The NBA trade deadline is now officially just days away. As we inch towards 3 p.m. ET on February 9th, we wanted to dive into the most recent Knicks trade rumors and see which potential deals are most likely or most beneficial to the team.
I’ve culled through the rumors and reports and broken down the five trades that have gotten the most press. We’ll go over whether or not the deal seems plausible and whether or not it would be a good trade for the Knicks.
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Knicks Potential Deadline Deals
1. Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, First Round pick (possibly more) to Jazz for Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt
Michael Scotto on Hoops Hype was one of the first reporters to address the Knicks’ interest in Beasley and Vanderbilt. On one hand, adding a plus shooter and a versatile big man for the bench makes sense. Fournier has also been out of the Knicks’ rotation, and the team doesn’t seem to want to play Obi Toppin, so the Knicks wouldn’t be losing many assets from their current rotation.
On the other hand, this trade makes no sense for New York.
For starters, Hoops Hype reported that the Jazz are seeking a first-round pick, or equivalent assets, for EACH of Beasley and Vanderbilt. If you count Toppin as equivalent to a first-round pick (and you should) then the Knicks would still need to add another first-round pick to make this deal. There is just no reason to make that deal.
Vanderbilt is basically the same size as Toppin and is actually a worse defender by FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR rating. Toppin is a +0.4 on the season, while Vanderbilt has a -1.4 rating. Toppin also ranks 98th among forwards in defensive win share while Vanderbilt ranks 223rd. Considering Vanderbilt also brings nothing in terms of three-point shooting while Toppin is shooting 37.6% from deep, it makes no sense to swap the two in the rotation.
The addition of Beasley also doesn’t make sense from an offensive standpoint. While Beasley has been a volume scorer in the past and is a 38% career three-point shooter, he’s also shooting just 36% from deep this year and has a -2.3 defensive RAPTOR score. For comparison’s sake, Fournier, who has been removed from the rotation, is also a career 38% three-point shooter and while he’s shooting just 32.7% this year, he has a -0.4 defensive RAPTOR score.
Moving Beasley into the rotation would provide a bit more scoring but worse defense. Additionally, since Fournier is currently out of the rotation, adding Beasley would likely mean cutting Miles McBride’s minutes, which doesn’t make sense.
The second-year guard has been playing some of his best basketball in the last few weeks and is one of the Knicks’ best perimeter defenders. Knocking him out of the rotation to add the poor defense of Beasley, who has had a negative defensive RAPTOR score every year in the NBA, doesn’t jive with what the Knicks need for their bench. Giving up a first-round pick to also get worse just feels like a major mistake.
2. Cam Reddish to Cavaliers for Cedi Osman and a second-round pick
Now we move in a completely different direction to a deal that makes a ton of sense. Brett Siegel reported in Sports Illustrated that the Cavaliers are interested in Cam Reddish and are willing to part with a second-round pick in a deal for him, and “either Cedi Osman or Dylan Windler would likely be sent to the Knicks in an attempt for them to remain below the tax line.”
For starters, the Knicks are never going to play Reddish while Tom Thibodeau is coaching. That has become abundantly clear, so we don’t need to break down what the Knicks would be losing by dealing him because, for all intents and purposes, he’s not actually a part of this team.
Getting Osman back for Reddish, plus a pick, would be great.
For starters, Osman’s 2.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to RAPTOR, makes him the 22nd-best small forward in the league. He boasts a well-rounded game where he shoots 36.2% from three while chipping in 9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. While he’s not a tremendous rebounder, he’s a solid defender in addition to his abilities as a shooter and passer.
Osman has a 17.9% steal rate, which is around the same mark as well-regarded defenders like Jaden McDaniels and Terance Mann. He ranks 49th among all forwards in defensive win share and has a +1.4 defensive RAPTOR. He would give New York a solid small forward off of the bench who can help with floor spacing while also adding an additional ball-handler and solid perimeter defender.
While not a major move, this would be a solid get for the Knicks.
3. Obi Toppin, Derrick Rose, two protected first-round picks to Raptors for OG Anunoby
We’ve broken this trade possibility down a few times, so you should check out the detailed write-up here.
4. Two second-round picks to Raptors for Gary Trent Jr.
Michael Grange of SportsNet wrote earlier this week that the Raptors want either a protected first-round pick or two “good second-round picks” for Trent Jr. Considering the plethora of picks that New York has in upcoming drafts, that move would make a ton of sense for this team.
The 24-year-old Trent Jr. is recording 18.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game this season while shooting 36.7% from 3-point range. He’s a slightly below-average defender according to RAPTOR but is the 45th-ranked shooting guard in the league according to Wins Above Replacement. Quentin Grimes ranks 54th for comparison’s sake.
Trent has a player option for the 2023-24 season, but he’s reportedly expected to decline that so this might be a one-year rental unless the Knicks are able to sign him to an extension, but since he reportedly wants $25 million annually on that deal, it seems unlikely. Still, New York could opt to put Trent in the starting lineup to add more floor-spacing to that unit and bring Grimes off of the bench or use Trent as part of a dynamic second unit with Immanuel Quickley.
Considering how little they would need to give up for him, it makes a ton of sense.
5. Cam Reddish, protected first-round pick to Pistons for Saddiq Bey
We end with a trade proposal that straddles the line in terms of adding value to the Knicks or not. The Knicks have expressed interest in adding Bey, and the Pistons are reportedly inclined to move him for a first-round pick and/or comparable young talent.
The 6’7″ 215-pound forward is averaging 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game this season and would give the Knicks more depth and scoring in the second unit, which is valuable. He’s averaging 19.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists over his last ten games, which shows the versatility of his game from an offensive standpoint.
Bey is also a career 35.8% three-point shooter and is shooting 34.6% from deep this season, so while he’s not a consistent shooter, he’s not really an asset from beyond the arc. He’s also a poor defender, ranking 92nd among all small forwards in defensive RAPTOR. However, with Quickley and McBride also coming off of the bench, it’s possible the Knicks could give up a little on defense in the second unit to add some offensive punch. Or they could just play Obi Toppin more.
Obviously, there are more Knicks rumors out there, but these appear to be the most oft-discussed ones. We’ll make sure to keep you updated on all things Knicks trade deadline, so keep coming back to amNY Sports.