The New York Knicks are on the rise after a top-five finish in the East that ended with a trip to the second round of the playoffs. The front office hasn’t made any major moves this offseason, but that could soon change with the team’s draft assets.
Leon Rose’s patience in going after a star has resulted in New York being connected to every player that could hit the trade market, with the hottest name being Joel Embiid. The reigning MVP hasn’t requested a trade from the Sixers, nor has Daryl Morey shown any inclination to trade him, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning.
Whether at the trade deadline or next offseason, the Knicks could make their long-awaited move for a star in the next year. If that happens, it’s almost a guarantee RJ Barrett will be included in the package, given his contract and inconsistency since being drafted No. 3 overall in 2019. If Barrett’s 2023-24 season is another up-and-down year, he could be on the move.
Stars the Knicks could swap RJ Barrett for at the 2024 NBA trade deadline
4: Luka Doncic
The Mavericks had a busy offseason, but will it be enough to produce a winning season with Luka Doncic at the helm? Dallas is one year removed from making a run to the Western Conference Finals, but the team has since lost a key player from that season, Jalen Brunson.
In a move of desperation to put a star beside Doncic, the Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving last season and signed him to a two-year, $126 million deal in free agency. Irving is undoubtedly a star-level player, but in the past few years, he’s made more news for his actions off the court than on it. It could happen, but it’s tough to envision an entire season passing in Dallas without controversy.
Including 2023-24, Doncic has three full seasons left on his contract before he’ll have a player option to decide on in the summer of 2026. Not only do the Mavericks need to have a winning season after tanking to avoid the play-in tournament last season, but they need stability. Banking on a Doncic-Irving star duo to bring that stability could be an epic fail for Dallas.
Doncic isn’t one of the top names predicted to request a trade before the February deadline, but he should be on New York’s radar. Maybe Doncic and Brunson could take the court as teammates again after all.