Knicks' Complete 2022 NBA Trade Deadline Preview, Predictions

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2022

Knicks' Complete 2022 NBA Trade Deadline Preview, Predictions

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    The NBA trade season can bring surprises from all across the basketball landscape.

    With the 2022 buzzer quickly approaching (3 p.m. ET on Feb. 10, if you want to get technical), the New York Knicks look like the wildest of wild cards.

    Everything from cashing in their top trade chips for a star to selling off some of their most recognizable names is theoretically on the table. Such is life for a squad that spent all of last season surprising and much of this campaign disappointing.

    Will they reverse course on some of their top offseason investments already? Can they uncover Gotham's next star?

    We'll explore those options and more in this complete guide to the Knicks' trade season.


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    Swap season could get silly in the Empire State.

    The pieces are all in place for a major move. The only question is which direction that move might take the franchise.

    Everything is apparently on the table. SNY's Ian Begley reported Julius Randle "[could] be available for the right return." ESPN's Brian Windhorst recently said on NBA Today the Knicks "have expressed a willingness to trade some of their veteran players," naming Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier and Alec Burks as specific examples. Selling, it seems, is absolutely an option.

    But the Knicks could buy incredibly big if they wanted to. They'd probably have to part with RJ Barrett to snag a star, but building a package with some combination of Mitchell Robinson, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes and/or Miles McBride could bring back something pretty sweet.

    In addition, the Knicks own all of their draft picks, plus a top-10 protected 2023 first-rounder from the Dallas Mavericks.


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    Entering Tuesday, the Knicks ranked 24th in offensive efficiency and 12th on the opposite end, per Their wish list is about as wide as you'd think.

    Despite being deep at the point guard position, New York could still use a full-fledged floor general in that spot. The Knicks can only go so far with Randle serving as their top scorer and playmaker. Grabbing a lead guard who can assume one of those roles (if not both) would be a dream.

    New York could use more shot-creation from any spot, though. Without a brilliant ball mover, it needs players who can find their own scoring chances. Those players don't come cheap, but again, the Knicks have the trade chips to get one if they're willing to let them go.

    Rounding out the wish list, New York could use a two-way wing (a three-and-D option to fill Reggie Bullock's old spot is good enough), a big man with offensive range, stingy point-of-attack defenders and more long-range shooters.


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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    If there's a big name on the market, expect to hear the Knicks are somehow connected to it.

    For one, they could use a significant swap to help establish an identity, whether it's one intended to compete right now or one meant to brighten the future. Secondly, having New York's name surface would help any seller. Small-market buyers generally feel some heat from a major-market threat, and all shoppers might fear the Knicks for their deep collection of assets.

    Based on the roster, New York figures to push hardest for an upgrade at point guard. It probably won't see its dream of Damian Lillard come true, but big trades for De'Aaron Fox (less likely) or Jalen Brunson (more likely) don't seem outside the realm of possibility.

    Selective selling is an option, though you're probably talking more along the lines of a Burks or Walker trade than subtracting Randle or shedding the money still owed to Fournier.

    Trading Burks for an up-and-comer or semi-valuable draft pick (or maybe both) seems like a sensible option to explore, not only to further strengthen the asset pool but also to free up more minutes for—i.e., force Tom Thibodeau to play—Cam Reddish.