Knicks potential trade candidates: Trey Burke

New York Knicks Trey Burke (Photo by Brian Munoz/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Trey Burke (Photo by Brian Munoz/Getty Images) /

As the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline nears, a look at potential candidates to leave for the New York Knicks, starting with Trey Burke.

Feb. 7, 2019, marks the annual NBA Trade Deadline — the final day for teams to, well, trade with each other. The New York Knicks made two moves nearly at, or on. the deadline in 2018, including sending Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets and Doug McDermott in a three-team transaction.

Will the Knicks remain active at one of the NBA’s busiest times of the year? That’s unknown, but it’s worth wondering if they will make a deal. If so, there are potential candidates to move.

It starts with Trey Burke, a member of the Knicks’ point guard rotation since early 2018.

Why is Burke a candidate?

When the 2018-19 season opened, Burke was the Knicks’ starting point guard. His preseason was not otherworldly, but neither was Emmanuel Mudiay or Frank Ntilikina‘s. So, almost by default given his 50 percent shooting in 2017-18, head coach David Fizdale inserted the Michigan product into the starting lineup.

It resulted in just five games, before Fizdale shifted Ntilikina to primary distribution duties and Burke to a reserve role.

This had the chance to last, but Mudiay’s return from an ankle injury, featured revitalized performances and well-deserved minutes in Fizdale’s rotation, which quickly turned into the starting job.

By Nov. 7, about two weeks after the demotion, Burke lost his minutes for three of the next four games.

The 26-year-old eventually returned and went on a torrid run, averaging 25.8 points per game in a four-appearance stretch. Predictably, those numbers fell off, and playing time, fell off.

The icing on the cake was Burke’s sprained knee, which removed him for six games. He was brought back on Dec. 16, but played in only four of the next eight games, three of which were below 15 minutes of on-court time.

This timeline, grouped together, makes Burke a candidate to leave. Not just that, but the youthful approach the Knicks have taken, which will apply to other, speculated trade candidates. He does not fit this approach, especially as Mudiay shines and Frank Ntilikina still develops.

Predicting a trade package

Burke is on an expiring $1.79 million contract, which makes it easier to merge into a salary cap than eight figures.

While affordable, that does not mean the Knicks have a top-end trade asset, and not playing someone impacts their value. It only allows the organization to receive so much in return, but if a team wants guard depth, could a future second-round pick work?

Comparing it to previous deals the Knicks worked, they received two second-round picks for Hernangomez in 2018, and he was under contract for an additional two seasons.

A 2020 or 2021 second-round selection makes sense for Burke. Only one of the two, though, with acquiring a flawed player, on an expiring contract, that sits on the outside looking in, on the Knicks.

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Burke is just one of multiple, potential trade candidates on the New York Knicks. Will he leave the roster at, or before, the Feb. 7 deadline?