NBA Analysts Laud Knicks’ Trade Deadline Move

Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks

Getty Former New York Knicks players Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes celebrate with returning Alec Burks after a win against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on February 10, 2022.

The trade which saw the New York Knicks sending Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier Malachi Flynn, Ryan Arcidiacono, and two second-round picks for Detroit Pistons veterans Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic was well-received by NBA analysts.

Los Angeles Lakers legend and five-time NBA champion Earvin “Magic” Johnson believes the trade gives the Knicks “a real shot of playing not just in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the NBA Finals!”

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer hailed the Knicks as the big winners.

“Needed more scoring and Bogdanovic and Burks fit perfectly next to the engines [Jalen] Brunson and [Julius] Randle. Both can get hot. Both can create if needed at some time or another to give Brunson a breather. Crazy how deep New York is now,” O’Connor posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Anil Gogna, an NBA cap specialist of “No Trade Clause”, referred to it as an “excellent trade” for the Knicks.

The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov, who previously covered the Knicks during Tom Thibodeau’s first two seasons, praised Leon Rose’s front office for delivering “a roster that’s ready to compete now.”

Vorkunov’s colleague, John Hollinger, a front office insider, said the “Knicks are loading up for a playoff run — and for next year.”

ESPN’s Kevin Pelton graded the Knicks with “A” on this trade.

“There’s a lot to like about this deal from the Knicks perspective,” Pelton wrote. “Remarkably, the Knicks have pulled off both this trade and the one for Anunoby without dipping into their stash of first-round picks. Instead, New York has relied on young talent developed in-house.”

Hitting 2 Birds with 1 Stone

The Knicks accomplished two things when they decided to pull the plug on Grimes, who was untouchable in Donovan Mitchell trade talks.

First, they got deeper with the return of Burks and the addition of Bogdanovic. Both veterans, shooting above 40% from 3, will provide a scoring boost in the interim as their key starters are on the mend and give them depth in the playoffs.

Second, they kept their powder dry as they did not give up a first-round pick and swapped Fournier’s $19 million team option for Bogdanovic’s partially guaranteed $19 million salary for next season which could serve as a ballast in a star trade in the offseason or at next year’s trade deadline.

The Knicks rejected an earlier offer from the Dallas Mavericks for Grimes centering on Josh Green, believing it was just a lateral move and not a talent upgrade.

Burks and Bogdanovic fit the Knicks’ accelerated timeline around Brunson and Randle, their two All-Stars.

Knicks Projected Depth After Trades

After acquiring OG Anunoby for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, the trade left the Knicks with a scoring vacuum in their second unit.

They addressed that with the Burks and Bogdanovic trade.

Here is the Knicks’ projected depth chart after both trades:

Starters: Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson

Bench: Alec Burks, Josh Hart, Bojan Bogdanovic, Precious Achiuwa, Isaiah Hartenstein, Miles McBride, Jericho Sims and Taj Gibson

The Knicks can go nine-deep in the playoffs without sacrificing positional size and veteran experience. All they need to do now is get healthy.

Randle’s presence on the Knicks bench in their win over Memphis on February 6 was a good sign.

While Brunson is questionable to play against the Mavericks, his former team, this Thursday, February 8, SNY’s Ian Begley reported that his ankle injury isn’t serious.

The Knicks are taking a cautious approach to Anunoby’s injury, which suddenly changed from elbow inflammation to bone spur irritation. He will miss his 6th straight game. Bogdanovic’s arrival will also buy the Knicks more time for Anunoby’s recovery.

Finally, Robinson has made progress from his ankle surgery. Thibodeau revealed the Knicks starting center will start doing on-court drills after the All-Star break.

Read More