NBA Trade Deadline 2012: 5 Moves to Make the New York Knicks Legit Contenders

Aristotle KikisContributor IIIMarch 9, 2012

NBA Trade Deadline 2012: 5 Moves to Make the New York Knicks Legit Contenders

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    It has been almost 40 years since the New York Knicks won an NBA championship.

    Yes, you read it right, 40 years.

    It's about time the franchise becomes serious about winning and about becoming a contender again. They have the talent to do so, but if they want to compete with the likes of the Heat, Bulls and Thunder, they need to mix things up.

    When the Knicks of the 70's had "Clyde" and "Earl the Pearl" running the show, they had a little something called chemistry. They did so with the "Rolls Royce Backcourt" of Dave DeBusschere and Willis Reed.

    Stars played with other stars and made each other better. They had one common goal—an NBA championship.

    You don't see that with the blue and orange of today when you stare the team in the face.

    Their plethora of talent and bench is as deep as any in the league, yet they lack something. This current team is having issues gelling together.

    You can blame it on Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire or even the emergence of Jeremy Lin as a primary guy, but all fingers point to something being wrong. The consistency is not there and it's quickly becoming an off-night every night.

    There are times the Knicks cannot find scoring, defense, rebounding and more importantly communication. It makes it even harder to watch when the second unit comes in and outplays the starters.

    In order for the Knicks to get where they need to be, they might need to make changes and even part with some of their stars.

    Coach Mike D'Antoni's high-flying, running-and-gunning system is a good one if it can be utilized right.

    Yes, defense wins championships, but an unstoppable offense scoring an obscene amount of points can do the same. The Knicks have the talent to score and keep scoring, but this team needs some kind of change.

    Any one of these five trades will improve the Knicks in needed areas and make them a serious contender for a championship.

J.J. Hickson

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    Knicks get: J.J. Hickson

    Kings get: Bill Walker, Mike Bibby

    The rumor mill cannot get rid of J.J. Hickson's name.

    The Kings traded for him in the offseason, sending Omri Casspi to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It has not panned for both parties.

    Hickson went from 13.8 points per game to 4.9 points per game. He's losing minutes and he's on the decline in Sacramento.

    In a trade to New York, Hickson would be a great add-on.

    In an already deep Knicks second unit, Hickson would thrive on the offensive glass—an area the Knicks lack box-out ability. He is currently averaging just under two offensive boards a game and that could easily increase.

    Can you imagine Clyde Frazier saying "Hickson with the offensive board, back out to a wide open Steve Novak, the three is good!?"

    I could.

Michael Beasley

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    Knicks get: Michael Beasley, Luke Ridnour, Brad Miller

    Timberwolves get: Tyson Chandler, Mike Bibby

    It's no secret that the Minnesota Timberwolves are shopping power forward Michael Beasley.

    He doesn't fit their scheme of things and it appears the Wolves are all but done with this troublesome, young talent. Rookie Derrick Williams is being given more playing time over Beasley, who is in his third year and is still just 23 years old.

    A former No. 2 overall pick behind Derrick Rose of the Bulls, Beasley is still an unproven star.

    In his one and only season at Kansas State, Beasley averaged over 26 points and 12 rebounds per game. The Knicks can certainly use Beasley's young legs to crash the boards and feed off of put-backs.

    In Mike D'Antoni's system, someone as athletic as Beasley would thrive.

    Furthermore, veteran guidance from Amar'e, Carmelo and former Kansas State teammate Bill Walker would help Beasley prosper in a Knick uniform.

    Luk Ridnour has 3 years left on his contract and would be a great back-up to Lin while Brad Miller is a big man that can fill the void and has an expiring contract.

    You can even move Amar'e to center, throw Beasley at the No. 4 spot and run a high-speed D'Antoni offense.

Dwight Howard

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    Knicks get: Dwight Howard

    Magic get: Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler

    Dwight Howard's contract is expiring this summer and it'll be wise for the franchise to get something for the best player since Shaquille O'Neal to wear a Magic uniform. You cannot afford to lose a player such as Howard, without getting anything back in return.

    But, the Knicks can afford to gain him.

    For New York, Dwight Howard would be an ideal player. He's a huge scoring threat down low, plays the pick and roll well, rebounds, plays defense and is a premiere shot-blocker.

    In fact, he led the league in rebounding from 2007-2010 and has twice led the NBA in blocked shots. The three-time defensive Player of the Year would be a pivotal defender down low.

    His athleticism is in the top-tier of the NBA and the man is just a work horse. Players like him become contagious and he can raise the work ethic of the team.

    Dwight Howard is a definite piece to making the New York Knicks championship contenders.

Pau Gasol

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    Knicks get: Pau Gasol

    Lakers get: Amar'e Stoudemire

    A little over a year ago, I would catch myself singing "I'm coming home, coming home, tell the world I'm coming home" without even realizing it.

    That was the commercial that aired when Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Knicks. That was also the end of Amar'e Stoudemire.

    Amar'e has not meshed well since Carmelo threw on that No. 7 jersey and their play is showing it. Logically, sending Stoudemire off for a proven winner may be the way to go.

    Pau Gasol has playoff experience and has been a part of two championship teams with the Lakers.

    He has been a great wing man and his veteran leadership to go along with his scoring, rebounding and free throw shooting ability would be just what the doctor ordered.

    Gasol is 31 years old and has two years left on his contract after this season. However, his numbers have been consistently steady and he shows no sign of decline anytime soon.

    The Knicks could use his fire power.

Monta Ellis

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    Knicks get: Monta Ellis, Boris Diaw

    Bobcats get: Amar'e Stoudemire

    76ers get: Corey Maggette, Kwame Brown, Nate Robinson and the Bobcats 2014 second-round pick

    Warriors get: Elton Brand, Toney Douglas

    Bam Bam Bam! That is the sound you'll be hearing if Monta Ellis dresses in a Knicks uniform.

    He can shoot, dunk, play defense and run with the best of them. He has emerged as a scorer and a really good all-around player. The Warriors are looking to package him off and, in this proposed trade, would bring a shooting guard that is small, explosive and speedy to New York.

    He is averaging 22 points and over two steals a game on the season. Ellis’ speed would bring a great level of confidence in the D'Antoni system. His penetration skills will also allow Melo more open shots that he’s not getting right now.

    The Knicks also acquire Boris Diaw in this four-way blockbuster. Diaw had averaged over 10 points per game over his career till he hit a low point this year. It appears he cannot find his rhythm in Charlotte anymore.

    A change of scenery ccould be what the French native needs.

    These two additions would help move Landry Fields to the bench where he can play a key off the bench.

    Can you imagine Chandler, Diaw, Anthony, Ellis and Lin? That's championship material!