Knicks Interested in 3-Time All-Star if He Hits Trade Market: Report

Jalen Brunson, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau talks with Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks.

Here we go.

The New York Knicks have already expressed their interest in trading for the Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal if he hits the trade market, according to The Athletic’s Fred Katz.

“The Knicks have thought about Beal for longer than just this week. According to a league source close to the situation, New York’s front office has already let necessary people know the team would be interested in the former All-NBA guard if he were to become available,” Katz wrote.

Katz’s intel is noteworthy because he was previously the Wizards’ beat reporter for The Athletic before he moved to New York to cover the Knicks two seasons ago.

In 2021, ESPN radio host Michael Kay reported that William Wesley, the Knicks executive vice president and senior basketball advisor, was working through backchannels to get Beal to New York.

“The Knicks have World Wide Wes on their side,” Kay said then. “And he’s been in the ear of some of Beal’s people, and he’s kind of nudging them that this might be a time to push for a trade.”

Beal is projected to become the next star available in the trade market after the Wizards revamped their front office, now being helmed by Michael Winger, the former Los Angeles Clippers general manager whose first big move was to trade Blake Griffin in 2018 just after signing a five-year max extension.

Winger is expected to go the same route in reshaping the Wizards, who have been stuck in the middle of the pack of the Eastern Conference for several seasons now. It started to take shape when multiple reports on Wednesday indicated that his front office would work with Beal in sending him to a contender if they pivot to rebuild.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes Beal’s trade value has been diminished by his onerous super max contract, which includes the only no-trade clause among all active NBA players and a 15% trade kicker. The soon-to-be-30-year-old Beal is coming off an injury-plagued first season of his five-year, $251 million deal.

Beal was limited to only 50 games this past season. But when healthy, he was still one of the best shooting guards in the league as he hit a career-high 50.6% from the field, averaging 23.1 points on top of 5.4 assists and nearly a steal per game.

The Knicks are looking to improve the roster around Jalen Brunson, who led them to the second round of the NBA Playoffs with one of the best value contracts. Brunson, who has a $104 million, four-year descending deal, is the only 14th highest-paid point guard in the league next season.

Heat on Top of Bradley Beal’s Preferred Destination

The Miami Heat would have been right there at the top of Beal’s preferred destination if he had a list, according to Katz.

“The three-time All-Star has mulled over his future time and time again over the past few summers, even if his decision has always been to return to the Washington Wizards, the only organization he’s played for during his 11 NBA seasons. In those moments, according to sources, the Heat have consistently stood above the rest of the league. If Beal had a formal list, which he never has before, then Miami would have been right there at the top of it.

The New York Knicks have lingered somewhere behind — maybe not on the imaginary list but maybe sneaking onto the bottom of it, depending on the day. Beal has told people close to him he loves playing at Madison Square Garden, but he’s also a relaxed, warm-weather guy. The Golden State Warriors appealed to him in the past, according to sources,” Katz wrote.

Knicks Might Have the Richest Bradley Beal Package

According to Windhorst, the Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks are the frontrunners. But the Knicks could be the Wizards’ best bet to get the highest value for their star guard.

“But if the Knicks, as an example, could part with Julius Randle and Evan Fournier plus a package of first-round picks, that might be Washington’s best path to the richest offer in draft compensation,” Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer wrote.