The New York Knicks are in a free fall and they currently find themselves out of the NBA play-in tournament after the loss to the Miami Heat.
There is a lot of blame to go around, but it’s becoming clear that the roster as currently constructed is not championship caliber, and it might not even be playoff caliber. A lot of that could have to do with injuries suffered by the center position or by backup point guard Derrick Rose.
The reality is that it didn’t seem like the team was going anywhere with all of them healthy. Julius Randle has regressed heavily coming his All-Star year, and with him being the team’s primary playmaker, things just haven’t worked out.
Signings like Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker were meant to move the needle for the team, but Walker has found himself in and out of the rotation and Fournier has been very streaky.
If the Knicks are looking to sell off some pieces, there are certainly suitors out there who would be willing to pick them up. Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz suggests the Dallas Mavericks go after Walker as a “sneaky” target because that is something nobody would ever suspect.
In a lot of ways, the trade would make sense for both sides.
Walker to the Mavs
If the Mavericks were able to secure the talents of Walker, it’d take a lot of pressure off the struggling point guard. If you just look at the pure shooting numbers of Walker, things are looking good as he’s shooting 38.8 percent from three, well above his career average.
There’s still a lot he can provide to a team, just probably not as one of the focal points. With Luka Doncic being the clear star in Dallas and Kristaps Porzingis as his co-star, Walker could play a supporting role there.
Walker could even come off the bench with the Mavs and provide firepower that way. At this stage in his career, he doesn’t provide a ton defensively, so if he could come in and provide bursts of offense from the bench while playing with the starters or leading the bench, he might fit better there.
Walker came to the Knicks as part of a homecoming, but his return has been downright disastrous at times, and he doesn’t figure to play a role into the team’s future, so maybe a fresh start for both sides is what they need.
Will the Knicks Sell?
With the Knicks in striking distance of the play-in tournament, they might find it more worthwhile to work toward that instead of selling off pieces to build for the future.
The reality is that the Knicks don’t exactly have a ton of talent they’re willing to let go because of how young the team is currently. RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin all figure to be key pieces for the future, and the Knicks might want to keep them around and develop them while also remaining competitive.
That doesn’t mean a Walker trade can’t still happen, but he, along with Rose, figure to be the most tradable contracts on the roster.