I have recently spent a great deal of time away from writing about the New York Knicks, but after seeing that Bleacher Report proposed a three-team trade between the Knicks, Nets, and Lakers, it is time that I come back.
This trade is so outlandish for everyone involved, and I frankly would be stunned if something even close to this happens.
Trades are usually made to be mutually beneficial, or well, that is the idea of them. Sports fans, however, all have very strong opinions, and in the age of the 2020s, everyone has a hot take.
Would the New York Knicks be willing to do this three-team trade?
This is one of those trades where only one team benefits, and for the Knicks fans who are wondering, it is not New York who would benefit from this. Anyway, let’s take a look at this trade:
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: PG Ben Simmons, G/F Evan Fournier
Brooklyn Nets Receive: PF Julius Randle, C Nerlens Noel, 2027 first-round pick (lottery-protected, via Los Angeles Lakers)
New York Knicks Receive: PG Kendrick Nunn, G/F Talen Horton-Tucker, PG Russell Westbrook (to be bought out), 2023 second-round pick (via Los Angeles Lakers)
Okay, so this writer has to be from Los Angeles and is jealous that the city we Knicks and Nets fans reside in is better, right? The Lakers get Ben Simmons and Evan Fournier essentially for free while dumping Russell Westbrook’s contract on New York, while the Nets get a package that makes no sense for them.
Before venting about the Knicks, let’s focus on Los Angeles and Brooklyn very quickly. This trade was great for the Lakers and awful for the Nets, so much so that it can be described pretty fast.
On the LA side, Fournier fits perfectly next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, while Simmons’ defense and playmaking could very well put the Lakers right back in title contention. Not to mention, Simmons is an All-Star when at his best.
On the side of the Nets, although I love to bash them when I can, this trade would be awful. When Brooklyn acquired Simmons in the James Harden trade, the Nets landed a guy who fits perfectly with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, while Julius Randle does not at all fit with Durant and Irving.
Randle likes to have the ball in his hands on offense, and by no means should he have the ball over Durant and Irving, so trading for him would make no sense.
Now it’s time to talk about the Knicks. Westbrook is apparently going to be bought out by New York in this proposal, but it does not seem like he would entertain a buyout.
Buyouts only happen when a player acknowledges they signed a massive contract when they were a star, but now they have gotten older and are no longer the same player. Westbrook believes that he is the same player.
On top of Westbrook, landing point guard Kendrick Nunn and guard/forward Talen Horton-Tucker does not make much sense. The Knicks have so many rotational players currently that they will need to trade some of them away, not replace them.
Nunn is a poor defender with a questionable mentality, so there’s no chance Tom Thibodeau would even play the man. THT would be interesting, but with a plethora of young wings, it would seem somewhat pointless to add him to the mix.
New York would gain nothing from this trade; however, the Knicks would lose the ability to use Randle in potential deals that could do more than absolutely nothing for them.
Moving on from Randle is probably the correct decision, as he had one of the most confusing seasons out of a Knick in many years.
However, trading Randle to Brooklyn feels icky, and if this trade were to happen, I’d rather get Simmons in return instead of the Lakers’ rejects (I still love you, Westbrook), as at least Simmons would fit under Thibodeau.
New York should be careful with who it’s pursuing to become its next point guard. There are a lot of options that the Knicks could go with, but there are only some they should go for.
What the Knicks should not do is some completely unrealistic disappointment shuffle with two of the other biggest disappointments in the NBA, though.