Although there’s still plenty of basketball left to be played for the New York Knicks this season, the offseason talk has already started. Will the Knicks make a trade for a star this summer? Maybe two trades? Or will they wait?
It’s still too early to identify which big-name stars (if any) will push for a trade during the offseason, but there is a list of stars that New York could already be monitoring.
Last summer was full of Donovan Mitchell-Knicks rumors, but they were erased when the Cavaliers swooped in and met Danny Ainge’s asking price. Some fans were relieved to know that New York didn’t put all of its chips on the table for Mitchell, but others were left wondering why the front office didn’t pounce when they had the chance. The good thing is that the Knicks have done pretty well without Mitchell.
Even with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle shining for New York this season, the team isn’t considered to be a contender. A trade for a star could change that. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley decided to create three hypothetical trades that could increase the Knicks’ chances of winning the 2024 NBA Finals. Let’s take an in-depth look at each trade.
Should Knicks consider one of Bleacher Report’s trades during offseason?
3: Knicks-Pacers trade centered around Buddy Hield
In the first half of the season, it was assumed that the Lakers would be the team to trade for Buddy Hield and/or Myles Turner. The latter winded up signing a two-year extension with Indiana, while Hield has one season left on his contract before he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent.
In his first full season with the Pacers, the 30-year-old guard is averaging 16.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 45.4% from the field and 42.1% from three. The Pacers are a few games back from the No. 10 seed in the East, so it’s likely that another year will pass without Hield competing in the playoffs.
With the guard being on an expiring contract entering next season, his future hinges on Indiana’s vision. If the Pacers don’t want to pay him, it’d be best to get what they can in a trade before allowing him to walk in free agency. Based on that, Bleacher Report created a New York-Indiana trade centered around Hield.
Hield isn’t a star, but this trade would give the Knicks a shooter for a relatively cheap cost. However, similar to the trade for Josh Hart, the front office would have to take the risk of bringing Hield in before his impending free agency.
Obi Toppin and Evan Fournier are two players that New York wouldn’t miss too much. Fournier has been pushed out of the rotation and Toppin is still in Julius Randle’s shadow in his third season in the league. He’ll be eligible to sign an extension this summer and based on the fact that he doesn’t seem to be in the Knicks’ future plans, fans should be fine with him and Fournier leaving. The protected first-round pick that Bleacher Report included isn’t too much to give up, either.
If this is a deal that’s on the table, it’s one that New York should do.