The New York Knicks unfortunately had a disastrous year in 2021-22, following their brief, albeit incredibly exciting playoff appearance in 2021, and this has left the front office with plenty of questions to answer.
With so much young talent ready to grow together, they are left with a choice: do you give up some of those young pieces to build around RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, or do you hand the keys to No. 9 and solely build around him?
The process won’t be quite that simple, as the Knicks have money tied up in Randle, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel, but if they can swing a trade to unload some of that, it would be ideal.
This young group, while promising, does have holes to fill, and if New York can find more offense from center and more organization at the point guard spot, the team may be able to vault back into the playoffs in 2023.
Because it’s the Knicks, there have been many rumored names to fill these holes and pair with the young core of Barrett, Quickley, and Toppin, so today we are going to look at 10 names that have popped up in rumors and determine whether we would pass or pursue them.
What trade targets should the New York Knicks pass/pursue in the 2022 offseason?
10: Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard has been involved in trade rumors for the past two years, but he has remained loyal to Portland, repeatedly denying any sort of rumblings of a trade. Two years later, however, the team hasn’t improved at all, regressing mightily, and if Lillard wants any chance at significant playoff basketball, he needs to ask out.
In previous years, finding a way to pair Lillard with Randle and Barrett would have made New York a contender, but with the way the roster is shaping out right now, this isn’t in play. The Knicks like what they have with Quickley, Toppin, and Barrett, and giving that away for an aging Lillard is something old management would have done.
Would this franchise like to have a star the caliber of Lillard? Sure. But given all they’d have to give up for yet another quick fix, it just doesn’t make sense. And now, New York has the management in place to realize this and won’t give up the future for an aging star.
Pass or pursue: While the Knicks could look to deal with Portland in a Randle trade, it’s definitely a pass to bring in Lillard at this point in time.