Covered in the last piece, there are things within the Knick’s control and things that aren’t. Outside forces are obvious, but the ones internally require a bit more understanding of the players who have the most time investment. Here will be the latter, the players lacking that time investment and who have also drawn interest from other teams.
Addition by Subtraction: The CP3 Trade
Knicks: Receive CP3 and 2021 1st round pick
While CP3’s play has been utterly inspiring, the current contract structure makes it difficult to not include at least one first-rounder. Considering the amount they also have (supply and demand) the value of those picks depreciates in surplus.
OKC has been one of the best league pass teams this year and overall has a real chance to make the postseason. This trade along with another suggestion* to move Gallinari to IND for Myles Turner and Justin Holiday. Morris gives them a great starting forward, opening up the floor for guards and bigs. While Morris alone has been speculated to grab a 1st rounder for the Knicks, CP3 can improve the team as a whole but can also help player relations with the Knicks in general as he’s the head of the players association. OKC moves CP3 for cheap, keep their playoff hopes alive, and NYK gets their best point guard in 20 years who can mentor the kids & give them a competitive edge.
*With potential unsatisfactory big rotation reported in early December, moving Myles who’s on a great deal and Justin Holiday to match salaries give IND spacing at a forward position to help Sabonis. OKC get’s a spacing big who can either play next to Adams but also slide in at center if he’s moved as well.
Wob of the action network: The Real Slim Shady
Lakers: Receive Marcus Morris
If you’re a subscriber of the action network, I recommend those to read his analysis of this trade back in December. If you’re not subscribed and you even gamble in the slightest, the action network is a great subscription. To summarize VERY briefly, KCP would need to waive his no-trade clause for any significant trade due to Kuzma’s salary. Him and KCP would be dealt to New York and Morris would be sent to LA. Kuzma can fit with the “youth-movement” and timing of New York’s biggest time assets.
Knicks: Receive Bogdan Bogdanovic & Dewayne Dedmon
Kings: Receive Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington, + 2021 & 2023 First Round Picks (via Dallas)
Now there’s going to be a lot of people question of moving a pick, let alone two. The protections can be negotiated but with how Dallas is performing those picks are likely their most valuable right now. Why is he worth that draft capital?
Bogdan is close to the perfect guard to play next to Frank, RJ, Randle, and Mitchell/Dewayne (if the trade happens, the starting line-up). He can run the half-court offense, he can work well as an off-ball shooter. He creates a unique problem for defenses having to adjust to the different attacks from Frank, Bogdan, and RJ. His spacing opens up the driving lanes for all the players around him and there’s always an easy lob pass (to Mitch) if the defense commits to the driver. The offense opens up, and roles are more defined between the center and big forward rotations.
Knicks: Kelly Oubre Jr.
Suns: Marcus Morris & Allonzo Trier
Before delving into this, the Suns view Oubre as a potential long term fit next to Devin Booker. Booker might be the reason they also trade him. Booker has noticeably matured in both in his life and in his game. He doesn’t want to be the “good stats, bad team” guy as he’s been pegged in his early career. For him and the organization who invested in him, the postseason is the goal. Prolonged playoff drought may make him interested in trying out other scene and the focus of improving the team for that goal could be this trade.
For the Suns, the attitude Morris brings can help the starting rotation develop a physical edge with his on-ball and team defense. He can space the floor effectively, granted being less dynamic than Oubre, but Morris isn’t the only one heading over. Trier long being out of the Knicks rotation, his value is more obscure.
Trier’s an elite three-level scorer and no, that is not hyperbolic. He doesn’t fit with the current Knicks roaster nor with the team wants to play. The beauty of the Suns’ situation is that he’d be the ideal player to take a load off the starters and bare a lot of the responsibility of bench scoring. The Suns are 22nd, 21st, and 20th in bench minutes, scoring and net rating respectively. The burden on the starters to create leads their bench wilts away can be draining and the results are the end of their games as the season carries on. Night tonight he can provide efficient scoring, but the real asset is he has game swaying potential. He can get hot and shoot lights out to give the starters needed rest and rehab.
On the Knicks side of things, the fit is questionable, whether his personality will clash with the environment Miller is building, or the players themselves are valid concerns. In evaluating his play this season, he’s a budding star in the NBA and his game personality resembles that of a rock star. Now while not all rock stars work out and careers are mixed with high highs and low lows, New York can be the best stage for him.
The true tragedy of it all is he’d likely be talked about in the same way Ingram is if he ever played for a more popular NBA franchise. Upon looking back in a couple years, Oubre may be the best player available throughout the deadline AND free agency this year.
*Cannot happen until the Bird Right Restriction ends on January 15th
Featured Image: Los Angeles Times