NBA trade season is underway, with the Indiana Pacers making a blockbuster trade for Toronto Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam. Siakam, a versatile forward who can space the floor, had been rumored to be traded for a while and was finally dealt to a potential playoff team in Indiana.
With the Pacers and Knicks narrowly separated in the standings, this could hurt New York down the road once Siakam and superstar guard Haliburton start building chemistry. The Pacers were a very good offensive team before the trade, having an offensive rating of 121.6 (first in the NBA). Now, with a 22.2 point-per-game scorer, they only get better.
Could (and should) another star get moved to New York?
The Knicks recently made it known that they are actively fielding offers for Quentin Grimes, per Fred Katz, while also being rumored to be in the market for a "big-time All-Star," via Woj.
With trade rumors swirling around New York, now is the best time to pull the trigger for that player who can separate the Knicks from the rest of the pack. Leon Rose has been relatively quiet in terms of trades during his tenure with the team, and now he has the opportunity to make a splash.
Rose’s biggest and best moves in his four years as president of the Knicks include signing Jalen Brunson, signing Donte DiVincenzo, and trading for OG Anunoby. This is his chance to break into the trade market and turn heads, especially after the Anunoby trade. It would signify his aggressiveness and thrust them into Eastern Conference Finals contention, with New York fighting in the standings with Miami, Indiana, and Cleveland.
Who should the Knicks eye as the trade deadline approaches?
Donovan Mitchell, Dejounte Murray, and Malcolm Brogdon are names to look out for, and the questions for the Knicks are: Do they make a trade, and how much will they give up?
This season, Grimes is averaging 7.1 points on 40.0% shooting, as well as 39.0% from deep. He opened the season as a starter but has since played himself into a bench role, which hurts his trade value. If Grimes is dealt for a better asset, multiple draft picks will undoubtedly be a part of New York’s exports.
Another player likely to be involved is Evan Fournier, whose contract makes the Knicks eligible to make a trade for a high-value player. Fournier is a little more than halfway through his four-year, $73 million contract, and with Grimes making just under $2.4 million this season, the salaries need to be within a close range.
There are different results from each of the players linked to New York. A trade for Mitchell would undoubtedly be the biggest blockbuster of them all, but the offense would improve drastically. With defenders like Anunoby and Josh Hart, the team is complete with few weaknesses.
Murray adds a combination of newfound facilitation, more defense to Tom Thibodeau’s philosophy, and scoring. People forget he was a point guard in San Antonio before moving to Atlanta, so he would take a noticeable load off Brunson’s shoulders when he’s not in the game.
Brogdon would be the backup point guard, giving a much-needed offensive boost to a bench with a net rating of -0.7 since January 1. Trading Immanuel Quickley really hurt the Knicks’ depth, and this would revive an offense that has been struggling recently, averaging 103 points in the last three games.
Should the Knicks make a move? What happens next?
Based on the Siakam trade, the Knicks should start to move away from settling for a Brogdon trade or some deal that only gets a bench presence because with a deal of this magnitude, they need real offensive firepower to pull ahead of the Haliburton-Siakam duo. Those two average a combined 45.8 points per game.
The only concern with making a trade now is the conflict the Knicks will inevitably face with contracts. Isaiah Hartenstein has been proving to be a starting-caliber center this season. Anunoby hasn’t played a full season in New York City yet, and both will be looking for extensions. If Rose acquires another All-Star, he, too, will eventually have to be paid.