Last offseason, the New York Knicks swooped in a stole Jalen Brunson away from the Dallas Mavericks by means of a four-year, $104 million contract offer in free agency. Now it appears the club could look to be in contention to pry away another backcourt talent from the Lone Star State.
Recently, an anonymous Eastern Conference general manager informed Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney that, should the Mavs shop superstar Luka Doncic, the Knicks would be at the top of their list when it comes to teams they’d look to negotiate with.
“I am sure the Knicks would be the first team the Mavs would call if they wanted to move Luka. Maybe OKC first because of the picks but the Knicks would be right there. They would have to send out a huge, huge number of picks for him,” the executive told Deveney.
Luka Doncic trade rumors have been swirling ever sincethat Dallas is afraid the perennial All-Star could seek a trade after enduring a 2022-23 season in which Doncic himself deemed as being ” very disappointing.”
As is seemingly the case with every top-tier talent floated as being potentially available, the Knicks have been a team heavily linked to the guard, with many deeming them a realistic landing spot for his services.
However, though the east GM is under the assumption that New York would be contacted by the Mavericks in the event that Luka Doncic is shopped, they seem to be low on the idea that Leon Rose and company could actually piece a trade package together that would be worth the Mavericks’ while.
“They do not have the personnel to make a trade happen, really. Ironically, if the Mavs did trade Luka to the Knicks, Brunson might be the guy they want back most in return. Plus all the picks and maybe (Mitchell) Robinson and a couple young guys. Not happening, but that would be the best the Mavs could do with the Knicks,” the exec continued.
3-Team Knicks Trade Idea Could Land Karl-Anthony Towns
Though Luka Doncic may be the biggest name linked to the Knicks heading into this summer, of all the star players rumored to be on their radar Karl-Anthony Towns seems to arguably be the most realistic target of the bunch.
As is the case with the Mavs centerpiece, a league executive is not too high on the type of trade offer New York could construct, though they suggested to Sean Deveney that perhaps a three-team deal involving the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors could help expedite the hypothetical process.
“There would be some problems getting Towns to New York. You’d have to send out a ton of picks, of course, but the Wolves would be looking for players as much as picks—they want to win now. I don’t know that they’d want R.J. Barrett all that much. But they would have to take him or find a third team, maybe Toronto, to get involved, where Toronto takes on R.J., [OG] Anunoby goes to Minnesota with some of the younger Knicks players like Obi (Toppin) and maybe (Immanuel) Quickley. You could make the money work and it could work out for everyone,” an Eastern Conference GM told Deveney.
Even with this increased realism compared to the wishful blockbuster idea with Dallas, the anonymous general manager expressed concerns about seeing a Julius Randle and Karl-Anthony Towns frontcourt on the Knicks, as they noted that “Randle plays with a lot of fight, and you kind of wish KAT had that toughness. Maybe it could rub off on him. But it could be an oil and water thing putting them together.”
Knicks Open to Reuniting With Alec Burks
Should they opt to look toward acquiring non-star players in a possible offseason trade, Sean Deveney was informed by an anonymous executive that the Knicks could be open to the idea of reuniting with a former player in veteran wing, Alec Burks.
“They could try to bring back Alec Burks,” the Eastern Conference general manager told Deveney. “I’d expect the [Detroit] Pistons to exercise his [team] option and keep him, but they could do that and just trade him and get some pieces back. The Knicks would like to have him again.”
After signing a $30 million, three-year deal with the Knicks back in 2021 Alec Burks would be traded to Detroit just one year later to create salary space for Jalen Brunson’s $104 million deal.
In Motor City, he would go on to post solid averages of 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 41.4% from deep.
Heading into 2023-24, Burks holds a team option with a worth of $10.5 million.
While the executive insinuates the Pistons will likely look to pick up said option, one should expect the Knicks to be keeping a close eye on his availability from thereafter.