From trading for expiring contracts to clear cap space to eventually making the move for Carmelo Anthony in 2011, it's a time that has typically yielded some major changes for the Knicks.
But with Glen Grunwald having done so much work over the summer to build what is clearly one of the league's most talented rosters, 2013 should be a year in which New York will sit back and watch the rest of the league's front offices go to work.
Though the Knicks don't need to make any major moves, they do have areas of weakness that they'd like to address if at all possible.
In particular, New York could use some size inside, with injuries making them very thin in that regard. Both Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace are nursing injuries, and considering their age and history cannot be relied upon to stay healthy.
As a result, the Knicks are one of the league's absolute worst rebounding teams and have struggled against physical opponents like the Chicago Bulls.
It's unlikely that the Knicks will want to get rid of a player as important to chemistry as Sheed. And considering that he's on a three-year, $13.15 million contract, it will also be near-impossible to get rid of Camby.
With Iman Shumpert returning to the lineup, however, the Knicks now have excess depth on the wing, and they could use this to bring in one or two more durable bigs.
Take Ronnie Brewer, for example. Initially a starter for the Knicks, Brewer is now on the verge of falling out of the rotation completely with Shumpert back and Chris Copeland emerging.
That said, Brewer can still be useful as a trade chip, since he is a relatively young player only making the veteran's minimum.
Along with Brewer, players like James White and Kurt Thomas also could be included in a deal, as could a future draft pick if need be.
So, with the need established as well as the possible trade pieces, here are the players the Knicks should have on their shopping list heading into the trade deadline:
This could be a case of one man's trash being another man's treasure, however, because the Knicks could definitely use a player like Mozgov. The Russian is imposing in stature, hustles on the boards and would be a very serviceable player as Camby and Wallace recover.
Looking further ahead, Mozgov is also a restricted free agent in 2013. This gives the Knicks a chance to wrap up their backup center for the long term and not have to scour free agency for veteran's minimum-level players every year.
Mozgov has a salary of $3.14 million, and a combination of Brewer, Thomas and White could get the job done. In that scenario, the Knicks may even ask for a second-round pick along with Mozgov.
Much like Mozgov, Speights' youth and durability could be very helpful to the Knicks. The only real problem is his $4.2 million salary for this season.
Trading away Camby would make the salaries match, but again, it's unlikely that any team would want to take Camby with all of his injury problems. To sweeten the deal, the Knicks would need to add a draft pick and/or Brewer.
Speights is an underrated player. He is in the league's top 15 in defensive rating and rebound rate, according to hoopdata.com, making him a suitable player to help take some of the load off Tyson Chandler's shoulders.
If the Knicks want only to make a minor move to address their need, attempting to bring in Lou Amundson would make sense.
Amundson is struggling to find playing time in Minnesota, and since he's only on the veteran's minimum, he could probably be had in exchange for Brewer or even a second-round pick.
The Knicks would get what they pay for, though, as Amundson wouldn't help the team quite as much as Mozgov or Speights. But if they are simply looking for a body to go out there and hunt for rebounds, they can do a lot worse than Amundson.
Stats used in this article were accurate as of Jan. 26, 2013.
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