Jalen Brunson's injury absence has further proven the New York Knicks need another ballhandler after trading Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors. With the trade deadline a little over three weeks away, the Knicks have time to make a move.
On Tuesday, The Athletic's Fred Katz reported that New York is "actively fielding offers" for Quentin Grimes (subscription required) and hopes to package him and Evan Fournier together in a deal for a facilitator.
Katz added that rather than wait until the offseason to see which stars are available, the Knicks "prefer" to flip Fournier before the deadline. The hope is that the player New York trades for (if that's what happens) will be able to be included in a trade for a star over the summer if needed.
There are several players who could be traded that fit the Knicks' criteria, but there are three they should prioritize over the others.
3 facilitators the Knicks should target in Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier trade
3: Jordan Clarkson
Making a trade with Danny Ainge isn't preferable, but not impossible. In 2022, Quentin Grimes was viewed as untouchable in trade talks with the Jazz for Donovan Mitchell, which wasn't entirely true. Grimes could be dealt to Utah less than a year and a half later.
After 2023-24, Jordan Clarkson will have two full seasons left on his contract. The 31-year-old is averaging 17.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game, shooting 41.9% from the field.
Clarkson would be a solid backup ballhandler for the Knicks and provide a source of scoring off the bench. Granted, he's played in at least 27 minutes in his last six games, but he scored in double digits in all of them. That doesn't include the 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists he dropped against the Mavericks on Jan. 1, the first time a Jazz player recorded a triple-double.
He won Sixth Man of the Year in 2021 and is an appealing enough player that New York could include him in a trade for a star.