First on the docket (or at least seriously, I don’t count the Dame Lillard “rumors”) is Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who apparently the Knicks are quite smitten with.
What might a trade look like? My coworker Evan Dammerell of Locked On Cavs and Fear the Sword might have an idea:
A package that would include Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and one of New York’s 2021 first rounders appears to be an option for Collin Sexton after reaching out to a source. https://t.co/n4czhlMTGg— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) July 13, 2021
So that’s intriguing. I spent the better part of the day arguing with people on Twitter about A) if that trade package is too much, and B) if trading for Sexton is a losing proposition anyway because he probably wants a max contract after his rookie deal is up next summer and the Cavs probably aren’t planning on giving it to him.
As far as the package, getting a 24 point per game scorer that does it one 57% TS% is pretty nice for only the cost of a rookie who quite frankly disappointed this year (Obi Toppin), a kid from Sexton’s draft class who probably isn’t going to be a great NBA player in the long run (Kevin Knox), and either the 19th or 21st pick in the draft. You have to give something to get something. As it turns out, giving up those assets would net the Knicks about $6.5 million in cap space as well:
Low-key extra thing with that proposed Sexton deal is the extra ~$6.5m in cap space the Knicks get out of it this offseason, like Jeremy says here— Alex Wolfe (@thealexwolfe) July 13, 2021
(Knox + Obi + 21st pick = ~$13m, Sexton = ~$6.5m) https://t.co/9PXRJXxo3i
As far as “having” to pay Sexton a max... there’s a reason I put that word in quotes. What’s nice about picking up a player in Sexton’s position is that you gain their restricted free agent rights, which allows the ability to match any incoming contract offer. So the Knicks could essentially do with Sexton what they did with Jeremy Lin once upon a time — say, “Go figure out your market and bring us an offer sheet” and see what other teams are willing to pay Sexton. I’d be willing to bet that unless he takes a huge leap as a defender or playmaker, he won’t get a max offer, and would probably receive something in the four year/$80 million range.
That would be totally fine, too, from a Knicks perspective. A $20 million contract for an efficient young scorer is, quite frankly, a great first piece towards trading for a megastar down the line both for salary matching and talent stacking purposes.
Anyway, let’s not put the cart before the horse here. For now, these are just rumors. Should be a fun upcoming few weeks, though!