick but I would be more willing to attach Hernangomez in this deal. Along with more salary cap flexibility, the Knicks will be getting back Nerlens Noel with an early chance to see if he can pair alongside Porzingis. Noel is known as a great defender and seems like a good match as a young athletic big who can protect the rim alongside KP. Even if this deal doesn’t come to fruition, I believe it would be wise to go after Noel on a low risk high reward short term contract.
Trade 6: Noah, Lee, and Thomas to Orlando for Biyombo, Fournier, and Hezonja
Similar to the Noah to Minnesota trade, this deal is largely a salary dump for the Orlando Magic with the Knicks also ridding themselves of Noah’s contract. Biyombo can fill the need for a defensive big for the Knicks. However, the addition of Fournier and Hezonja as wing players I feel is worth the risk. Both add much needed athleticism and shooting to the Knicks.
Trade 7: KOQ and Jack to Golden State for Pat McCaw
The Warriors are in need of a solid big man off the bench and O’Quinn seems like a perfect fit. In return the Knicks would get back a promising young player in Patrick McCaw whose already proven to be a plus defender and I believe will also become a better shooter with time. He can greatly benefit with a larger role for the Knicks.
Trade 8: KOQ, McDermott, and Jack to Denver for Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley
With the recent injury to Mason Plumlee, Kyle O’Quinn is a good fit for Denver’s playoff push. In return, the Knicks would be getting back multidimensional wings in Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley. This could also heal any potential rifts with Willy and both players will have an opportunity to show why they were drafted in the mid first round not too long ago.
Trade 9: KOQ and Jack to Cleveland for Cedi Osman
I believe Cedi Osman would be another solid return for O’Quinn. Watching him play, you can see the natural feel he has for the game. He may not be the most athletic but Osman looks like a great shooter, would slot in at the small forward position, has handles, and can run the fast break beautifully. Our European players will also make it easier for him to adapt to the team.
Trade 10: Courtney Lee to Detroit for Stanley Johnson and Henry Ellenson
Similar to Denver, Detroit is another team who is ready to make a playoff push re-energized now with Blake Griffin. The Pistons are short at the 2 guard position after trading away Avery Bradley so Lee is a natural fit here. Stanley Johnson has perhaps turned the corner working with a dynamic PF like Blake. He can see similar looks playing alongside KP and will be a stingy defender. Ellenson is also another young big man who hasn’t played all that much but could be a good fit here as another center who can stretch the defense and block shots. In this version of the trade, Ish Smith is a more than serviceable stop gap at point guard till Ntilikina is ready to earn the starting job. Langston Galloway’s contract would also fit here if the Pistons are reluctant to give up on Ish.
Trade 11: Courtney Lee to OKC for Terrance Ferguson
The Thunder will be greatly missing the services of Andre Roberson come playoff time so I suspect they will be in the market for a defensive wing. Lee would be a good fit in OKC as a 3&D guy. I would do this trade only if the Thunder are willing to part with young Terrance Ferguson whose shown promise this season. He looks like a microwave scorer and learning from great vets in OKC.
Trade 12: Courtney Lee to Charlotte for Batum and Malik Monk
The Hornets want to dump salaries and if they are willing to attach assets like Malik Monk, I think the Knicks should be all-in. Here the Knicks would also be saving some salary off their books by trading Thomas and Baker’s contracts. Batum’s contract is large but he’s a proven player in this league and I think a lot of the inconsistency in his game this year is due to avoiding elbow surgery.
Trade 13: Enes Kanter to Milwaukee for Thon Maker and D.J. Wilson
The Bucks are searching for a big man and Kanter would be a great interior presence for them. If Milwaukee is willing to give up Thon Maker and/or D.J Wilson for him, I believe this is a no-brainer. Both are plenty young men and have high ceilings as athletic young bigs who can stretch the floor. Snell’s contract was necessary for matching salaries.
Trade 14: Enes Kanter to Toronto for Jonas, Bruno, and D.Wright
With rumblings of Toronto wanting to go under the luxury tax threshold, it would make sense that they would be interesting in moving Jonas Valanciunas. Kanter’s deal would be an expiring contract for them with the Knicks getting back two good young defenders in Caboclo and D.Wright (who has also shown he can shoot).
Trade 15: McDermott and Beasley to Boston for Yabusele, Nader, and Theis
Boston should be looking for guys that can create their own shot off the bench. Beasley is a perfect fit here with the Knicks getting back Yabusele, Nader, and Theis to fill roles off the Knicks bench. Yabusele especially can replace some of Beasley’s scoring capability.
Trade 16: Baker, KOQ, and McDermott to LA Clippers for Tobias Harris
While this trade may seem lopsided, I would call the Clippers and see if Tobias Harris is available. If so, they may trade him to free up cap space this summer for a chance at a significant free agent. Harris would be a great fit in NY as an underrated scoring wing for the vast majority of his career.
Trade 17: Hollis-Jefferson to the Knicks
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson would be the ideal fit for the Knicks as an athletic wing who’s shown tremendous defensive ability as well as huge improvements on offense this season. He won’t come cheap however. I would be willing to take on the contracts of Carroll, Lin, as well as part with a protected 2019 1st round pick if need be.