NBA Trade Speculation: Under the Radar Moves NY Knicks Could Make
A major move may not be on the cards for the New York Knicks this year, but the upcoming trade deadline still affords them the opportunity to bring in some reinforcements.
As it stands, the Knicks have been one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference this season, but that doesn't mean they are without their flaws. If possible, New York would love to bring in some durable size, and maybe even another trustworthy point guard for the bench unit.
With the backcourt finally at full strength, the Knicks do have some excess pieces they could move if need be, and with future draft picks also as an option, a trade shouldn't be out of the question.
Stats used in this article were accurate as of Feb. 5, 2013.
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With the injury situation looking bleak for Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace, the Knicks' biggest need right now is a capable back-up center whilst they recover.
Amar'e Stoudemire has been logging a lot of minutes at center off the bench, and he should continue to do so, but the Knicks need a better defensive option to go along with him.
Former Knick Timofey Mozgov would certainly fit the bill. The Russian international has a huge frame, and can do some damage on the boards and defensively.
Mozgov has already played alongside Raymond Felton, as well as Stoudemire and J.R. Smith, which would help him fit in easily.
A trade centered around Ronnie Brewer and a couple of other minor pieces should be enough to complete the deal, with Denver happy just to receive something in return for a player they rarely use anyway.
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When Andrew Bynum eventually returns from injury—and recent reports from NESN.com say that should be soon—Lavoy Allen may find himself out of the Sixers' rotation.
That would open up an opportunity for the Knicks to come in and make a move for Allen, who can really help out cleaning the glass.
New York is one of the league's worst rebounding teams, but with 5.2 boards in only 22.5 minutes per game, the addition of Allen could go along way toward improving that.
In a worst case scenario that Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace are unable to return by playoff time, Allen could be just the player to give the Knicks some effective minutes and insure they don't miss the veterans too much.
As someone who has started 32 games with Philadelphia this season, it will be hard to convince them to let him go. But a good defensive player in Ronnie Brewer and a future draft pick—as well as extra players to match the salaries—could be enough.
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When the Detroit Pistons acquired Jose Calderon as part of the Rudy Gay trade last week, they lost the need for Will Bynum, with former stater Brandon Knight likely now taking back-up point guard duties.
Bynum, however, is considered one of the most underrated bench players in the game, and could have some serious success in New York if the Knicks got a hold of him.
As good as Pablo Prigioni is for a 35-year-old rookie, he can't penetrate the lane the way Bynum can. Prigioni also isn't as adjusted to the NBA game as Bynum just yet.
Bringing in Bynum would give the Knicks a player capable of running the offense and creating. Bynum is also someone not afraid to take his own shot when necessary—which is one of the main criticisms of Prigioni's play this season.
From the Pistons' point of view, they have their current point guard in Calderon and future point guard in Knight. Bynum will likely be allowed to leave in free agency if he isn't traded.
Dealing Bynum now would allow Detroit to possibly receive a future draft pick. They could also acquire a fantastic wing defender in Ronnie Brewer and another former Spanish League point guard, in Prigioni, to go along with Calderon and Knight as a third-stringer.
Meanwhile, the Knicks clear up roster space, as well as bringing in Bynum. This, in turn, allows them to make a move for free agent power forward Kenyon Martin, in turn fill both of their needs.
Jermaine O'Neal and Sebastian Telfair
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Due to the Salary Cap and not wanting to trade away too much, there aren't many available transactions that would allow the Knicks to improve in two positions.
Making a deal with the Suns for both Jermaine O'Neal and Sebastian Telfair, however, could be an interesting move, giving the Knicks a better back-up point guard and the depth at center they need.
O'Neal may be injury-prone, but when healthy, O'Neal is a good shot-blocker and rebounder. Telfair would be an upgrade over Pablo Prigioni, mainly due to his athleticism and eight years of NBA experience.
Telfair is also a native New Yorker, from Brooklyn, making him a good fit on the team and someone who would obviously have pride in wearing the Knicks' blue and orange.
A trade shouldn't be too difficult to pull off if the Knicks are willing to part with a future draft pick, Prigioni and Kurt Thomas.
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Like Sebastian Telfair, Jamaal Tinsley is another point guard hailing from Brooklyn. Tinsley, however, is seven years Telfair's elder.
That doesn't mean that he wouldn't be able to help the Knicks out, however. Tinsley's veteran know-how and pass-first mentality makes him a good fit.
Tinsley would be yet another veteran on the Knicks roster looking for a title. However, he wouldn't just be there for the ride—he's a player that would become a big part of New York's bench.
To bring in Tinsley, and his five assists per game, the Knicks would need to give up Pablo Prigioni and Ronnie Brewer, along with a draft pick if the Jazz won't budge.
Like the Will Bynum trade idea, this deal would also give the Knicks the roster space they need to bring in free agent Kenyon Martin.
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The Knicks' last under-the-radar option is relatively simple, and would be a trade the Minnesota Timberwolves wouldn't have much of an issue with.
Lou Amundson hasn't played very much after signing for Minnesota this offseason, so trading for him in exchange for Ronnie Brewer—who has also been underutilized since Iman Shumpert's return from injury—would make sense for both teams.
Amundson and Brewer are on veteran's minimum deals, so it would be an easy swap that would improve both teams.
In fact, according to 1500 ESPN, it may not even take Brewer to bring in Amundson, the T-Wolves setting the asking price at only a second-round pick. That said, the Knicks will still need to lose a player to clear a roster space either way.
Amundson isn't a great player, but he works hard and does the dirty work the Knicks need with Marcus Camby out. His offense is just about non-existent, but that's OK on a team that has enough scoring already.
Both the Knicks and Amundson had mutual interest in each other over the summer, so it's reasonable to think that interest could be rekindled now that the need for a power forward has opened up again.