Pass or Pursue on Bleacher Report's Knicks trades to strengthen 2025 title odds

Expect the trade rumors to ramp up once the offseason starts.
New York Knicks
New York Knicks / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The regular season hasn't ended yet, but speculation about the Knicks' offseason moves started a while ago. Leon Rose and the front office have their stash of first-round picks, and they could cash in for a superstar, but it'll depend on who's available.

Donovan Mitchell is a popular name, but he could sign an extension to stay with the Cavaliers. Dan Gilbert thinks the All-Star guard will do so. Mikal Bridges is a favorite amongst the Knicks fan base, but don't expect the Nets to trade him to their most hated rival. There's also Joel Embiid, a topic of conversation last summer amid the James Harden saga.

Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley labeled Mitchell, Bridges, and Embiid as three players who would make the Knicks 2025 title contenders. If they were to hit the trade market, which players should New York be interested in?

Pass or Pursue on B/R's trades to make Knicks 2025 title contenders

Mikal Bridges

As mentioned, Brooklyn would not trade Bridges to New York. There's no guarantee the Nets will listen to trade offers for Bridges, period. If they did, Sean Marks and Joe Tsai would instead trade the forward anywhere but the Knicks.

However, if the offer was on the table, New York should consider it. Bridges has struggled in Brooklyn as the top option, which wouldn't be the case with the Knicks. He'd be able to flourish as a role player. Not only that, but he'd get to reunite with Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, and Josh Hart. The Villanova chemistry has been a big boost for New York.

Bridges would be a great pickup for the Knicks, depending on the price. Sadly, the only chance fans will see him in blue and orange is in their dreams!

Verdict: Pursue (even though the Nets would never do it)

Donovan Mitchell

Regardless of what Gilbert says, there's no guarantee Mitchell will sign an extension this summer. A lot of it will likely depend on how Cleveland fairs in the postseason. Another early exit could be disastrous for the Cavaliers.

New York tried to get Mitchell two summers ago, but Danny Ainge got in the way. In retrospect, the Knicks were wise not to go all-in on the guard because if the Cavaliers were to listen to offers for him, New York could get him for much cheaper. Mitchell has a player option for 2025-26 and could decline it to become a free agent.

The Knicks might not need Mitchell as much as they once did, but he's still a player the front office should consider. The offensive firepower of a Brunson-Mitchell backcourt would be tough to beat.

Verdict: Pursue

Joel Embiid

Last offseason, Embiid was fresh off his first NBA MVP honor. The Harden drama caused many to believe that the star center could ask out of Philadelphia, but that didn't happen.

A lot has changed since then. The Sixers are fighting to stay in Play-In Tournament range without Embiid, who has been out since late January after undergoing knee surgery. He's expected to return this season, but it might be too little too late.

Embiid has yet to play in an Eastern Conference Finals for the Sixers. Philadelphia has repeatedly been a disappointment in the playoffs, Embiid included. If, for whatever reason, the center requested a trade this summer, New York should proceed with caution. His injury history (he's played in 34 games this season) and postseason resume are red flags.

Knowing how Daryl Morey is, he'd tax the Knicks extra if they were interested in pursuing Embiid. The high price wouldn't be worth it. Rose's patience has already paid off for New York. Going all-in on Embiid could easily be a move that'd haunt the team for years.

Verdict: Pass

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