The New York Knicks continue to struggle as we dive towards Christmas. After the 5-1 start to the season, the Knicks are 7-14 since and now sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.
Many people are pointing fingers, some at Julius Randle, some at Tom Thibodeau, some at Rj Barrett, some at Leon Rose.
The truth is all of them deserve some blame. Randle has been the Knicks’ best player, but he is struggling mightily, which is also a knock on the rest of the team. It doesn’t seem that Tom Thibodeau is making adjustments and is set on his rotation, hot streak be damned. RJ Barrett has been inconsistent this season. Leon Rose is the one who had a ton of money available this past offseason, and this is the team he built.
So at 12-15 and struggling to beat bad teams, fans everywhere are turning to the trade machine and are whipping up possible scenarios in which they believe the team can get better.
Over the last few weeks, there have been reports of teams who are looking to move pieces. At the start of the season, there were reports that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard might be moved. Over the last few weeks, there have been developments in that situation in which Lillard may be upset with the way first-year head coach Chauncey Billups has been handling the team and his coaching. But the All-Star remains adamant that he wants to stay in Portland and win a title in the City of Roses. However, the most recent report says Portland is not interested in moving the All-Star guard.
Over the last few days, it was reported widely that the Indiana Pacers, who beat the Knicks by 20 points on December 8, are looking to start a rebuild. The Pacers are reportedly listening to offers involving guard Malcolm Brogdon and big men Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner.
Lastly, everyone is aware of the ugly situation regarding forward Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers and their breakup.
Many options are available for the Knicks to make a move that could be deemed as a “blockbuster.”
But many of the scenarios Knicks fans are whipping up on the Trade Machine are deals in which opposing General Managers would laugh mightily and uncontrollably as they hang up.
One scenario included Turner joining New York in exchange for Nerlens Noel, Kevin Knox, and a 2022 first-round pick via the Hornets.
Another included Lillard joining New York in exchange for Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Kemba Walker, and a first-round pick. Laughable. Leon Rose finessing the Detroit Pistons for Derrick Rose brainwashed some Knicks fans.
But there are a few more reasonable scenarios. Lillard joining New York in exchange for Rj Barrett, Obi Toppin, Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, and three first-round picks. That may not be enough.
Some have said that a trade for a star might have to include Randle. For hypothetical purposes, imagine Randle is dealt in a blockbuster trade; it’ll also strip the Knicks of a ton of young players. What will players be left to join the new shiny toy?
This team has a fringe All-Star and a bunch of average to below-average players. The team would be left with a perennial All-Star, and what?
Lillard or Simmons or Sabonis (which would certainly include Randle in the package; maybe not in one involving Turner) would be left with almost nothing around him.
Fans who see it like this are comparing it to the trade-in in which Carmelo Anthony became a Knick. “They’ll leave the All-Star with no good teammates just like Melo!” But, those people are wrong with the comparison. At least Carmelo Anthony joined a team that had Amare Stoudemire.
Unfortunately for the Knicks and for Anthony, Stoudemire’s body broke down as a Knick. Fans seem to forget that Stoudemire was one of the best players in the Association at his peak and skip past that fact.
Fans should be excited that the Knicks are working the phones and looking to make moves because the team as currently constructed is headed back into the lottery.
Just be wary, Knicks fans. If the Knicks pull the trigger and acquire a perennial All-Star, don’t be shocked if the new guy in town is looking around the locker room like that John Travolta GIF.
Featured Image: Charles Wenzelberg/N.Y. Post