By John Schmeelk
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Over the last several weeks, Knicks beat reporters have done a great job unearthing a number of potential trade opportunities for the team.
Here’s what has been out there and whether the Knicks should consider pulling the trigger:
Carmelo Anthony to Clippers for Austin Rivers and J.J. Redick in a sign and trade
Under no circumstance should the Knicks consider this trade. Marc Berman has been reporting it for a few months, but it would lock the Knicks into a 33-year-old Redick for either three or four seasons at $20 million per. It would be a longer contract than Anthony’s for an older player that isn’t nearly as talented.
The next tradeable first-round pick the Clippers have is for 2021. Rivers is a decent player but not worth the money and years the Knicks would owe Redick. The deal also wouldn’t make the Knicks better this season or help their overall rebuild. It would help the Knicks more if they just let Anthony play out this season and then leave as a free agent next summer. Nearly any acquisition of Redick would be a debilitating error. No way, no how.
Acquiring a first-round pick and perhaps a player from the Trail Blazers
Ian Begley reported that the Knicks are talking to the Trail Blazers about acquiring one of their three first-round picks (Nos. 15, 20, 26) and perhaps a player. There wasn’t much of a mention of what the Knicks might send back to the Blazers.
At this point, the Knicks should be doing everything possible to acquire more first-round picks, but without moving Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez, or trading down from the No. 8 selection in this year’s draft. There was also mention of the Knicks taking a player back from Portland, with Moe Harkless being floated as a possibility.
It makes sense that Portland would try to use one of its picks to move one of its high-salaried players since it has $132 million worth of salary committed to next season. Harkless is owed just $30 million over the next three seasons and is just 24. He is just the kind of player the Knicks should be trying to acquire. If they can get Harkless and a pick in what amounts to a little more than a salary dump, Phil Jackson should sprint to get it done. If the Blazers insist on the Knicks taking Evan Turner, the Knicks should insist on the No. 15 pick.
There’s nothing wrong with the Knicks using their cap space to accept a high-salaried player in a trade in order to acquire more picks. In fact, it would be a very smart use of their available resources. This type of move seems to make sense for both teams, as long as the Blazers and Knicks can agree on who ends up in Portland.
Trading for Ricky Rubio
The Knicks hurt themselves when they couldn’t complete a deal for Rubio at this season’s deadline, and there are reports (by Begley) that some members of the organization would like to revisit the possibility.
There have also been reports the Timberwolves are interested in Derrick Rose in free agency. What would the Wolves want from the Knicks? Courtney Lee? Done deal. Rubio has a short contract and is younger (26). Or are the Wolves more interested in simply getting rid of Rubio’s contract to sign a different point guard?
The details will become important, but Rubio makes sense for the Knicks. His passing skills can help Porzingis’ development, and he is a far better defender than people give him credit. If the Knicks can work out a return value, Rubio should be a prime trade target.
Trading Courtney Lee
He is a good player on a reasonable contract, but is also 31. The Knicks are not a win-now team and he would be far more valuable to another organization. If the Knicks can get a younger piece or a draft pick for Lee they should jump at the chance. Taking is contract into consideration, Lee might be the team’s most valuable asset. The Knicks need to capitalize on that and shop him heavily.
Jackson has a disastrous trade record with the Knicks since taking over, so he’ll need to turn that around if the Knicks want to get back on a good path. He is going to have to get creative to gather more picks and younger assets. Let’s see if he can do it.
The Cavaliers will not be DOA when they return to Cleveland but will be on life support. LeBron & Co. need to figure out a way to slow down the Warriors’ offense. It might not be possible, but until they do the Cavaliers won’t win more than one game in this series.
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