Why Knicks CAA ties could land blossoming star via trade

NY Knicks, 2021 NBA Draft (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, 2021 NBA Draft (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Julius Randle, New York Knicks and Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards
Julius Randle, New York Knicks and Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Kyle Kuzma’s fit on the New York Knicks

To examine Kyle Kuzma’s fit on the Knicks, we first have to identify who will be leaving the team to head back to the Wizards. Pincus tosses out the names of a few young players, like Immanuel Quickley and Cam Reddish, and points to the Knicks’ treasure trove of extra first-round picks.

The name not mentioned is Julius Randle, and that is the key piece here. If the Knicks add Kuzma to start at the 3 next to Randle, they will be shooting themselves in the foot (or leg, perhaps, for all of you Plaxico Burress fans). Kuzma is blossoming as a scorer this season but is shooting just 33.3 percent from deep, right in line with his career marks. Add in a non-shooting center and you have the definition of a stifled offense.

If the Knicks find a way to move Randle, however, suddenly they might be cooking with gas. Kuzma is probably a better defender than Randle and plays with much more consistency, although Randle has a higher ceiling as a scorer on the nights when his jumper is falling. He’s also 28 and under contract for three more seasons at an average of $27.5 million. Kuzma, even on a new deal, would likely be much cheaper. If the Knicks believe Kuzma can replace what Randle is bringing, making the swap could be a smart move.

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That’s a whole lot of ifs, though, especially if the Knicks add Kuzma without moving Randle. The Knicks already have a logjam at power forward, and adding another doesn’t help their spacing issues. Yet if the roster reconfiguration is more significant, the CAA connection could give them an advantage in adding a solid scoring forward, and the Knicks can ultimately use all of the help they can get.