Having cleared the cupboard, Leon Rose is ready to assemble his debut Knicks squad, and the rookie team president has reportedly already made a trade with the Utah Jazz while also setting his sights on players including Gordon Hayward, who just opted out of $34.2 million in guaranteed money.
Just when you thought you could take one second to celebrate a seemingly successful draft night, the Knicks wasted no time starting major renovations by getting rid of half the team. Shortly thereafter, they signed undrafted Myles Powell out of Seton Hall. Then all hell broke loose.
First, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the Knicks are extremely interested in signing 30-year-old Gordon Hayward, who has opted out of his $34.2 million player option with the Boston Celtics for this season and is now an unrestricted free agent.
Hayward has indeed opted out of next season's $34.2 million with the Celts and becomes an unrestricted free agent Friday at 6 PM ET— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 19, 2020
The Knicks are in play ...
Indiana has also pursued Hayward via trade, sources say ...
And Boston can still re-sign Hayward to a long-term deal
The embattled one-time All-Star was finally starting to look like his old self again this year with averages of 17.5 points (50% from the field, 38% from deep), 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. But he dealt with injury issues during the course of the season, including a broken wrist and a pretty serious ankle sprain, and played in only 52 games.
In order to build a strong team, you need talent, and Hayward is a talented fellow. It’s okay that the Knicks are showing interest. What they can’t do is panic, worry that the Indiana Pacers or someone else is going to outbid them, and offer Hayward a bloated, multi-year contract. Please, and yes this sentence can be considered begging, don’t overpay Hayward.
Reports that Gordon Hayward has opted out of his $34 million player option - not a lot of teams have the money to make it worth his while. Is 3-$45million a number that makes him happy?— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) November 19, 2020
The Hayward stuff is all still rumors, however. It’s just something to chew on. This next bit of news is something you can actually eat. The Knicks have agreed to a deal with the Utah Jazz that will bring back mediocre big man Ed Davis and two 2023 second round picks. It seems like the Knicks aren’t trading anyone or anything as part of this deal, they are just agreeing to take on the Davis contract so the Jazz can have more room to sign their own players. Neat!
The Jazz save $5M in salary for 2020-2021. Utah is working to re-sign Jordan Clarkson and extensions are on the horizon for Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Knicks get the two 2023 second-round picks to take on the salary. https://t.co/pZTs4OmRE0— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 19, 2020
People on the internet are saying that, since 2023 will be the first year high school players can be drafted again, the Knicks are cleverly trying to stash as many picks for that draft as possible. Sure, but maybe they are instead stockpiling draft assets so they can trade for John Wall or something. Just saying, don’t get too comfortable. 2023 is a long ways away.
ESPN reports that Knicks also got two second-round picks in the 2023 draft in this deal. Knicks also acquired a 2023 second-round pick last night. So they now have four 2nd rounders in a draft that could include high school players. https://t.co/N5XaLhkhbV— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 19, 2020
If that wasn’t enough for you, the Knicks are also keeping an eye on Malik Beasley, who the Timberwolves have reportedly put up for grabs. Beasley, 23-years-old, played a little over three seasons in Denver before being traded to Minnesota in February as part of a giant four-team deal.
He finished last season on a tear, lighting it up with averages of 20.7 points (47% from the field, 43% from three), 5 boards and 2 assists in the 14 games he played for the Timberwolves after the trade. For his career, the 6’4” shooting guard has averaged 8 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist per game while shooting 45% overall and 39% from beyond the arc.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have made guard Malik Beasley available in discussions, and the New York Knicks are one of several interested teams, according to sources. He averaged 20 after being traded from Denver to Minnesota last season— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) November 19, 2020
That being said, the following came out after the report about Beasley being made available, so you never really know the truth until actual actions are taken.
Timberwolves source to @TheAthleticMIN: No conversations about trading Malik Beasley. There is belief he and Anthony Edwards can play together on the wings. "The focus is to have Beasley back."— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) November 19, 2020
This condensed offseason period has only just begun, friends. Things should only get crazier from here on out. Keep your hopes high but your expectations low. And Leon, when are you going to trade Julius Randle so that Obi Toppin can slide in as the starting power forward?