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Knicks value Jericho Sims and Deuce McBride too highly for a casual trade

Job security for the youngsters.

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Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

At The Athletic today, Fred Katz fielded mailbag questions about the New York Knicks. These are the dog days of the NBA off-season, folks. The article is paywalled.

One mailbag question of note was, “Who are the three most likely players currently on the roster (not including players on two-way contracts) that will not be on the roster after the trade deadline?”

Evan Fournier—and his $18.9 million expiring contract—is the obvious first choice.

According to Katz, Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle are off the table. The recently-signed Donte DiVincenzo will most likely be retained for the 2023-24 campaign. Hart is locked up through the season, too, because New York has to wait six months after his extension becomes official before it can deal him.

Isaiah Hartenstein, going into the last year of his $9.24M contract, will remain unless the season goes to total hell. Ditto Mitchell Robinson, whose contract has three years left.

Of interest was this aside from Katz: “Neither [Jericho] Sims nor [Miles] McBride would be headliners in a trade since they are on cheap salaries and are out of the rotation. Other teams have tried to land them as throw-ins before, and the Knicks haven’t been amenable, league sources told The Athletic. They like those two too much just to give them away. I couldn’t see either Sims or McBride moving unless their salaries were necessary to make a major trade work.”

It seems that Sims and McBride, both rising bench players, can enter the next campaign with their heads held high and some job security in their back pockets. As New York’s third string center, the 24-year-old Sims averaged 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 points, 0.5 blocks, and about 15 minutes over 52 games in 2022-23. He also competed in the All-Star weekend’s Slam Dunk Competition.

In just under 12 minutes per game, the soon to be 23-year-old Deuce McBride averaged 3.5 points and shot 30% from downtown. The reserve guard’s most significant contribution continues to be his defense. He is known to leave teeth marks in opponents.

Turning attention to RJ Barrett, Katz observed that by including him with Fournier in a deal would bring back $45.9 million in a star trade. So that makes RJ another potential candidate to go.

Quentin Grimes still has two years left on the rookie scale contract he signed in 2021. Immanuel Quickley is on an expiring contract, and the Knicks seem to be comfortable taking their time before offering an extension to him. Leon Rose can wait until the eve of the regular season to sign IQ. By waiting, the team can wait to see if any big fish suddenly presents in the pond.

A big fish, such as . . . Joel Embiid?

(On the subject of Philadelphia, I fall squarely in the “Why would the Sixers want Quickley when they already have Maxey?” camp.)

After finishing second for NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Quickley is in greater demand. According to reports, teams have expressed interest, but have yet to offer New York anything acceptable. Nonetheless, Katz settled on Quickley, Barrett, and Fournier as the three players most likely to not be on the roster after the trade deadline.

Dog days, indeed.