Knicks Trade Targets with 2023 Trade Deadline 2 Months Away

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2022

Knicks Trade Targets with 2023 Trade Deadline 2 Months Away

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 28: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2022 in New York City. 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. New York Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 109-104. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    While there's still two months remaining before the 2022-23 NBA trade deadline, the New York Knicks are already nearing a crossroads.

    They've spent much of the campaign hovering around .500. If they don't get in a groove soon, they could have some uncomfortable conversations about whether buying or selling is the right strategy to apply to trade season.

    For now, though, the 'Bockers seem more likely to buy than sell, so let's identify three potential targets worth pursuing.

Gary Harris, Orlando Magic

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    ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 30: Gary Harris #14 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on November 30, 2022 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. 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 2022 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

    If the Knicks are going to make anything of this season, they have to fix their defense. Entering Wednesday, they rank just 23rd on that end, per NBA.com, a statistic sure to keep defensive-minded skipper Tom Thibodeau up at night.

    On the opposite end, they need to upgrade their three-point attack. Only six teams average fewer threes than New York's 10.7. No club converts its outside looks at a worse clip than the Knicks' 31.3 percent.

    That's why the 'Bockers brass should be ringing up Orlando's execs early and often, since Gary Harris is equipped to help the Knicks tackle both issues.

    Defensively, the 28-year-old is a menace on the ball and versatile enough to slide up or down a position. Offensively, he's a 38.8 percent three-point shooter since the start of last season.

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

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    SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 4: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a three point basket during the game against the Sacramento Kings  on December 4, 2022 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. 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 2022 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

    While Chicago surely won't pull the plug in early December, a turbulent start in the Windy City has the Bulls looming as potentially big sellers by the deadline.

    This team just isn't very good (10-14). The offense is cratering. The stars aren't fitting. Lonzo Ball still isn't playing. Patrick Williams hasn't even hinted at making a leap.

    It feels at least possible that the Bulls could opt for a housecleaning if these issues haven't disappeared by the deadline. Chicago owes a top-four protected pick to Orlando, and given the strength of this upcoming draft class, it might decide its best course of action is doing everything it can to keep that pick.

    Should the franchise opt for a fire sale, the Knicks should be ready to pounce with an offer for Zach LaVine. He would immediately scratch their itch for an established star, he could take over primary scoring duties and his aesthetically pleasing style of play would delight the fanbase.

Doug McDermott, San Antonio Spurs

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    San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown talks with forward Doug McDermott (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
    AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

    At some point between now and the deadline, a shooting-starved buyer will pluck Doug McDermott out of the Alamo City.

    Since the Knicks are as thirsty for threes as anyone, they just might be the team to do it.

    The 30-year-old is a net-shredder of the highest order. Now in his ninth NBA season, he has splashed 40.9 percent of his long-range looks for his career. His three-point percentage has only landed lower than 40 once since 2017-18.

    McDermott is a specialist, but his specialty just happens to address one of New York's greatest needs.

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