Grade the Trade: Knicks pay high price for Walker Kessler in mock proposal

Walker Kessler is a hot name on the trade market.
New York Knicks, Utah Jazz, Walker Kessler
New York Knicks, Utah Jazz, Walker Kessler / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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Laying out the trade

In the proposed deal, the Knicks would send Miles McBride, Jericho Sims, a 2030 unprotected first-round pick swap, and a 2026 second-round pick to the Jazz for Kessler.

Kessler to New York

If you've already shut the trade down because of McBride's inclusion, that's understandable. He's on a very team-friendly contract and turned into an integral piece of the team's rotation this past season. He was far more confident on the offensive end, shooting 45.2% from the field and 41% from three.

McBride's leap would make a trade sting, but his salary would help in a deal. New York couldn't get Kessler without giving up McBride and/or a first-round pick. Ainge wouldn't let a trade like that slide.

Trading Jericho Sims wouldn't hurt, as Kessler would take his place anyway as the primary backup center. Mitchell Robinson's injury history is concerning, but what's even more concerning is Sims playing the backup five. Meanwhile, that's a role Kessler played well, and he only has two years of experience.

As for the picks, fans might object to a first-round pick swap and a second-round pick. However, the reality is, that might not be enough for the Jazz. Draft assets could be what keeps the Knicks from trading for Kessler.