With the All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, the next milestone on the NBA calendar is Thursday’s trade deadline.
Will the Knicks get a point guard at the trade deadline?
If the latest rumors are to be believed, one team that figures to be prominently involved in multiple discussions is the New York Knicks.
The Knicks are on the borderline of playoff contention in the downtrodden Eastern Conference and may want to surround Carmelo Anthony with more talent. It will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on any potential moves that come out of New York.
With that in mind, here are the latest Knicks rumors.
Could Rajon Rondo be on his way to New York?
When healthy, Rajon Rondo is one of the most electrifying and talented point guards in the entire NBA.
It is no wonder then that ESPN New York pointed out that the Knicks have attempted to revisit talks to land the Boston point guard:
Sources: Knicks have tried to revisit Rondo talks http://t.co/8dYWzjdUtp— ESPN New York (@ESPNNewYork) February 18, 2014
Rondo is drawing interest from a number of teams, and the Celtics have a fairly high asking price. If Ian Begley’s comments on ESPN.com are any indication, it would be wise for New York fans not to get their hopes up:
Danny Ainge and the Celtics would probably want unprotected first-round draft picks or a rising star on a cheap contract in exchange for Rondo. They'd also probably want to dump one of their long-term deals (Gerald Wallace? Brandon Bass?) in a Rondo deal.
The Knicks can certainly take on salary in a Rondo deal. But they can't offer the Celtics first-round picks in any draft in the near future. The next first-round pick they can deal is in 2018.
The Knicks also don't have the young, transcendent star-on-the-rise that the Celts would covet in exchange for their point guard.
Considering the amount of talent in the upcoming draft, it is not surprising that the Celtics are looking for multiple draft picks. Boston isn’t going anywhere this season but could immediately become a contender in the East with a couple more young and talented players.
It just doesn’t look like the Knicks can offer that now.
Not Enough for Jeff Teague
The following tweet from Ken Berger of CBS makes it even more obvious that the Knicks don’t have the assets to land Rondo:
The Knicks have inquired about a deal for Atlanta's Jeff Teague, league source says, but lack the assets to give the talks any traction.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 18, 2014
While the tweet doesn’t specifically mention Rondo, if you consider the fact that New York doesn’t appear to have enough to land Jeff Teague, it clearly doesn’t have enough for Rondo either.
In fairness to the Knicks, Teague does have a long-term contract and probably isn’t the piece to push the team over the top in the race for a title.
ESPN’s Marc Stein makes it clear that the Knicks want a point guard though:
But Knicks said to be investigating all PG options since they're convinced top target Kyle Lowry is NOT available between now and Thursday— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 17, 2014
It may take multiple first-round picks that New York simply doesn’t have or a young player like Tim Hardaway Jr. to pry one of these talented point guards away from their teams.
Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried?
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders mentions that Kenneth Faried could be a possibility for the Knicks:
The New York Knicks continue to express interest in Kenneth Faried, source confirms. Knicks are open to moving Iman Shumpert for Faried.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 19, 2014
Faried would certainly help the Knicks, although it’s difficult to imagine Denver making the trade without draft-pick compensation as well. Again, there is so much talent in the upcoming draft class that any trade for a significant asset will probably require at least one pick.
Faried hasn’t been the player this season that he has been in years past though, thanks in part to the Nuggets crowded frontcourt. Perhaps a change of scenery would serve both parties well.
Going forward, any of these moves won’t really make New York a title contender this year. However, the more pressing concern becomes whether Anthony will stay for an extended period of time after the season.
Anthony made it clear in comments to reporters that were passed along by Royce Young of CBS Sports that money isn't the issue:
As far as the money, it don't really matter to me. If I go somewhere else, I get paid. If I stay in New York, I get paid. As far as the money goes, it's not my concern. My concern is to be able to compete on a high level, a championship level, coming in this last stretch of my career. I want to compete at that level.
Landing someone of value, especially at the point guard position, could go a long way toward convincing the superstar to stay put. On the off chance that New York could acquire a pass-first guard like Rondo who could help bring a championship, it’s difficult to envision Anthony simply walking away.
Like many other teams at this year’s deadline, the Knicks are concerned with more than just the rest of this season.
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