Would the Knicks make this trade?
This is a lot to give up for any player. It essentially transports the entire remainder of New York’s young core to Wisconsin. Owing another five first-round picks will make it difficult to restock that young talent. The Knicks making this deal are leaning fully into win-now mode.
Yet the reality is also that this team would be very capable of “winning now.” The Giannis Antetokounmpo and Julius Randle fit isn’t ideal, but Jalen Brunson is a capable co-star to Antetokounmpo. Mitchell Robinson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo make for a solid 4-6 on a team. Miles McBride, Isaiah Hartenstein and Grayson Allen would fill out the rotation.
The picks sent out don’t clean out the coffers, either. The Knicks still have their 2024, 2025, 2027 and 2029 picks, a pair of conditional picks from Detroit and Washington, and a handful of seconds. That’s enough to work out a deal to turn Julius Randle into a wing, which is likely the best long-term move.
Losing Barrett and Grimes in a league dominated by wings is painful, but the offensive 1-2 punch of Brunson and Giannis is nasty, and Antetokounmpo alongside Mitchell Robinson defensively would be a powerful duo. There are fit questions to be worked out, but having Antetokounmpo and Brunson gives you the right start.
This is an expensive move, but it’s absolutely one worth making. Adding superstars is a difficult proposition, and this would gain the Knicks the star they’ve been pining for and accomplish the most difficult steps of team-building. Pull the trigger, New York.