It’s been an eventful few days around New York City, am I right?
After stringing three losses last week, the front office gave us Knicks fans a late-but-sweet Christmas gift in the shape of an OG Anunoby. Of course, this trade being past the Dec. 25 proper date, had to come with a negative: the departure of homegrown talents RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.
Perhaps to make up for those two losses, Leon Rose & Co. were kind enough to only send one second-round draft pick (via Detroit) north of the border while extracting two capable rotation players (Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn) from Canadian soil.
The New Look Knicks starting five, when fully healthy, reads like this: Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson. Is that it? I don’t think so, and probably you don’t, either.
With Mitch done for the season, it’s hard to envision a deep postseason run coming to theatres as soon as next May and June. That, however, might not be a problem as long as OG re-signs with the Knicks next summer and stays in tow for the time being, building a Core 3 along with Brunson and Randle... or maybe this is only just Move 1 in a multi-steep retooling on the roster in the full attempt at building a bonafide contender?
That’s the most probable scenario, and that’s why we’re here today rounding up what has been said of late following the OG trade and the options the Knicks might want to explore and pursue next.
Let me list some of the things that have been said and written in the past few days, and then pose a poll to you to take the temperature of the Knicks fanbase when it comes to future endeavors and affairs.
Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, and eight first-round picks are still in play
That’s correct. The Knicks flipped RJ and IQ for the right to roster Anunoby, and that hurt. But you have to keep in mind that the front office was somehow capable of keeping their draft coffers (nearly) intact.
On top of that, Grimes is still a Knick and so is Evan Fournier. These two are not at the top of the asset-value ranks, of course, but the former has some potential as a young defensive maven and the latter is playing under a hefty-salary expiring deal that could facilitate any move without needing to add (for example) Randle (and his money) in a future trade package.
The Knicks are also “actively” trying to find someone interested in Fournier and his deal, per Brett Siegel of ClutchPoints, which means they might already be cooking something already a multi-team deal.
We’ll see, but for now: Flexibility, immaculate.
Donovan Mitchell, a Knick no more?
Here is your (upcoming) first option to vote for in the poll I have added below. Mitchell has been the longest sought-after player by this front office, and although the Knicks passed on trading for him before last season as they deemed RJ untouchable back then, they might revisit that—now with the Cleveland Cavaliers—if the possibility emerges.
The main point here is that the Knicks, after adding a strong 3&D wing by removing a guard and a hybrid guard-wing from their roster, would move on to add a talented scorer of the smaller variety to play along with Brunson in the backfield, removing DDV/Grimes from the starting lineup.
Marc Stein, however, thinks that the Knicks “do not intend to mount an all-out pursuit” of DoMi at least for now. Not only that but the Cavaliers have also let rival teams know that they “aren’t prepared to entertain Mitchell overtures anyway.”
Option 1: Adding a Top Tier Guard (ex: Donovan Mitchell)
Karl-Anthony Towns, always in New York’s heart?
Moving on to the second possibility when it comes to making the ultimate move on the way to building a contender is trading for Karl-Anthony Towns, who has been in the rumor mill linked to the Knicks for years on end.
That’s what Shams Charania echoed on Tuesday on FanDuelTV. “[The Knicks] are always going to have interest in Karl-Anthony Towns, but nothing has materialized as of yet.” Will it next?
Trading for a big in Towns’ mold would inevitably mean finding a way out for Randle or Mitchell Robinson. Trading for KAT would also mean playing a two-big lineup a la the Minnesota Timberwolves are already doing with the very own Towns and Frencham Rudy Gobert.
Ian Begley of SNY added to the conversation in the wee hours of Tuesday, saying the interest in KAT is “true today, just as it was true on the day Knicks team president Leon Rose took over.”
Begley explained his take, informing those paying attention that “[Leon] Rose is Towns’ former agent. He and Knicks executive vice president William Wesley are close with Towns and his family. Knicks senior vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas ran the Timberwolves during Towns’ tenure,” so there’s that.
Option 2: Adding a Top Tier Big (ex: Karl-Anthony Towns)
What if the Knicks go for another Mid-Move?
This has not been reported per se, but it’s the final alternative path the Knicks might want to explore: keep stacking assets on “cheap” deals while trying to shape a big-picture trade to pull off come July.
This would involve trying to acquire lesser players. Those names, given the current status of the trade market and the reported availability of players more than a month from the Feb. 8 trade deadline, are hard to know at this point.
But you have an idea: Jordan Clarkson, Buddy Hield, Alex Caruso, Kelly Olynyk, Kyle Kuzma, Lauri Markkanen, Jerami Grant,...
Would any of those players move the needle and turn the Knicks into a legitimate Larry O’B contender? Hard to see that happening.
Would they help in shaping a bigger deal next summer? That’s more probable.
Would trading for any of those players deplete (or at least diminish the value of) the Knicks' chest of assets? Surely, and that’s the problem.
New York has already shot their first bullet. They might only have one more shot at a trade before they run out of valuable enough assets to dangle. Landing any of the aforementioned good-not-great players might take enough players/picks away from the Knicks as to not make much sense for them to pull off that type of trade... but that’s the risk you take.
On the other hand, what would a package build around Randle/Mitch and/or any of those supposed new Knicks (Clarkson, Lauri, Grant...) yield next summer? Would that package and whatever picks the Knicks still have next July be enough to complete the final Super Trade? Is that a viable way there?
Don’t see this option as falling into perpetual mediocrity, let alone dissing on OG (who I believe will be a legitimate core piece of the future Champ Knicks), but rather another preliminary move before making the bigger/biggest/final move.
Option 3: Keep adding Mid players (ex: OG, Markkanen, Clarkson, Caruso, Jerami,...)
Pick your poison, P&Ters, and let us know in the poll and the comments section below what you’d do next. You never know if Leon Rose will read these threads...
What should the New York Knicks do next?
This poll is closed
Add a Top Tier Guard (ex: Donovan Mitchell)
Add a Top Tier Big (ex: Karl-Anthony Towns)
Keep Adding Mid Players (ex: OG, Markkanen, Clarkson, Caruso, Jerami,...)