Paul George Knicks trade rumors: Talks with Clippers have begun, latest on Miles McBride

Paul George Knicks trade rumors
Paul George (Wikimedia commons)

The NBA Draft is only hours away and while the New York Knicks don’t currently have a pick in tonight’s event, that hasn’t stopped them from being front and center in the NBA rumor mill. 

Ian Begley of SNY discussed a few of those rumors on Thursday morning, perhaps the most eye-catching of which is that the Knicks have reached out to the Clippers about a Paul George trade. 

While Begley was quick to say that he doesn’t know much about the Clippers’ willingness to move George, we reported yesterday that in the most recent edition of “The Stein Line,” Marc Stein reported that “The LA Clippers have left various rival teams with the impression through their Draft Week conversations that they are, at a minimum, attempting to gauge Paul George’s trade value…”

In our article on the Knicks potentially trading for Paul George, we discussed the importance of his veteran leadership, his role as a role model for Julius Randle, and his perimeter defense and how each would be significantly valuable to this New York team. 

However, in order for a trade for Paul George to make sense, the Knicks would likely need to include RJ Barrett since a trio of Barret, George, and Randle on the wings would leave the Knicks with defensive liabilities and spacing concerns. 

While Begley mentioned that discussions were preliminary and there’s no indication of what players have been discussed, we suggested a package of Barrett, Evan Fournier, and two first-round picks could be enough to get George while also making the salaries work. New York could also add Obi Toppin if needed. 

Obi Toppin Knicks
New York’s Obi Toppin (1) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half of Game 3 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Friday, April 21, 2023, in New York. The Knicks won 99-79. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Knicks Priority Free Agent Target

In the same report, Begley mentions that, if the Knicks were to trade Toppin, many within the organization are fans of replacing his spot in the rotation with free agent Dante DiVincenzo. 

The former Golden State Warrior was one of our top free-agent targets for the Knicks heading into the offseason. He shot 39.7% from beyond the arc this year, is a strong defender, and played college basketball at Villanova with Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart, which would make him a great addition to the Knicks rotation.

Miles McBride on the move?

Begley rounded out his report by saying that the Knicks have been receiving trade interest in Miles “Deuce” McBride. The Knicks have until June 29th to pick up the 22-year-old’s $1.84 million team option and would almost certainly do that if they don’t trade him. 

McBride has value around the league for his elite perimeter defense and the flashes of shooting that he’s shown during his fill-in starts this season. Those skills should also give him value to New York; however, McBride was essentially removed from the rotation entirely after the acquisition of Josh Hart. 

If New York opts to keep both Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes this offseason and also re-sign Josh Hart then there may not be room in the rotation for McBride in 2023-24. If that was the case then it might make sense for the team to capitalize on this interest and trade him for a player who they would use in the rotation or future picks that they could package to move up in this year’s draft or even next years.

As the NBA Draft draws nearer, we’re likely to get even more information on these stories, so stay tuned to amNY Sports for all your Knicks coverage. 

Miles McBride of the Knicks
New York guard Miles McBride (2) fights for a loose ball against Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in New York.AP Photo/Mary Altaffer