Knicks' top 2023 free agency target could hit trade market very soon

Is this one of the trades the Knicks should make?
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The New York Knicks made one big signing in 2023 free agency, and that was Donte DiVincenzo. He's done exceptionally well in his role but isn't the main player the Knicks were targeting.

After playing a pivotal role in helping the Nuggets win their first NBA title, Bruce Brown declined his player option for 2023-24 and became an unrestricted free agent. The Pacers won the Brown sweepstakes, signing him to a two-year, $45 million deal — quite the payday.

A little over six months later, Brown was sent to Toronto in Indiana's trade for Pascal Siakam. The Raptors have traded both Siakam and OG Anunoby in the last month, signaling at long last that the organization is entering a rebuilding phase. It's Scottie Barnes' team now.

Toronto could flip Brown ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline and add to its assets, or the Raptors could hold onto the veteran. If the former is what Ujiri plans to do, expect the Knicks to pick up the phone. SNY's Ian Begley reported that if Brown becomes available, New York will be interested.

"Brown earlier this season told The New York Post that Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has been a fan of his since college.

Logic tells you that Thibodeau would like to pursue Brown. But there are people other than the head coach who see Brown as a potential target."

Ian Begley, SNY

Knicks view Bruce Brown as "potential" trade target ahead of Feb. 8 deadline

On Tuesday, The Athletic's Fred Katz reported that the Knicks are listening to trade offers (subscription required) for Quentin Grimes. On Thursday, New York Post's Stefan Bondy reported that Grimes is "frustrated" with his role (subscription required) and that the Knicks are "actively" trying to move him. This isn't the first time it's been reported that Grimes is unhappy.

New York could include Grimes in a deal for Brown, meaning the young guard would reunite with RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley in Toronto. Even with his decreased minutes, Grimes is a young 3-and-D player that the Raptors should be thrilled to receive. He hasn't come close to reaching his potential.

As for Brown, he averaged 12.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.1 steals in 33 games (all starts) in Indiana.

New York is looking for a ballhandler to back up Jalen Brunson, a role that Brown has played before. The Knicks also want to trade for a player who's under contract next season so that he could be included in a package for a star. Brown fits that criteria, as he has a $23 million club option for 2024-25.

Brown may not be exactly the kind of player New York is looking for, but the internal support within the organization could be enough for the Knicks to bring the 27-year-old to Manhattan.