Sixth-Man Extraordinaire Floated as Potential Knicks Trade Target

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Tom Thibodeau motions from the bench during the first half against the Washington Wizards.

Leading up to this year’s deadline, it has been rumored that the New York Knicks could be in line to make a few savvy roster-bolstering transactions, as they are already considered to be one of the most active clubs currently on the trade market.

Though many may wish to see Leon Rose and company continue to pursue their star-chasing desires, on a January 16 episode of Heavy Sports’ Postin’ Up Podcast co-host Keith Smith claimed that “assured depth” is perhaps New York’s biggest need at the moment, and tabbed Orlando Magic veteran Terrence Ross as a potential target.

“If they really wanted to get serious and say ‘alright, what do we really need? Probably another shooter, probably another wing’…you could look at someone like Terrence Ross from Orlando, where it’s like, alright, he’s going to come pretty cheaply. And if it’s, you know, Orlando’s like ‘we want a protected first for him,’ New York, more so than a lot of these other teams because they’re sitting on all those extra picks, they could do that,” Smith said.

Over the last several seasons, Ross has been the subject of a bevy of Orlando Magic-based trade rumors as the franchise looks to embark on a full-fledged rebuild.

Though he may no longer be a hot commodity down in the sunshine state, this is not to say he wouldn’t be a quality addition to another club’s roster, and Smith seems to believe that the Knicks could prove to be an intriguing fit for his services.

A proven offensive threat in the NBA with career averages of 11.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists, despite his dwindling opportunities and minutes on the youth-movement Magic, over the last five seasons the wing still finds himself sporting impressive per-game averages of 13.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists on 35.2% shooting from distance.

Knicks Also Have Other Options

Aside from Ross, during the episode Smith suggested that there could be several other options the Knicks could pursue to fill their specific rotational needs, and mentioned two other veterans rumored to be available on the trade block in Kyle Kuzma and Bojan Bogdanovic as being potential options.

“They could very easily be in the race for Kyle Kuzma, Bojan Bogdanovic if the Pistons really wanted to move on from him. There’s guys like that that they can get in the mix for,” Smith said.

Both Kuzma and Bogdanovic have been players found linked to the Knicks over the last several months, though, the former is a player that has garnered wide-spread attention from the association of late as reports are that he is unhappy with his situation in Washington DC and, in turn, desires a change of scenery.

Perhaps said change could come by means of a trade to New York.

Now in his sixth year in the association, the 27-year-old Kuzma finds himself amid his best season from a statistical standpoint, as he’s sporting impressive per-game averages of 21.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on 45.7% shooting from the floor.

Kuzma Praises Knicks Guard

Within just this last week, Kyle Kuzma was seen giving high praise to New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, as he went on to argue that the 26-year-old should absolutely be in the conversation for the 2023 NBA All-Star game.

“Jalen Brunson. I mean, he just took over the game,” Kuzma said via New York Basketball. “He’s an All-Star this year. He’s been playing phenomenal basketball…You can just tell from the team last year to this year, they have more poise and patience, and they look for him. And he delivered tonight.”

The Knicks would go on to claim their sixth win over their last seven games during the January 13 contest, with Brunson leading the charge with a tremendous stat line of 34 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block on 50% shooting from the floor and 50% shooting from deep.

Throughout his first season donning the blue and orange threads the freshly minted $104 million man has been an absolute revelation for the franchise, as he finds himself sporting averages of 22.4 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds on 47.0% shooting from the floor and 39.4% shooting from distance.

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