These are not your father’s New York Knicks.
They aren’t racing around the league, throwing assets at any semi-star that comes onto the market. They aren’t contorting their team salary sheet in order to free up space to sign an overpaid scoring threat. This Knicks team has built a real, deep NBA team through drafting well, making smart trades on the margins and buying low on star guard Jalen Brunson.
The Knicks won 47 games last season, upset the Cleveland Cavaliers in dominant fashion and are poised to repeat that same success this year. At the same time they have been gathering a stockpile of assets that they can use to trade for a true superstar; not an injured or aging former star, not an ill-fitting empty calories All-Star, but a player who can truly be the No. 1 option on a title team.
Knicks are waiting to pounce on Joel Embiid
With Giannis Antetokounmpo signing a fresh extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, the best candidate around the league is Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. The reigning MVP should be playing for a team that is all-in to win a title, but instead the Sixers are locked in a lose-lose standoff with James Harden, let key free agents walk at the start of the offseason, and are targeting next season’s free agency as the time to really go all-in.
That’s not how you keep an MVP happy, and it’s very likely going to lead to a divorce not just of Harden and the Sixers, but Joel Embiid and the Sixers. The question is how quickly that break-up happens. If it comes to a head soon, the Knicks will reportedly be ready with an aggressive trade offer for Embiid.
Let’s take a look at what a deal could look like, and whether the two sides would pull the trigger.