Woj: Knicks on 'Disgruntled Star Alert'; Will Take 'Big Swings in the Trade Market'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 18, 2021

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: RJ Barrett #9 hi-fives Reggie Bullock #25 of the New York Knicks during the game against the Boston Celtics on May 16, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE  (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The New York Knicks are reportedly in the market to add a star player during the upcoming offseason.

On Tuesday's episode of The Woj Pod (beginning at the 38:20 mark), ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said the Knicks are on "disgruntled star alert," meaning they could be a landing spot for a star player who demands at trade during the offseason.

Wojnarowski noted that while he isn't sure the Knicks will do much in free agency, he expects them to take some "big swings in the trade market."

The Knicks have been one of the NBA's most pleasant surprises this season, as they finished fourth in the Eastern Conference at 41-31, giving them their first playoff berth since 2013.

New York hadn't won more than 29 games in any of the previous three seasons, but head coach Tom Thibodeau changed the culture and played a big role in developing some of the team's young players.

Specifically, RJ Barrett took a huge step forward in his second NBA season, finishing second on the team in scoring with 17.6 points per game. Thibs also got a lot out of rookie guard Immanuel Quickley, who averaged 11.4 points per game.

Above all else, 26-year-old forward Julius Randle reached elite status this season with averages of 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. That made him not only an All-Star for the first time but also an MVP candidate.

Still, the Knicks are at least one star player away from joining the elite group of Eastern Conference squads, which includes the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.

Wojnarowski said that while it is impossible to predict which "disgruntled star" could become available this offseason, the Knicks may have the ammo to land one by packaging draft picks and promising young players.

Adding a star to a core that includes Randle and Barrett would suddenly make the Knicks a threat to win the East, which they haven't done since reaching the NBA Finals in 1999.

Now that the Knicks have a solid foundation in place in terms of their roster and coach, they may be an attractive destination for high-profile players in search of a change of scenery.

That hasn't been the case in recent years due to the perception that the organization was a mess, but New York is on the ascent.


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