The New York Knicks are just about two weeks out from their October 19 opening night tip-off against the Memphis Grizzlies and, as a result, fans and media pundits alike are champing at the bit to see this reshuffled rotation finally take to the hardwood.
With newcomers like Jalen Brunson and familiar faces such as RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson all signing on for an extended stay in the metropolitan area this past summer, 2022-23 marks the start of what could be a new, long-term core foundation for the franchise.
That said, currently surrounding them are a few players who, to many, should be viewed as expendable commodities, be it due to their age, overpriced contracts, or underwhelming production.
One player, in particular, who fits the bill for all three of these categories is 11-year veteran swingman Evan Fournier who, after a less-than-stellar first season in New York, still resides on the roster despite reports that he was continuously being shopped during the offseason.
Now, it is a popular belief that parting ways with the 29-year-old would subsequently open up an opportunity for the Knicks to promote one of their young and promising prospects to a larger role within the team’s system, with Quentin Grimes being an often discussed candidate.
However, for them to take part in such a shakeup, the preferred method would likely be to execute a trade that would send Fournier and the remaining three years, $55.8 million on his contract outbound.
And while there have yet to be any takers for his services, an anonymous Western Conference executive recently discussed with Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that the Sacramento Kings may be a possible landing spot for the wing should the Knicks be willing to pursue one of their own possible trade candidates.
Proposed Trade Lands Knicks a New Forward
In an October 4 piece, Deveney discussed a recent sit-down he had with an NBA executive where they talked about possible in-season trades that could take place, with the executive stating that though there are many players currently being mentioned as being on the trade block, it’s “the names you don’t hear so much about that wind up in trades.”
To them, Sacramento forward Harrison Barnes could be one of those “quiet ones” not being talked about at the moment who could be shipped out at some point during this upcoming campaign.
Though the executive admitted that the Kings have “not aggressively shopped him,” he did note that the 30-year-old could end up being a trade-deadline target for a bevy of teams across the association and that the Knicks could wind up being a realistic landing spot for him if they offered up this specific package.
New York Knicks receive:
- Harrison Barnes
Sacramento Kings receive:
- Evan Fournier
- Future first-round pick
As stated by Deveney in his article, Harrison Barnes is a quality player who has been “one of the few stabilizing forces for a team that has had nothing but turbulence in his four seasons there.”
Sound like any specific New York-based team, anyone?
Despite the Kings’ underwhelming turnouts over the past several seasons, the forward has managed to produce admirably, posting per-game averages of 15.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 47.2% shooting from the field and 39.2% shooting from deep since arriving back in February of 2019.
A former NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors from back in 2015, Barnes has the type of pedigree that could be of great service for this inexperienced and rather youthful New York Knicks team, while, at the very least, the anonymous executive believes that his arrival would “give them a little more size on the wing.”
Losing a first-round pick in the process may be viewed as a bit of a hiccup in this hypothetical proposal but, considering the team has 21 draft picks over the next seven years, including 11 first-rounders, they can certainly afford to part with one if it means swapping out Fournier’s remaining three-years under contract for Barnes’ one-year, $18.3 million.
Thibodeau Praises Reddish’s Size
As many are already aware, Tom Thibodeau is a head coach that, throughout his tenure in the association, has had a defensive-minded approach to his specific scheme.
Because of this, it should be rather exciting for someone like Cam Reddish to hear the headman gush over his build during a post-practice sit-down with the media on October 2.
“We love his length. Long wings are important,” Thibodeau said.
When entering the league back in the 2019 NBA Draft, Reddish’s size was a major point of intrigue, as his six-foot-eight height and seven-foot wingspan gave him the ideal build for an elite defender.
Despite seeing just 15 contests with the Knicks and logging 14.3 minutes a night after having been acquired by the Atlanta Hawks on January 13, the former 10th overall pick showed flashes of being a quality contributor within Thibodeau’s rotation, particularly on the defensive end.
Throughout this span, Reddish posted two steals, just shy of a block per 100 possessions, and boasted a defensive box plus-minus rating of 1.2 (tied with defensive anchor Mitchell Robinson).