Former Knicks reporter says team is interested in 2 centers not named Walker Kessler

Is he right?
New York Knicks
New York Knicks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The next thing New York Knicks fans want to see the front office check off their offseason to-do list is adding a backup center to the roster. After losing Isaiah Hartenstein, the Knicks' top two centers are Mitchell Robinson and Jericho Sims. Robinson has a worrisome injury history (but is worthy of being a starter again!), and Sims hasn't proven he's backup quality.

Several reports have surfaced about the team's interest in centers, including Walker Kessler. SNY's Ian Begley reported that the Jazz want at least a first-round pick for the young center (and turned down two first-round picks), which could keep the Knicks away. Danny Ainge isn't easy to do business with.

On Wednesday, former New York Post reporter Marc Berman tweeted that Alperen Şengün and Jalen Duren are on Leon Rose's radar.

Berman says Knicks are interested in Şengün and Duren

Between Şengün and Duren, the latter is the easiest for the Knicks to target. The Pistons have a new regime under Trajan Langdon, meaning that maybe a Duren trade could happen. He'd certainly be cheaper than Şengün, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract and is eligible to sign an extension. He's expected to make $200+ million.

Şengün is coming off a breakout season. He averaged 21.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.2 steals per game, shooting 53.7% from the field. Duren averaged 13.8 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, shooting 61.9% from the field. Şengün will be 22 later this month, and Duren will be 21 in November.

If New York managed to trade for the Rockets center, he'd step into the starting role over Robinson, which could mean he'd be traded. The Knicks could keep Duren behind Robinson, especially because he struggles on the defensive end. He's still young, so he could develop that part of his game.

If a trade for Şengün happened, the Knicks would have to give up several assets. Even after trading for Mikal Bridges, they still have picks they could use. A Duren trade wouldn't be nearly as difficult.

Maybe Berman is right. Even if he isn't, it's clear New York isn't satisfied with its depth at center. Expect Leon to make some sort of move before the 2024-25 season begins.

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