Surprisingly, this week started slowly on the trade rumors front but after a couple of comprehensive, league-wide reports and interviews popped up yesterday we’re finally back on track and able to discuss a fresh batch of information barely a week before we reach the NBA trade deadline.
While not incredibly packed full of New York Knicks-related intel, NBA insider Brett Siegel of ClutchPoints wrote a column on Tuesday, Jan. 30 covering a good deal of teams and players that might be on the move before the Feb. 8 deadline.
Bruce Brown Jr. (Toronto Raptors)
Most of the piece touched on all things Warriors and Lakers, including a reported interest of Golden State in Knicks target guard/forward Bruce Brown Jr. of the Toronto Raptors, per sources speaking to Siegel.
As the insider points out, the Raptors traded for Brown earlier this season in the deal that sent Pascal Siakam to Indiana, which means they cannot aggregate Brown’s salary with that of other players, making things a tad difficult for a few teams (including the Warriors) to trade for the new Raptor.
When it comes to the Knicks, the equation is fairly simple thanks to having Evan Fournier’s contract sitting in the asset cabinet and ready to get mollylaunched wherever New York wants something from, making it way easier for the Knicks to pull off a trade for Brown—or any other player they target, for that matter.
According to Siegel, the Lakers and the Knicks have been “in contact with the Raptors in recent weeks regarding Brown,” while the reporter also confirmed Toronto’s asking price for their new player, saying the Canadians want “at least one first-round pick for Brown, as well as additional talent.”
Dejounte Murray (Atlanta Hawks)
In the same piece, Siegel discussed the most coveted, talented, and reportedly available player in the trade market this mid-season: Hawks two-guard Dejounte Murray.
Per sources speaking to Siegel, the Lakers “have been extremely involved in trade chatter around the league in recent weeks, marking Murray as their top target.”
The price has remained more or less the same as we had already reported, set at “two first-round picks and a key talent who can fit in alongside Trae Young,” per Siegel.
The insider went the distance to inform that “To this point, no team—including the Lakers—has been willing to meet the asking price.” Other teams mentioned in the report are the Detroit Pistons, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Knicks, albeit it feels like Atlanta might end up keeping Murray around as he’s still under a long-term contract with the Hawks.
As reported a few days ago and echoed by Siegel, league sources revealed that the Lakers submitted an offer to Atlanta for Murray that included “D’Angelo Russell, rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino, and draft compensation.” Not enough for the Hawks, one would assume.
Per Siegel, “New York and Atlanta have not recently discussed a potential trade.”
Clint Capela (Atlanta Hawks)
In the same section of his report, Siegel mentions Hawks big man Clint Capela as a potential candidate to get traded in the next few days.
The insider revealed the price asked by Atlanta, quoting it as “a first-round pick,” and reporting “some teams [have reached out but] nobody has been willing to offer [that].”
Capela, as pointed out in the original article, is set to make $22 million next year in what will be the final season of his current deal. Non-Hawks executives around the league, according to Siegel, think Capela should rather be available for “an expiring contract and multiple second-round picks,” not a first-rounder.
Per Siegel, “There is always the chance that the Knicks swoop in and land either Murray or Capela from the Hawks,” but he thinks “both of these scenarios seem a little too far gone at this point.”
Daniel Gafford (Washington Wizards) and Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz)
The NBA insider proceeded to discuss another team in possession of a big man that might be moved this week: Wizards center Daniel Gafford.
Siegel reported that, at this point, “There are conflicting thoughts around the league pertaining to the Wizards.”
That’s because some believe Washington will be “willing to surrender any of their players in a trade that would net them first-round value and youthful talents,” while others (the majority, per sources) think the Wizards “don’t have any intentions of trading away Kyle Kuzma or Tyus Jones, their two prominent trade assets.”
Not named in that last sentence is Gafford, who the Knicks are interested in according to reports shared by different sources in the past few days and weeks, although Siegel didn’t provide any update on that front.
He mentioned, however, Utah Jazz scorer Jordan Clarkson as someone the Knicks have kept an interest in trading for and that might be available in the trade market, depending on the offers submitted to the Salt Lake City franchise.
According to sources talking to Siegel, “Clarkson has been on the Knicks’ radar since they traded Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors for Anunoby.”
Per Siegel, the Jazz want “at least one first-round pick of value” in exchange for Clarkson ahead of the trade deadline. However, there is “a real possibility” Utah retains Clarkson through the trade deadline, according to Siegel, which shouldn’t surprise anyone considering the Jazz are going to ask for the moon more than just a first-rounder if anyone wants to extract the former 6MOY from Utah.
Malcolm Brogdon (Portland Trail Blazers Player)
This is coming straight from the very source, as Brogdon spoke to Jason Quick of The Athletic in an interview published earlier today.
Brogdon discussed his current role within the Blazers organization after he was traded from Boston to Portland in the Jrue Holiday deal last October.
“I’m happy here. I’m valued here. Valued in this leadership/lead-guard role.,” Brogdon said. “I can’t complain with that. I’m happy in Portland.”
As Quick points out in his interview, the Blazers have traded important players in back-to-back deadlines, first dealing CJ McCollum to New Orleans in 2022 and then Josh Hart to the Knicks a year ago.
“We haven’t really talked about that,” Brogdon told Quick about a potential trade discussion and an agreement being in place between the player and Portland to find him a way out before Feb. 8. “Of course, I’m sure they are looking at their options, but for me, it’s all about using every opportunity to play good basketball and help this team win.”
In other words, Brogdon is not actively pushing for a trade, and he wouldn’t have a problem staying with the Blazers for the remainder of the season. Brogdon is earning $22.5 million this year and he’s in the books for the 2025 campaign too, at the same rate.
Tari Eason (Houston Rockets)
Finally, a particularly young member of the Rockets made the rumor mill for the first time this year on Tuesday, as power forward Tari Eason was linked to the Knicks in a column written by David Vertsberger of SNY.
“New York reportedly covets Tari Eason,” wrote Vertsberger, adding it “might take a one-for-one with Grimes” if the Knicks want to trade for the currently injured Rocketman forward. The problem with that trade, as Vertsberger noted, is that it would leave New York “thin at the guard position.”
Eason is a former first-round pick from the 2022 class of draftees, going 17th overall to Houston a couple of summers ago. Eason made the 2023 All-Rookie team, but it’s fair to assume that neither of Tom Thibodeau nor Leon Rose would have much interest in trading for a developmental project at this point in the Knicks contending timeline.
Remember that the Knicks traded or drafted similarly young players in Cam Reddish (trade) and Obi Toppin (draft pick) in the past that didn’t yield any substantial production, and ended up leaving New York without bringing a lot in return (no, Reddish wasn't the main piece in the Josh Hart trade as Portland later found out).
With the Knicks more than into their window for a title run and the front office needing to go deeper into the postseason before it’s too late, they won’t be throwing assets away in exchange for players that might or might not pan out soon enough. Don’t bet on any player like Eason landing in New York in the next week or months.
There is a much bigger chance the Knicks stand pat and explore the veteran buyout market (think about Kyle Lowry and other washed players) or simply wait for the summer to go big-time hunting.