After having a Cinderella story run in 2020-21, the NY Knicks have gone about and followed things up with an absolute dud of a start to 2021-22.
Through 31 games played this season, the Knickerbockers hold a sub-.500 record of just 14-17, placing them near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings in the 12th seed.
With how Leon Rose and co. went about their offseason dealings, it’s more than apparent that this team expected to be a real contender this year — unfortunately, this has yet to be the case.
However, with the fact that we’re only about a quarter of the way done with the campaign, there is still time for New York to snap into action and start to play up to their expected level, though shakeups are undoubtedly necessary if they wish to do this.
A popular method fans and media alike believe could help aid in the team’s turnaround is the NY Knicks scouring the trade market to try and deal for some impact players that could help bolster the team’s talent pool and, in turn, get them moving in the right direction.
Should the NY Knicks consider this B/R De’Aaron Fox trade?
Over the past several months, we at DK have been discussing players in which the front office should look to target between now and February’s deadline, with names ranging from impactful role-players to potential franchise cornerstones.
Recently, the folks at Bleacher Report dipped their toes in the sand and concocted their own scheme to land the Knicks a real difference-maker performer in the likes of Sacramento Kings point guard, De’Aaron Fox.
The exact proposed trade reads as follows:
Citing their need for a high-impact performer at the one, writer Greg Swartz believes that landing the likes of Fox could be well worth it for the NY Knicks, even if it means offloading quite a number of assets in the process:
"The Knicks have stumbled to a 13-17 start after a strong 2020-21 campaign, with hopes of Kemba Walker being the team’s franchise point guard now dashed.Fox’s numbers have been down across the board this season, and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted the 24-year-old entered the season 15 pounds heavier than his previous playing weight. Still, with four years left on his deal after this season, Fox has plenty of time to become one of the NBA’s best floor generals.A rejuvenated Fox would jump-start the Knicks’ 19th-ranked offense and take playmaking responsibilities off Julius Randle and RJ Barrett."
This proposed trade has quite a few moving pieces being shipped out of the metropolitan area and, to some, it could be viewed as being a bit too much for just one player.
That said, that “one player” is already on the outside looking in on being considered a top-5 point guard in the league today at just 24-years-old and, with his specific skill set added into a Tom Thibodeau scheme, he could easily wind up thrusting himself into this aforementioned category.
As you’re already likely aware, a Thibs-led team seems to be at its best when it has a quick primary ball-handler running the show who can get out on fastbreaks, infiltrate the paint for either a finish at the rim, or dish it out in a drive and kick, and who’s fearless when it comes to looking for a score.
By all accounts, this is a perfect way to describe Fox.
In what some are considering a “down” season, the fifth-year veteran finds himself putting up still rather impressive averages of 21.3 points, five assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game on 45.5 percent shooting from the floor.
Him leading the charge for the NY Knicks could ultimately prove to be that spark the team desperately needs this season, while his youthful- age coupled with his long-term deal that runs through 2026 would give New York a real shot at rostering that franchise point guard they’ve been longing for essentially since the days of Clyde.
Now, obviously, the toughest things to see being sent packing in this exchange are the two future first-round picks and last year’s lottery selection, Obi Toppin, who, as Swartz correctly stated in his piece, is having quite a solid sophomore campaign.
However, should Fox pan out the way we believe he would in this current Knicks system, these draft picks likely won’t be of all the much value to the franchise anyway (especially considering one of them belongs to Dallas who, with Luka Doncic in tow, is likely to have a low-end selection in 2023 anyway) and, though Toppin is performing well, his true ceiling almost certainly won’t ever be reached whilst on the same team as star big man, Julius Randle, which means perhaps cashing him in for someone who could better complement the team while also having a similar, if not higher ceiling could well be worth it.
All in all, it is our belief that this proposed deal would be a great move for the NY Knicks to make and should be strongly considered if ever found on the negotiation table.