The Knicks have already made one trade and they may not be done ahead of the February 8 trade deadline.
New York’s long-term plan remains to acquire a star player, adding him to the core the front office has already built. According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, the Knicks don’t expect that to happen until the summer at the earliest.
The long-term plan remains to add a star to the core that’s already present, but the organization still does not expect that star, whoever he may be, to become available until this summer at the earliest, league sources tell The Athletic.
In the meantime, the team is looking for additional help, specifically ball-handlers on specific types of contracts, per Katz. With any move, it sounds like the Knicks are positioning itself for a bigger trade this summer.
…They would want someone on a contract they consider tradeable in return, a player with a salary preferably in the teens or low $20 million that would be attractive to a franchise dealing away a star in June or July, according to league sources
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The team is willing to move former first-round pick Quentin Grimes in such a deal, though the front office doesn’t want to move any future unprotected first-rounders.
New York’s willingness to trade Grimes is apparently new.
The approach signals a change from only a year or two ago when the Knicks clutched onto Grimes in trade talks. The 23-year-old has fallen out of favor with head coach Tom Thibodeau of late, losing the starting shooting guard job to Donte DiVincenzo on Dec. 8 and seeing his playing time decrease from 30 minutes a game in 2022-23 to 17 since moving to the second unit.
From The Athletic’s reporting, the framework of such a deal would be to pair Grimes with Evan Fournier, who is making $18.9 million in the final season of his contract this year, in a package to another team. Katz mentions several names of players who potentially fit the contract and player profile that New York covets. Those players include:
Of the group, LeVert would arguably be among the most interesting additions to the Knicks.
The latest rumblings out of Cleveland indicate that the team doesn’t want to move its core four ahead of the trade deadline, referring to Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen. If the Cavs are going to make a substantial move in the coming month, LeVert seems to be the most likely to be moved.
If the Knicks trade for the former Michigan wing, it would seemingly signal that New York doesn’t plan on making a trade for Mitchell this offseason since Cleveland surely wouldn’t trade away LeVert just to trade for him again months later.