Well, the NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone and the New York Knicks were minimally active on Thursday.
The Knicks’ lone move came about 15 minutes before 1 p.m. when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that guard Austin Rivers would be heading to Oklahoma City in a three-way deal involving Atlantic Division rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Philadelphia is acquiring OKC's George Hill for Tony Bradley, Terrance Fergusson and two future second-round picks, sources tell ESPN. Austin Rivers goes to OKC as part of a three-way deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
Wojnarowski tweeted a few minutes later reporting Ignas Brazdeikis would be sent to Philadelphia to complete the trade.
The Knicks get:
2021 2nd-round pick via Philadelphia
The Thunder get:
The 76ers get:
Ferguson has played in 13 games in the 2020-21 NBA season, averaging just 3.8 minutes per game. The six-foot-six swingman from Tulsa was drafted with the 21st overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Thunder. He was traded to Philadelphia in the deal that sent Al Horford to Oklahoma City.
Poirer is a 27-year-old pivot who is in his second season in the NBA. He has played in 10 games this season, averaging just 3.9 minutes per game. The 7-footer played five seasons in Europe before crossing the Atlantic. In Europe, he averaged 8.9 points per game in almost 20 minutes per game. Poirer joins fellow Frenchman Frank Ntilikina, who have played together at the international level.
The Knicks say goodbye to Rivers and Brazdeikis. After getting off to a good start and becoming a fan favorite after some comments about this team, Rivers fell out of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. Over the last few days, Rivers had been away from the team as his wife gave birth. It now looks as though the Knicks granted Rivers some extra time to be away from the team while they figured out what to do with him. Surely, Rivers was unhappy with the role he found himself with in New York, especially after finding success early on. Rivers, who signed a three-year $10 million deal in the offseason, had been linked to the Milwaukee Bucks. Don’t be shocked if he is bought out by the Thunder and continues to be linked to a contender
Brazdeikis’ departure surely hurts fellow compatriot RJ Barrett. The two Canadians were drafted the same year by the Knicks. Barrett and Brazdeikis know each other from their childhood, teaming up for Canada during tournaments. Brazdeikis saw 60 minutes of playing time as a New York Knick. The second round draft pick saw a bulk of his minutes playing for the Westchester Knicks of the G League. In 36 games with the Dub Knicks, Brazdeikis averaged nearly 21 points per game.
What this trade essentially ends up being is depth for depth. We’ll see how the newest Knicks are inserted into the rotation, but I don’t expect a huge change in the rotation.
The Knicks were linked to players like Victor Oladipo, who was moved to Miami and JJ Redick, who was moved to Dallas. Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, who were not moved, were also linked to a move to New York.
But, don’t be shocked if Ball’s name continues to be linked with New York. The Knicks might be interested in acquiring him after the season.
A few minutes after the deadline, SNY’s Ian Begley reported the Knicks were “done for the day” and had “no active offers.” An anti-climatic ending to a day which Knicks fans thought their beloved Knickerbockers would be active.
Upset Knicks fans, put some trust in Leon Rose. I bet teams made calls for the Knicks but the price was too steep in Rose’s opinion. The Knicks front office must feel like this team, at 22-22, is enough to get the franchise back into the playoffs.
And given what I’ve seen 44 games in, I agree.
UPDATE: Wojnarowski reports the Knicks will waive Poirier. He will be owed $2.6 million. The Knicks have a roster spot open.