Chief among them is the long-term viability of point guard Derrick Rose, who is reportedly being eyed as a possible trade chip at the deadline now that he's in the final season of his contract.
Citing league sources, ESPN.com's Ian Begley reported "multiple teams view Rose as a potential trade target."
"I like being here but [you] never know what could happen," Rose said Wednesday, per Begley. "My job is to come in and play as hard as I can."
While Rose has struggled mightily on defense this season—the Knicks allow a team-worst 111.7 points per 100 possessions when he's on the floor—he could offer a contender value as a scorer off the bench.
In 48 games during his first season in the Big Apple, Rose has returned to form as one of the league's better finishers around the rim.
Among players who attempt at least eight drives per game, Rose ranks seventh with a conversion rate of 53 percent on those shots. That's a better mark than that of Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Wall and Kyrie Irving, among others.
Those numbers could conceivably entice teams to call Phil Jackson and the Knicks in advance of the trade deadline.
However, there's still one big issue standing in the way of a deal that would, in theory, net New York a young asset or two: Rose's salary.
Although he's in the final year of his deal, Rose is earning $21.3 million. In other words, a team would have to find a way to match salaries to add Rose's contract to its books.
There are workarounds if the Knicks become determined to extract some value for Rose before he hits the open market. But finding a deal that works figures to be a logistical tightrope walk for a team that The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix reported is intent on rebuilding.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!