The New York Knicks have been waiting for the right moment to go after a star, and currently, two star players are on the market. Damian Lillard and James Harden requested trades from their respective teams simultaneously, and their wishes haven’t been fulfilled.
The Knicks reportedly engaged in initial trade talks for Harden, but that’s where their involvement ended. As for Lillard, it hasn’t been reported that New York has reached out to Portland, but there’s now speculation that the Knicks might’ve engaged in trade talks recently.
On Monday’s edition of ESPN’s NBA Today, Marc Spears said the Trail Blazers have been talking to “several teams” about Lillard, and he mentioned an Eastern Conference squad but didn’t say the team name.
Because of the Knicks’ position, they’ve been dubbed as the “mystery” East team by many.
Should the New York Knicks consider a Damian Lillard trade?
Damian Lillard wants to go to the Heat, and it’d be hilarious to see the Knicks step in and prevent Miami from getting the star. However, that’s not near enough reason for New York to trade for Dame.
With players like Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo possibly being made available in the next year or so, the Knicks’ patience thus far would be all for nothing with a Lillard trade. That isn’t a dig at Lillard, but he isn’t the right star for New York between his fit, age, and Portland’s asking price.
A third team could be looped in to make a trade easier for the Heat. In that case, maybe the Knicks could get involved. That even seems like a stretch for New York, who appears to be satisfied with keeping a similar roster to the one that made it to the second round of the playoffs.
Given Antetokounmpo’s recent comments, the mystery team could be the Bucks. After being upset by the Heat in the first round of the playoffs, the pressure is on for Milwaukee to keep its two-time MVP in Wisconsin. The front office could view a trade for Lillard as a way to appease Antetokounmpo, who values winning more championships above all else.
This situation feels similar to the Donovan Mitchell trade saga, as he was “supposed” to go to the Knicks. The Cavaliers were the mystery team last summer, and now, the question is, who’s the mystery team this summer?