Scott Perry Drops Hints on Who Is Knicks Trade Target

RJ Barrett, Knicks

Getty RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks reacts after hitting a three-point basket against the Atlanta Hawks.

Now it can be told why the New York Knicks toyed around with the idea of trading for OG Anunoby before the February trade deadline and inquiring about Paul George last summer.

In a revealing interview, former Knicks general manager Scott Perry dropped hints on what the Knicks’ much-anticipated star trade could look like.

“I think they need a player that can create some more offense off the dribble for himself and for his teammates,” Perry said on the November 21 episode of the Michael Kay Show, “some size and some defensive versatility.”

“To me, that may allow you to maybe push a guy like RJ Barrett down to the 2 guard position where he is big every night against his opponents.”

Barrett is currently the Knicks starting small forward with Quentin Grimes playing his natural position next to Jalen Brunson in the backcourt.

“As you move further in the season and especially when you get to the playoffs, it becomes such a matchup game,” Perry pointed out.

For the Knicks’ ex-general manager, getting that big, two-way small forward will allow the Knicks to play bigger in the playoffs with Barrett next to Brunson in their backcourt.

“When teams do decide to go small, that size and length do matter, especially when it gets to playoffs,” Perry said. “And I think it could also be very helpful too for a guy like Jalen Brunson, now you got bigger people at the two and the three, to go with Julius and Mitchell Robinson, then you can see what you have.”

Quentin Grimes’ Slow Start

Coming off a solid second year and an offseason training with NBA legend Anfernee Hardaway and 15-year veteran shooter JJ Redick, hopes are high for Grimes to make a major leap.

But he’s cratered to start the season. All Grimes numbers have dropped: 7.4 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 39.5% shooting and 36% from deep.

The third-year shooting guard still gets the toughest defensive assignment every night, but if the Knicks are to transform into a serious contender, Grimes has to come around.

Grimes has a lot to prove to dispel Perry’s idea of trading for a player that will supplant him in the Knicks’ starting lineup.

RJ Barrett’s Strong Start

Barrett, the Knicks’ highest lottery pick since Patrick Ewing, has made strides this season. The 23-year-old Barrett has added a consistent 3-point shot. He’s shooting a career-high 49% on 5.4 3-point attempts throughout his first nine games. A small sample size. But the tweak in his shooting form passes the eye test.

Barrett has been shooting the lights out since he helped Canada clinch an Olympic berth in the 2023 FIBA World Cup in Manila.

Known for his bully ball and straight-line drives, Barrett’s next step in his development is consistently knocking down outside shots.

His strong start is promising.

If he keeps up, it will unlock his star potential which could elevate the Knicks to contender status.

Now, all the Knicks need is to find that two-way small forward who could move Barrett back to his natural position.

Scratch Anunoby off the Knicks’ list since it’s hard to imagine the Toronto Raptors trading him to New York in the wake of their ongoing legal battle.

Maybe, the Knicks could revisit George if the James Harden experiment blows up in Los Angeles.

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