The move the Knicks didn’t make: Signing Torrey Craig
The best move the Knicks haven’t yet made is technically a trade for a star, but such a deal may not yet be on the table. Damian Lillard and James Harden would be difficult fits next to Jalen Brunson, and the price tag on Paul George was reportedly quite high. They may be biding their time in case Joel Embiid enters the trade market.
Let’s instead highlight a move the Knicks could have made and still retained their patience toward dealing for a second star. By moving Obi Toppin, the Knicks opened up a hole at backup power forward. When Julius Randle is starting, the role is a small one, and in a pinch (or the playoffs) that spot could be filled by RJ Barrett or Josh Hart. More realistically, however, the Knicks need a backup, especially for any time that Randle misses during the season.
Enter Torrey Craig, a combo forward who has been a part of successful teams for most of his NBA career. For each of the past five seasons, he has been a rotation player in the postseason, last year starting five of 11 games for the Phoenix Suns.
At 6’7″ he has the size to defend forwards, and he shot 39.5 percent of his 3-pointers last season. He’s not a sharpshooter by any means, but he can knock down enough shots to survive, especially at the four.
Craig signed with the Chicago Bulls this summer for just a minimum two-year deal, an offer the Knicks could have easily made or even exceeded. He would have been a positive addition to a team trying to win; instead, the answer to that weakness is still to be found.