$60 Million Trade Target Tabbed as Potential Solution to Knicks’ Bench Woes

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks reacts against the Chicago Bulls.

All season long, the New York Knicks have been fighting vigorously to remain in the hunt for a playoff/ play-in seed, and, through 49 games played, it seems they’ve done a rather solid job of doing so as they currently boast the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference at 26-23.

That said, considering only four wins are separating them and the 10th-seeded Chicago Bulls, and are just five wins ahead of the 12th-seeded Toronto Raptors, the club’s front office should be interested in making some roster-bolstering moves between now and year’s end to ensure that they have a strong chance of making it back to the postseason.

Just recently, Knicks Fan TV’s CP “The Franchise” held a discussion on Bleacher Report where he touched on several ideas about how the Knicks could better position themselves for success as they make their way through these final months of the regular season, with one being a pursuit of Utah Jazz guard Malik Beasley.

“How about Malik Beasley? That’s the guy I’ve always liked on the Knicks. 13 points per game, he’s at about 36% from (distance), good pull-up shooter, good catch-and-shoot shooter as well. Gives you some scoring versatility off of the bench…How about adding Malik Beasley to the bench and give the bench a little bit of a lift because part of the problem is when the Knicks are going into the fourth quarter, number one (Thibodeau) isn’t staggering the lineup properly and you’re leaving too many guys on your bench out there to get exposed…they’re not getting enough scoring.

“So then the coach has to pull the plug early, he’s got to go back to his starters…They need some playmaking, they need some scoring off the bench. I would look at a guy like Malik Beasley,” he said.

Though the Knicks may currently rank as one of the best offensive teams in the association, as they sport the sixth-best offensive rating at 114.9, they have proven to be one of the absolute worst offensive clubs when it comes to the fourth period.

As things currently stand, New York ranks just 26th in points (26.0) and 29th in both field goal percentage (43.3) and 3-point percentage (29.9), and, to CP, a major reason for their lowly status is due to the fact that they have received little to no help from their bench unit, thus leaving their starters completely gassed in the final quarter.

Beasley Could Bolster Knicks Bench

Beasley, who is currently in the third year of a four-year $60 million contract with the Jazz, has proven himself to be an efficient and trusty offensive threat for every team he has played for.

Since the 2019-20 campaign, the guard has posted impressive per-game numbers of 13.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists on 37.9% shooting from distance whilst predominantly coming off the pine.

Now in his first season with the Utah Jazz, Beasley is once again proving to be a reliable offensive presence off the bench, as he’s putting up averages of 13.6 points and 3.5 rebounds on 36.0% shooting from deep, while also leading the league in 3-pointers made amongst reserve players.

Plugging in this level of play could easily wind up leading to greater production off the bench, as his numbers trump all of New York’s current crop of talents while his experience in doing so could alleviate some of the offensive pressure that’s placed upon the Knicks’ starting five.

Knicks Linked to Key Warriors Figure

Already this season the Knicks have been linked as being a possible business partner with the Golden State Warriors, but recent rumblings suggest they could end up becoming the future employer for the organization’s top executive.

According to a January 25 report by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, Marcus Thompson II, and Sam Amick, sources around Golden State GM Bob Myers “are wondering whether—and even predicting that—his days with the Warriors are about to run out,” and, if the two parties were to part ways in the near future, New York is viewed as one of a select few teams that could wind up vying for his services.

“According to sources close to the situation, Washington, Phoenix, and New York are all worth monitoring as possibilities,” per the report.

A two-time NBA Executive of the Year winner, Myers is argued as being the architect for the modern-day Golden State Warriors, as he’s been directly responsible for many key decisions for the franchise, with noteworthy highlights being the selection and retainment of foundational pieces like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the free agency signing of Andre Iguodala back in 2013, and the hiring of Steve Kerr as head coach in 2014.

Should he look to take his expertise elsewhere upon the expiration his current deal, Slater, Thompson, and Amik believe the Knicks are a team that’s “worth monitoring” heading into the offseason.

Read More