Bill Simmons ‘guarantees’ Knicks will have one of three stars by next year

NY Knicks, Leon Rose (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Leon Rose (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks are hunting for a star, but it’s a pursuit that could last for another year or two. Stars become available frequently in today’s NBA, and the front office is waiting on the right one to ask out and request a trade.

Joel Embiid is predicted to be the next star to be traded, although sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne that he “has given the franchise assurances he is OK riding out the current drama with Harden.” Shelbourne did add it isn’t clear how long Embiid is willing to wait. With training camp around the corner, the Harden saga will likely worsen.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is another star who should be on New York’s radar after he made uncertain comments about his future in Milwaukee. If the Knicks got to choose between Antetokounmpo or Embiid, the two-time MVP would always be the choice.

Donovan Mitchell is eligible to sign an extension with Cleveland, but that most likely won’t happen before the 2023-24 season begins. The pressure will be on for the Cavaliers to make a run in the playoffs next year, or else the star guard could be back in trade conversations next summer. It’s believed he still wants to play for the Knicks, the team he thought would trade for him last year.

So, it’s no surprise Bill Simmons predicted on his podcast that either Embiid, Antetokounmpo, or Mitchell will be in New York within a year.

"“They’ll get one of those three guys, I guarantee. Giannis, Embiid, or Mitchell will be on that team a year from now.”"

Bill Simmons predicts Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or Donovan Mitchell will play for Knicks within a year

Bill Simmons said he’s heard Donovan Mitchell will “be out of Cleveland” within a year, a prediction that isn’t far-fetched. New York didn’t meet Danny Ainge’s demands last summer when it was positioned to trade for the guard. The front office drawing a line in the sand could look even smarter if they can get Mitchell next offseason for a lower price than the Cavaliers paid.

If NBA fans had to pick one player who’ll be on a new team next year, Mitchell is the easy answer. Embiid is behind Mitchell and then Antetokounmpo.

While either trading for or signing Antetokounmpo would be a franchise-altering move for the Knicks, his comments could’ve been him solely putting pressure on the Bucks. He’s helped to propel Milwaukee from being viewed as more than a small-market team, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he went on to retire with the Bucks years from now.

Simmons described the Embiid situation in Philadelphia as a slow-motion car wreck, which is true. The worst of it hasn’t happened yet. Harden’s already called Daryl Morey “a liar” and said his relationship with the organization isn’t repairable, so imagine the entertainment that training camp will bring.

For the Knicks, it feels like it will come down to Donovan Mitchell or Joel Embiid. The former is most likely hoping it’ll be him.