New York Knicks: Players who need a change of scenery

NY Knicks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NY Knicks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Which New York Knicks can use a change of scenery ahead of the 2020 NBA trade deadline?

The NBA’s unofficial trade season is here. It’s the time when trade rumors arise and deals happen. One deal already went down, and given how frequently the New York Knicks are in the rumor mill, perhaps they pull off something before the Feb. 6 trade deadline.

Names like Marcus Morris and Julius Rande have already been reported, but others, hypothetically, could move, too. Some of those players are potential change-of-scenery candidates or those who could use a fresh start elsewhere:

Wayne Ellington

When Wayne Ellington joined the Knicks last summer, he was expected to stretch the floor and be efficient guard depth off the bench. That has not happened, given the 32.1 percent mark from the field and a paltry 30.4 percent on 3-pointers. Prior to this season, Ellington shot 37.9 percent from behind the arc.

It’s difficult to think the veteran shooting guard has trade value, so a parting of ways probably happens via buyout in this instance, pending he agrees to take a salary hit, to sign with a contender for the rest of the season. This not only frees him to leave but opens the Knicks’ bench, especially with Reggie Bullock nearing a return.

Allonzo Trier

To say Allonzo Trier‘s sophomore season has been disappointing is an understatement. Both David Fizdale and Mike Miller hardly used the score-first guard, who flashed his points production when given the chance but remained at the end of the bench more often than not.

With Bullock almost back, Trier’s standing in the rotation will continue to diminish, especially with Damyean Dotson and a trio of point guards receiving playing time. An opportunity to showcase himself may never arrive at this rate, so before restricted free agency, the Arizona product could use a rest-of-the-season chance on another roster to prove himself.

Someone can take a flier on Trier, potentially a rebuilding team, and see what he produces in a change of scenery. If the said team likes him enough, it has the chance to keep him in restricted free agency. The price may not be excessive, either, since his value can’t be high as a player who hardly reaches the floor.

More from Knicks News

A future second-round pick can be enough for Trier, making $3.5 million in the final year of his contract. It gives the Knicks something while moving on from a player who’s seemingly not in their plans.

Dennis Smith Jr.

The lone player-piece remaining from the Kristaps Porzingis trade, Dennis Smith Jr.’s play has seen the most dramatic drop-off of any Knick. He went from a promising scorer to a player unable to put the ball in the hoop, including just 32.5 percent shooting in 21 appearances.

Smith Jr., still receiving playing time, is the team’s third-string point guard. His role could be hanging by a thread, though, if Bullock and Ellington come back and receive minutes. A trio of point guards isn’t needed if Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina hold up enough as ball handlers and defensive-minded players.

dark. Next. 25 greatest players in NYK history

With his value already low, perhaps the New York Knicks move on in February and cut their losses. Smith Jr. was already connected to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and other teams may see him as a buy-low candidate who could thrive in a lower pressure situation. His stock is dropping, making high draft compensation problematic. Like Trier, it may just be for a second-round pick or two.