The normal reaction to the New York Knicks not trading for Donovan Mitchell is to look ahead to another player, right? Well, regardless of it you agree or not, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the name that’s come up the most in the past few weeks.
If the Knicks are interested, the discussions that they have with Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti are likely going to be similar to the ones that were had with Danny Ainge. Presti’s been stockpiling draft picks and if the Thunder decide to part ways with SGA, you can bet that it’s going to happen at a high price.
With rookie Chet Holmgren being out for the 2022-23 season, Gilgeous-Alexander could very well end up being traded sometime during the season, if not before. There hasn’t been anything reported about New York and Oklahoma City engaging in trade talks, but as we learned with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a trade can materialize rather quickly.
It’d make sense for the Knicks to be interested in the young guard. However, Bleacher Report’s proposed Knicks-SGA trade doesn’t make sense for one major reason.
Knicks likely wouldn’t give up Quentin Grimes for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Here’s the trade from Bleacher Report:
The majority of Knicks fans likely wouldn’t be upset to see Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish leave New York. Both of their names have been floating around in trade rumors throughout the offseason. Fournier’s defense would be a liability alongside Jalen Brunson and Reddish’s fit in the rotation is still uncertain.
In trade talks with the Jazz, the Knicks were reportedly adamant to not include Quentin Grimes’ name. RJ Barrett was reportedly included in proposals, but not Grimes. The front office, along with the fan base, are high on the potential of the 22-year-old. If it comes down to starting either Fournier or Grimes at the two, the job should go to Grimes.
If New York wasn’t willing to throw Grimes’ name into talks for Donovan Mitchell, why would they do so for SGA? Yes, Gilgeous-Alexander is the Thunder’s best player, but it’s hard to see a scenario where the Knicks would be willing to part ways with Grimes to get him. Honestly, New York would likely rather include Immanuel Quickley in a trade than Grimes, although it’s been reported that Quickley’s going to have an increased role this season.
If the Knicks could get by with replacing Grimes with Miles McBride, this trade would make more sense for New York. But with Oklahoma City continuing its rebuild, Presti may not be willing to take on 29-year-old Fournier and his contract. Fournier didn’t fit the Jazz’s timeline, and the same could be said for the Thunder.
The Knicks trading for SGA is a real possibility. With players such as Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson being available in the 2023 NBA Draft, OKC could be more tempted to trade Gilgeous-Alexander to ensure a high draft pick. If New York’s seriously interested in SGA, now would be the time to get him.