Knicks Trade Rumors: Designing ideal Noah Vonleh deal with Sixers

New York Knicks Noah Vonleh (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Noah Vonleh (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia 76ers Markelle Fultz (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

No players in return package

This deal only includes draft picks from the Sixers. That’s despite their young pieces, some of which have barely, or never, played a game this season.

Markelle Fultz‘s time in the City of Brotherly Love has not gone according to plan. Since trading up to select him first overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Washington product has played just 33 games while marred by injuries and head-scratching shooting issues.

Fultz last played on Nov. 19, and if the Sixers were to move him, it’s difficult to figure out what, exactly, his value is. With a $9.7 million salary in 2019-20, too, it’s not the cheapest gamble for the New York Knicks to take.

A foot injury and complications from an allergic reaction have sidelined Zhaire Smith for his entire rookie season, per The Ringer. He’s expected to return before the year ends, however.

Either way, Smith also counts $3 million towards the salary cap in 2019-20. Cheaper than Fultz, but too questionable of a player to acquire, due to the injury and removing part of New York’s flexibility.

Ultimately, the Knicks receiving picks allows them to choose their own player and even move it elsewhere. Whether to move up in the draft or acquire a proven veteran, there’s more value in the unknown.

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Fultz and Smith have value, but acquiring picks that will have cheaper contractual standing, along with being the Knicks’ front office’s “guys” makes more sense to return for Vonleh.