The upcoming offseason could be a memorable one for New York Knicks fans. Maybe it'll be when the front office trades for a star, a move that has to be on the horizon after the OG Anunoby trade.
Speaking of Anunoby, New York hopes to retain the 26-year-old wing this summer, whether that happens before or after he hits free agency. On the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Michael Scotto and ESPN's Bobby Marks talked about Anunoby's future. He could sign an extension in the realm of four years, $117 million at the end of June, or he could sign a contract worth up to five years in free agency.
Keeping Anunoby in New York long-term is the front office's top priority. It'll also be interesting to see what happens with Evan Fournier. You might be wondering why Fournier is relevant because he's been out of the rotation since November 2022, but he has a $19 million club option for 2024-25. The Knicks could pick that up with the sole intention of putting Fournier in a package for a star.
Marks was going through the routes that New York could take with Fournier. He believes that the Knicks will pick up his option if the guard isn't traded by the deadline.
"If Fournier’s not dealt by the trade deadline, I think there’s a good chance that option gets exercised, and then New York figures it out because there’s going to be somebody available who’s disgruntled. Someone is going to lose in the playoffs, and someone is going to want to break up their group."- Bobby Marks, HoopsHype podcast
Bobby Marks expects Knicks to pick up Evan Fournier's option if he isn't traded by Feb. 8
As Marks and Scotto said, New York could flip Fournier ahead of the deadline for a player like Malcolm Brogdon. Bleacher Report proposed a Fournier-Brogdon trade, but it'll all come down to the Knicks' intentions. A star player (or two) could request a trade in the offseason. It's impossible to know what will happen at this point.
Marks threw out Donovan Mitchell's name, and he's certainly a player to watch. The Cavaliers haven't shown a willingness to listen to offers for the star guard, but that could change if Cleveland is another early playoff exit. Even if that happened, there's no guarantee Mitchell will be traded to New York (as fans know) because Miami is expected to aggressively pursue him.
If the Knicks pick up Fournier's option, the move won't come without complications. Isaiah Hartenstein is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and as much as New York should want to keep him, the center might be playing himself out of the Knicks' price range. There isn't enough money to go around for everyone.
There are several different offseason paths New York could take. Whatever the Knicks do (or don't do) at the deadline will give a glimpse into what they could do this summer. If Fournier remains on the team for the rest of the season and you get a notification that New York picked up his option, don't panic. It could finally mean the Knicks are gearing up for their long-awaited trade.