Knicks Rumors: Hottest Trade Reports Surrounding Knicks Before 2021 Deadline

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Knicks Rumors: Hottest Trade Reports Surrounding Knicks Before 2021 Deadline

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    As of Tuesday, the New York Knicks are tied with the Boston Celtics for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They've lost three of the last four games, and the team may shake up the backcourt before Thursday's trade deadline to spark a run.

    The Knicks could welcome back a couple of guards to their rotation. Derrick Rose isn't listed on the injury report for Tuesday's game against the Washington Wizards. Elfrid Payton is questionable with a strained hamstring. 

    Even though the Knicks may have a complete rotation in the coming days, the front office might have its sights set on a couple of additions while considering a subtraction to solidify the lineup.

    Who's on the Knicks' radar? Is someone likely on the way out? Will the club add a veteran big man? 

    As trade rumors heat up, we'll take a look at the hottest reports surrounding the Knicks before the March 25 deadline.

Knicks Interested in Lonzo Ball, Though Pelicans Not Motivated to Trade Him

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Over the past few weeks, trade rumors have linked the Knicks and Lonzo Ball. Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer added to the buzz.

    "The Knicks and Bulls have also expressed interest in New Orleans' starting point guard, sources said, although the Pelicans, as we previously reported, do not appear as motivated to move Ball as they once did," Fischer wrote.

    If the Pelicans made Ball available, he would draw interest from at least a handful of teams. The fourth-year guard has made some strides this season, averaging a career-high 14.2 points per game while knocking down 38.5 percent of his attempts from three-point land. He's also shooting 76.7 percent from the free-throw line, which is also a personal best in a single term.

    Ball didn't suit up for Sunday's game against the Denver Nuggets because of a hip injury, and he's questionable for Tuesday's contest with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Pelicans may not want him to risk further injury in case they decide to strike a deal. 

    If the Knicks pull off a trade with the Pelicans, Ball would immediately take over as their floor general and provide a much-needed boost in three-point shooting. He's averaging more assists (5.6) than any guard on New York's roster. Although the Knicks convert on 37.4 percent of their three-point attempts, they're tied for 27th in triples per outing (10.6).

Knicks Eyeing Victor Oladipo, Whose Price Is 'Not Really That High'

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    Nell Redmond/Associated Press

    If the New Orleans Pelicans hold on to Lonzo Ball, the Knicks have an alternative trade option at guard.

    According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Houston Rockets wouldn't ask for much in return for Victor Oladipo, saying the price isn't "really that high right now," but the team hopes to land a first-rounder for him.

    The Knicks shouldn't take an aggressive approach in trade talks for Oladipo. He hasn't found his footing after some serious injuries, suiting up for just 84 contests since the 2018-19 season. Secondly, the 28-year-old guard will become a free agent next offseason.

    With that said, the Knicks could add Oladipo, at a low cost, as a means of bolstering their scoring while in a playoff race.

    Elfird Payton has logged double-digit point totals in nine consecutive games, but his hamstring injury may affect his performances in a crucial stretch. The Knicks should consider the potential lingering effects of Derrick Rose's bout with the coronavirus.

    With those question marks at guard, Oladipo could keep the Knicks offense in attack mode. He's averaging 20.8 points per game through 29 contests split between the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets.

Knicks Could Buy out or Trade Austin Rivers

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    As the Knicks have their eyes on guards who could help them, they may part ways with Austin Rivers.

    According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Knicks will attempt to trade Rivers. If nothing comes to fruition, he's a buyout candidate.

    Rivers hasn't played since February 13. He fell out of favor with head coach Tom Thibodeau, which occurred right after the Knicks acquired Derrick Rose. The nine-year veteran alluded to his uncertain future with the club last month, per Marc Berman of the New York Post

    “As long as I’m here, I'm here. I can't control if I’m traded today, tomorrow or the next day. What I can control is how I am as a player and what I can bring to this team every day. That’s being ready at all times no matter if my name is called or not and to help the young, young guys be ready to play. I’ll just continue to be ready to play here as long as I’m here, for however long."

    The Knicks signed Rivers to a three-year, $10 million deal this past offseason. He started the campaign on the mend with a groin injury. After a few offensive sparks in January, the 28-year-old saw a reduced role before going inactive and then attending the birth of his child.

    Rivers could attract clubs that need a shooter in the second unit. He's converted 36.4 percent from three-point land through 21 appearances with the Knicks.

'Mutual Disinterest' Between Knicks and LaMarcus Aldridge

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Don't expect the Knicks to acquire LaMarcus Aldridge, whose time has run its course with the San Antonio Spurs.

    According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks and Aldridge don't seem like a trade deadline match.

    "The Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge is on the trading block, but a source said there's mutual disinterest as he essentially plays Julius Randle's power-forward position," Berman wrote. 

    A couple of weeks ago, the Spurs and Aldridge agreed to part ways. The club will go through offers and hope to trade him before the deadline but leave New York out of that discussion. 

    In his second season with the Knicks, the first year under head coach Tom Thibodeau, Randle has blossomed into a team leader, a go-to playmaker and an All-Star, averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists per outing while shooting 41.4 percent from beyond the arc and 47 percent from the floor. 

    Furthermore, Randle has averaged a career-high 37 minutes per game this season. With Mitchell Robinson's return to the lineup Sunday (hand) and Nerlens Noel logging 22.5 minutes per contest, the Knicks don't need another big man in the rotation. Despite Aldridge's age (35), that situation doesn't seem appealing to him if he wants a consistent workload.

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