NBA Insider Says Knicks Could ‘Swing Big’ on Trade Market

Julius Randle, New York Knicks

Getty Julius Randle of the New York Knicks against the Indiana Pacers.

When it comes to the NBA trade rumor mill, it seems as though the New York Knicks have proven to be one of the most oft-mentioned clubs that, come the deadline, could find themselves partaking in some sort of transaction.

From Cam Reddish and Evan Fournier to Immanuel Quickley, through these first few months of the 2022-23 campaign, there have been several players listed as being available on the market and, in turn, both fans and media pundits have been working tirelessly trying to scheme up hypothetical transactions that Leon Rose and company could find themselves partaking in.

Now, while no such moves have been made, in a December 20 episode of “Begley’s Mailbag” SNY’s Ian Begley suggested that the Knicks could look to make a big splash via the trade market, and reported that the front office has already inquired about one specific top-tier, two-way talent.

“I was told the Knicks at least touched base with Toronto recently, [within] the past few weeks, on OG Anunoby,” Begley said. “Obviously a fantastic young player [and] defender in Toronto. [For] the Raptors, it’s going to be interesting how they proceed with their roster at the trade deadline.

“Knicks have touched base on OG. I don’t know if the talks went anywhere but it tells you a little bit about if the Knicks are going to swing big, where they might look either at the deadline or, more likely, in the offseason.”

Amid a career year with the Raptors, the wing finds himself posting stellar per-game averages of 18.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 47.3% shooting from the floor.

Considering his positional versatility (at 6-foot-7, 231-pounds he can slot in at the two down to the four), stout defensive abilities (leads the league with 2.3 steals a game), and still rather youthful age of 25 years old, adding a talent like OG Anunoby to this Knicks roster could be a stellar move for the club to make both for this season as well as for the many yet to come.

Knicks Likely Looking for More Draft Capital

Despite these aforementioned comments on OG Anunoby and the fact that most of the recent made-up proposals tend to see a quality player such as Bulls star Zach LaVine or even Rockets veteran Eric Gordon coming back to New York in return, Begley did reveal that should a deal wind up being executed, the most likely scenario is that the front office won’t be prioritizing the acquisition of ready-made talents.

The NBA Insider stated on his latest episode of “Begley’s Mailbag” that it appears the Knicks are still looking to add to their already illustrious collection of draft capital and, if a trade were to be pursued, the main form of compensation coming back in return would most likely be future picks.

“I think that for the Knicks right now, it’s more about draft compensation than it is adding a rotation player,” Begley said.

“I think [if] you look at the landscape around the league it seems like, with the Knicks winning right now, there’s not a player that you could add or you could say ‘alright, we’re gonna put him in the rotation [and] he’ll fit seamlessly into what we’re doing and we’ll keep winning.”

As things currently stand, the Knicks hold the rights to nine first-round picks through the year 2027, with the OKC Thunder serving as the only franchise to hold more during this span with 15.

New York’s collection of draft rights has been a major topic of conversation amongst many across the association, with some believing that they are “hoarding” the picks and are “just waiting for that next megastar to become available” in a potential trade.

Knick Lose Draft Pick for Tampering

On December 21, it was announced that the Knicks were found guilty of prematurely engaging in free agency negotiations with former Dallas Mavericks guard and current New York star Jalen Brunson, and, as a result, were penalized accordingly by the league, losing the rights to their own second-round pick in the 2025 NBA Draft.

Agreeing to a four-year, $104 million deal on the first day of free agency, Brunson’s arrival with the Knicks sparked immediate controversy and speculation, particularly due to his established ties to the franchise that includes his father, Rick Brunson, serving as an assistant coach for the team as well as his agent, Sam Rose, being the son of President of Basketball Operations, Leon Rose.

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