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Knicks Trade Rumors: Some Execs Believe Star Player Will Demand Trade to NY

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2021

New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

The New York Knicks have been linked to every major star for more than a decade with next to no history of success.

That could be changing. 

ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on the Hoop Collective podcast that he expects a star to force his way to New York via trade within the next year. 

"I'm not sure that every player wants to play for Thibs, but there are some who'd like them," Windhorst said (around the 20-minute mark). "I say within the next 12 months a star/superstar player demands a trade to New York. And I don't know who it's going to be. I have some guesses; I'm not going to say right here. I'll let you guys start thinking about that. Let's just put it this way: League executives certainly have some guesses. 

"And I'd say by next year's trade deadline a player, a superstar, an All-Star player tries to force his way there. And they're going to be in position to do that type of trade, and maybe that's where Julius Randle comes in [as a trade piece]."

Stop us if you've heard something like that before.

From LeBron James to Kevin Durant to Chris Paul to Kyrie Irving, there has been a never-ending parade of stars linked to the Knicks, only for them to say "thanks but no thanks." Amar'e Stoudemire is their biggest free-agent signing in recent memory, and he came to Madison Square Garden in 2010 with a history of knee issues. 

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Carmelo Anthony is the only star who truly embraced trying to turn the Knicks around, and he cost a fortune in 2011 in terms of young players and never got past the second round.

These Knicks are one of the NBA's feel-good stories, sitting at 18-17 and fourth place in Tom Thibodeau's first season. Most projected the Knicks as one of the NBA's worst teams, but the young group has heeded his grinding coaching style and seen Julius Randle blossom into an All-Star.

Randle isn't quite the type of player who will lead to co-stars flocking to New York, but the 26-year-old could be an interesting piece if the Knicks decide to go all-in on a top-five player, either as a centerpiece or second in command. 

Regardless, it's fair to have a healthy skepticism with connecting any star player to the Knicks until they're actually donning the uniform at MSG.