With reports surfacing about deals that weren’t struck at the trade deadline, it’s clear the New York Knicks missed out on a prime opportunity.
The New York Knicks were one of few teams with a whiteboard full of options at this year’s trade deadline. The way they structured their offseason deals in free agency made them a prime candidate for trade partnering with a contender.
And to the surprise of none, Ian Begley of SNY is now reporting on a sensible trade that was on the table for New York at the deadline:
He went on to say that the Charlotte Hornets interest level in such a deal is unknown, but the fact that New York didn’t pursue this more aggressively is disappointing to say the least. Julius Randle, New York’s prime offseason acquisition, has disappointed in his first year with the club.
He’s averaging 19.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. While that looks all fine and dandy on paper, the fact of the matter is the Knicks have mostly been better with him off the floor.
To his credit, he’s undergone a change at head coach, and it’s his first season being played as the number one option on any team in five career seasons. And Dennis Smith Jr, well no one’s sure what transpired over the summer that saw him going from promising youth to ultimate bust.
The 22-year-old point guard has undergone a transformation similar to that of former number one overall pick Markelle Fultz. He’s seemingly lost his confidence and forgotten how to shoot entirely.
Losing these two players would likely impact New York as much as little as possible. Smith has had to fight for playing time, and Randle is only detrimental to the other youth’s development.
Nothing about this deal comes off as a loss for the Knicks. Giving up a first-round pick is something they’ve been known to avoid in recent years, but they’ve also acquired plenty of extra picks because of that mentality in recent years.
Ridding of Randle’s $18 million salary next season should be priority number one this summer. But to be frank, while it may not take a first-round pick to shed him off onto another team, it’s going to take something more than the shell of Dennis Smith Jr.
Terry Rozier is no longer viewed as a project, but closer to his ceiling. He’s averaging 18 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 63 games for Charlotte this season. That’s a better season than any point guard New York has had inhouse for the last decade, if not longer.
And ironically enough, Monk is a name that was tied heavily to the Knicks ahead of the 2017 draft.
So much so, that he went on national television wearing a New York blue color watch in one of his final pre-draft interviews. He’s had a disappointing run in Charlotte–especially considering he was suspended indefinitely this season for violating the NBA’s Anti-Drug Program.
Still, the 22-year-old guard showed some promise in his 55 games this year. The morning before his suspension was announced, he was gifted his first career start–irony at it’s finest.
It’s likely an unpopular opinion, but giving up one first-round pick (of which they have a surplus) to rid of Julius Randle’s contract, while acquiring even a short term answer at point guard in Terry Rozier–would be a home run deal for the New York Knicks. A missed opportunity indeed.