The New York Knicks have had a fairly successful season this year, but it’s clear that they aren’t quite in the realm of championship contention. They currently sit at 23-19 on the season, which is good for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. However, they are also just half a game out of eighth place.
Julius Randle has put together an All-Star-caliber campaign, but the question still remains – can he lead them to a title? If they believe the answer is no, then capitalizing on his trade value could be smart. Trading him for younger pieces that fit better would be smart.
Here’s an outline of a potential deal with the Phoenix Suns that would see them do just that:
Knicks receive: Deandre Ayton, Cameron Johnson
Suns receive: Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley, 2023 1st-Round Pick (via DAL)
New York fans and Randle have had a weird relationship, but trading him when he’s playing well might be a tough pill to swallow. However, landing Ayton and Johnson would see the Knicks transform the team around Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett.
Ayton still has star potential, and in an atmosphere where he could have a bit more freedom, he may be able to truly blossom. The same goes for Johnson, who, at the very least, will continue to be one of the best role players in the league.
For the Suns, this trade would give them a much-needed shake-up. They’ve struggled this year and are currently below .500. Trading Ayton, who seems relatively disgruntled, and Johnson, who the team likely doesn’t want to pay, would see them land three quality guys.
Randle could slot in as the team’s new starting power forward, with Robinson replacing Ayton as the starting center. Plus, they’d land Quickley, who could be one of their primary scorers off the bench.
Knicks & Pacers Engaged in Obi Toppin Trade Talks
Quickley isn’t the only young player on the Knicks who has been involved in trade rumors this year. Obi Toppin has also been thrown into trade talks. According to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, the Knicks and Indiana Pacers have discussed a potential Toppin trade.
“There has been some talk between the Pacers and Knicks about Obi,” an executive told Deveney. “He fits in Indiana, especially if they keep Turner. Obi is a rim-runner, he has some toughness, he has athleticism. He needs minutes and a team that is rebuilding with young talent like Indy is a really good match.”
Knicks Urged to Trade for Star
Meanwhile, the Knicks could be looking to add a star at the deadline. At least, that’s what Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes they should do.
“Few teams have the kind of draft capital the Knicks possess, and even the strong play of Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson has New York just seventh in the East.
“Adding a premier scorer like Beal or LaVine is at least worth checking the price on for the Knicks, taking this offense to an elite level.
“If the asking price is too high, Anunoby may actually be the better fit overall. Plugging the defensive juggernaut into a lineup that features Brunson, RJ Barrett, Randle and Mitchell Robinson would give this core plenty of size, scoring and now an elite defender on the perimeter.
“Don’t be shy, New York. Make some calls,” Swartz wrote.