5 trades Knicks could make to revamp roster after slow start

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Myles Turner Ricky Rubio treated art 2021

Dec. 15 marks the date teams can begin dealing players signed this offseason, thus making it the unofficial start to NBA trade season.

For the Knicks, this presents an opportunity to beef up a roster that has underwhelmed this season.

It’s possible New York turns around this shaky .500 start with their roster intact, but with the disappointing additions of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, the front office may not be satisfied with that risk.

Here are five potential trades the Knicks can make in the coming weeks …

Knicks get: Myles Turner

Pacers get: Nerlens Noel, Kemba Walker, picks

The Pacers are on the cusp of a fire sale following a season derailed by injuries and a core that doesn’t fit together cleanly. New York should be an interested buyer in a number of their players: Malcolm Brogdon if he’s available and Caris LeVert if the cost is reasonable.

Perhaps the simplest and most effective deal on the table involves Myles Turner. New York’s current center rotation with Mitchell Robinson and Noel hasn’t performed up to standard, and are a bit too alike on the court.

While trading for Turner doesn’t move the needle defensively, he does bring a reliable three-point shot to the table their other centers don’t. He’s shooting 39.5 percent from three on 4.6 attempts per game, while maintaining his position as a league-leading shot blocker.

For Indiana, their rebuild begins using New York’s spare draft picks, and they can use Walker’s ball-handling and shooting with their guard depth. It’s possible they ask for two firsts, or prefer Robinson to Noel, which would require another player like Alec Burks or Kevin Knox in the mix to match salaries.

Knicks get: Goran Dragic

Raptors get: Kemba Walker, Kevin Knox, picks

Dragic, a solid veteran point guard, was seemingly on the trading block from the moment he arrived in Toronto as part of the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade with Miami. The consensus appears to have him headed for Dallas, but perhaps New York can get into it.

After all, the Knicks also provide Dragic a postseason team in an (assumingly) preferred city. He’s had experience on defensive-minded teams and is a crafty playmaker and scorer. Though his stats are down this year, he’s averaged 16.7 points and 37.5 percent three-point shooting over the last five seasons.

Toronto would have to highly value Knox or these Knicks picks over whatever Dallas is offering. The pick package should be no more than two seconds as Dragic is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Knicks get: Jerami Grant

Piston gets: Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Alec Burks, picks

Last season, Grant had an All-Star season in his first year as a non-role player with Detroit. With his regression this year and Cade Cunningham’s emergence tying the franchise’s timeline to the No. 1 overall pick, Grant’s name has appeared in a few trade rumors.

Dec 6, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9) dribbles against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Little Caesars Arena.

Dec 6, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9) dribbles against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Little Caesars Arena.

In theory, he makes for a great fit. He can defend multiple positions, shoot the open three, and has evolved as a secondary creator. Grant is a prototypical Thibodeau guy with some All-Star upside and is only 27 years old.

It’s unclear what Detroit will want or get back for Grant, but a prospect like Robinson, and a helpful piece in Burks with some rebuilding assets sprinkled in might do it. This would certainly be a measured risk on the Knicks’ part, but perhaps one worth taking.

Knicks get: Ricky Rubio

Cavaliers get: Alec Burks, one of Kevin Knox or Kemba Walker

After a hot start, the young Cavaliers find themselves slipping out of the Playoffs in part due to injury. Rubio is coming off the books this summer and with the franchise still in a rebuild, it makes sense for them to get something for him with contention not yet on the horizon.

New York still doesn’t have its starting point guard, and Rubio would bring a jolt of creation and some defense to the position after years of rumors he’d end up a Knick one way or another. It’s possible a pick might have to go as well, depending on what contenders offer Cleveland for Rubio’s services.

Knicks get: Terrence Ross

Magic get: Kemba Walker, pick

In this spot, names like De’Aaron Fox, Dejounte Murray and CJ McCollum were considered in a larger deal that would aggressively revamp the Knicks’ roster. Unfortunately, none of those scenarios appear realistic given each team’s current interests and New York’s assumed unwillingness to move names like Obi Toppin or Immanuel Quickley for a non-superstar.

Perhaps a smaller swap for a reliable backup contributor like Ross is the route for New York. The above should be easy enough to pull off while providing the Knicks a veteran who can create scoring opportunities for himself or as a decoy.


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