Windhorst: Knicks Could Be Active at Trade Deadline, 'Intend to Add' Players

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 12, 2021

Former player agent and new New York Knicks president Leon Rose, center, takes a phone call during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in New York, Monday, March 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The New York Knicks "intend to add" players ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst on SportsCenter Thursday (3:15 mark).

"One buyer that we should watch out for are the New York Knicks," Windhorst said:

"They've already made one trade in to get Derrick Rose, and they're out there looking in the market. They have three picks in this draft, including a very high second-round pick in the Detroit Pistons' second-round pick that they own, and the expectation with $15 million in salary-cap space and using one of those picks, is that they intend to add, to try to make sure they can make the playoffs."

The Knicks are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season. They made the playoffs just four times between the 2001-02 and 2019-20 campaign, winning just one postseason series.

This year's Knicks team has a shot to break that cold streak. New York is 19-18, good enough for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

There's also more wiggle room to make the playoffs this year with the addition of the play-in tournament, which now gives the ninth- and 10th-place teams in each conference a chance to make the postseason field.

The NBA had taken the top eight in each conference into the playoffs from 1984-2019 before the first incarnation of the play-in tournament occurred last year.

New York may be five places ahead of the final play-in tournament spot, but the middle of the standings is bunched up. Only two-and-a-half games separate the Knicks and the 11th-place Atlanta Hawks, for example, so there isn't much breathing room for New York to take a tumble down the standings.

Therefore, if the playoffs are the goal for New York this year, it behooves the team to be active at the trade deadline in hopes of improving the squad and holding off the rest of the Eastern Conference playoff contenders.