Knicks Have ‘Internal Interest’ in Ex-NBA Champ for Backcourt Help: Report

Jalen Brunson, Knicks

Getty Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks dribbles against Fred VanVleet #5 of the Houston Rockets.

The New York Knicks got back on track after a lousy loss to the Orlando Magic two days earlier.

Jalen Brunson’s return from calf injury made the biggest difference as they handily beat the Houston Rockets 109-94 on Wednesday, January 17, at Madison Square Garden.

The contrasting results of their past two games were a clear indication that the Knicks need a steady Brunson backup.

The Knicks have a new candidate in mind.

“One interesting thing I heard today in the wake of Bruce Brown getting sent to Toronto for Pascal Siakam. I was told that there is some internal interest in going after Bruce Brown from the Knicks as far as a trade candidate here. Obviously, the Knicks had a strong interest in Brown as a free agent. The Knicks were actually his first meeting. And so now, with Brown going to Toronto, he might be available. And I know there are some people with the Knicks who would love to bring him on ahead of the trade deadline,” SNY’s Ian Begley reported after the Knicks win.

Brown won a championship with Denver as Jamal Murray’s backup point guard. He started in the earlier part of last season when Murray was still recovering from an injury.

The 27-year-old Brown fits the mold of a Tom Thibodeau player — a two-way player who hustles and defends hard.

Brown is due for $22 million this season and has a $23 million team option for next season. It’s the type of contract that the Knicks could later include in a star trade if it becomes available in the offseason.

Fred VanVleet Praises Knicks OG Anunoby Trade

Rockets guard Fred VanVleet was effusive in his praise of the Knicks trade for his former teammate OG Anunoby.

“I thought it was absolutely perfect, a great trade for them,” VanVleet said via New York Post’s Peter Botte before the Rockets’ loss to the Knicks. “You probably won’t even see his true value until the playoffs, with all the different matchups. He can guard anybody. Definitely, I think NY is gonna love him.”

Anunoby showed on the court what his former teammate was talking about.

The Knicks new acquisition again finished with a team-high plus-24. Anunoby hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter that allowed the Knicks to break the game wide-open from a slim 54-53 lead.

The Knicks improved to 7-2 since trading for Anunoby, who had 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting, five rebounds and four steals against VanVleet and the Rockets.

Anunoby and VanVleet won a championship together in Toronto in 2019.

Knicks Fielding Offers for Quentin Grimes

According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, the Knicks are ready to move on from Quentin Grimes after resisting to include him in several potential deals, including their failed pursuit of Donovan Mitchell.

“The Knicks are actively fielding offers for the former first-round pick, according to rival executives who have been in contact with New York’s front office,” Katz wrote on January 16.

Grimes has fallen out of favor since he publicly griped about his lack of touches when he was a starter. The 23-year-old Grimes will be extension-eligible this offseason. The Knicks plan to flip him, along with Evan Fournier’s $18.9 million salary, for a facilitator who can play behind or next to Brunson and on an attractive deal they could still include in the package for a star this summer.

Brown fits the bill.

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