The New York Knicks have been active with the trade deadline around the corner, making noise with a big trade for OG Anunoby before the new year. Now, with the ball rolling, talks haven't slowed down in terms of New York making another trade before February 8.
There have been rumors of Donovan Mitchell heading to New York City for a while now, but the Knicks have a noticeable lack of offensive presence on their bench.
Quentin Grimes and Josh Hart lead the bench in scoring, combining for just 14.2 points per game, and Miles McBride moved up in the rotation. Most of these players aren't known to score, and this group, while performing well lately, probably won't be able to sustain their production through the playoffs.
At 5-0, the Knicks are definitely not in panic mode. However, it would be more realistic and certainly beneficial for Leon Rose to acquire a scorer to replace their former sixth man Immanuel Quickley, whom they traded for Anunoby. Multiple players have been in trade rumors around the NBA, and Leon Rose has the assets to get them.
3 bench trades the Knicks should explore before the Feb. 8 deadline
Evan Fournier-Kelly Olynyk swap
Olynyk's basic stats at 8.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game might not look enticing. However, you have to consider that the 32-year-old veteran is averaging just 21.3 minutes this season. Last year, he played 28.6 minutes per game and averaged 12.5 points on 39.4% 3PT shooting. This season, he's shooting 42.4% from deep with an offensive rating of 128.4.
The 12-year forward/center out of Gonzaga would certainly space the floor for a Knicks bench with facilitators and defenders such as McBride, Hart, and Precious Achiuwa. Playing the four at 6'11" allows Olynyk to post up forwards while also playing a catch-and-shoot role.
In today's NBA, spacing is utilized more than ever, and when you have four or five players who can play from anywhere on the court, the defense is at more of a disadvantage than having two bigs play a traditional role inside the three-point line.
Olynyk would add another dimension to the bench's offense. He could slide into a forward spot some nights and allow the Knicks to play with a bigger lineup, and he could even get in late-game situations with his experience.