High price tag could deter Knicks from making big splash before trade deadline

The Knicks are being careful with how they spend their assets.
New York Knicks, Leon Rose
New York Knicks, Leon Rose / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The trade deadline is creeping closer, but the exact direction the New York Knicks will take is still unknown. One player the team has expressed interest in is Dejounte Murray, who is expected to be moved between now and Feb. 8 after spending the past year and a half in Atlanta.

SNY's Ian Begley has reported that people within the Knicks organization believe that Murray would be a good fit alongside Jalen Brunson. However, one of the issues with Murray is that he's represented by Klutch Sports, which wouldn't deter New York from a trade but could complicate it.

The other issue is Murray's price tag. On the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto and Lakers beat writer Jovan Buha, the former revealed the holdup in a Knicks-Murray trade.

"New York currently feels the asking price for Murray is a bit too high right now. It’s one thing for a first-round pick, the expiring contract of Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes. That package has been kicked around. But that extra first-round pick Atlanta is looking for hasn’t been something that New York has an appetite to move at this point."

Michael Scotto, HoopsHype podcast

Knicks reportedly reluctant to add additional first-round pick in Dejounte Murray trade

The Athletic's Fred Katz was the first to report that New York is willing to trade Quentin Grimes before the deadline. As Scotto noted, a package of Grimes and Evan Fournier would be enough to help make salaries match, but the issue is draft assets.

The Knicks have four unprotected first-round picks they can trade, but they've held onto their picks so they can be used in a trade for a superstar. Murray wouldn't be the big trade New York has been holding out for, but trading for him would still be a big splash. He's been named an All-Star once and was the youngest player in NBA history to be named to an All-NBA Defense Team in 2017-18.

Buha said that Murray is the Lakers' top trade target, which makes sense, given his representation. Even though the Knicks could easily outbid the Lakers, New York's front office makes calculated moves only. Rather than lose several draft picks for Murray, the Knicks could opt to take themselves out of the running for Murray, which seems to be the case as of right now.

A lot can change in the next two weeks, though. Maybe a Knicks-Murray trade will happen, but it'll depend on what New York's willing to give up.