After falling short against the Atlanta Hawks in their first playoff series since 2013, the New York Knicks are braced for an offseason preceded with heavy anticipation.
With all of Immanuel Quickley, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and RJ Barrett in house, they’ve got the foundations of a winning product moving forward.
It seems a matter of ‘who,’ not ‘if,’ in regards to the Knicks’ plans this offseason.
They’re braced for the next disgruntled star sweepstakes, equipped with the draft capital and young talent to put together a competitive trade package for whoever hits the trade market next.
One name that’s been heavily pursued over the last calendar year is Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
After yet another disappointing postseason finish, could this offseason yield a trade request from the All-Star?
If Bradley Beal were to ask out, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale thinks the New York Knicks are primed to land him.
Beal to New York?
In his latest piece for Bleacher Report, 1 Offseason Trade for Every Eliminated NBA Playoff Team, Dan Favale provided one offseason trade proposal for each of the NBA playoffs’ six eliminated teams.
When it came to the New York Knicks, he suggested throwing a bevy of draft picks to the Washington Wizards, in hopes of pairing Bradley Beal with All-NBA/All-Star forward Julius Randle:
- Washington Wizards receive: Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, No. 19 pick, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick (via Dallas, top-10 protected), 2024 first-round pick, 2026 first-round pick (top-eight protected)
- New York Knicks receive: Bradley Beal
The Knicks desire to ride the momentum of their 2020-2021 season, and capability to put together a competitive offer:
Plenty of teams will come calling if Beal becomes available. The Knicks are among the possible suitors who will phone the Wizards even if he’s not. They are flush with future draft equity, have a handful of intriguing prospects and their surprise playoff berth coupled with Julius Randle’s All-NBA ascent no doubt has them plotting the future with more urgency.
Beal is coming off of a stellar ninth season, where he fell just short of the scoring title behind Stephen Curry after averaging a career-high 31.3 points per game.
Recently named to the All-NBA Third Team, the 27-year old and three-time All-Star has one guaranteed year left on his deal in Washington, with a $37-million player option for the 2022-2023 season.
Do the Knicks have enough to pry him out of DC?
Favale based his proposal, which notably excluded second-year wing RJ Barrett, on the recent slew of star trades where teams opted for draft capital over young talent.
He believes that Washington could follow suit:
Either way, they have the capacity to offer the motherlode. And if the Wizards are getting two to three first-round picks that trickle past Beal’s free agency, in addition to Toppin—who played well to close the season—and other draft assets, they should at least think about starting over in the event he hasn’t yet committed to signing an extension.
Until the Washington Wizards hire a new coach and get moving on their offseason agenda, no one will know what’s to expect of Bradley Beal’s future with the team.
But if they opt for blowing it up, trust that that New York Knicks will be ready with an offer similar to Favale’s.
Because as one Hall of Famer recently put it, superstar play may be on it’s way back to Madison Square Garden.
Magic Johnson: ‘Superstars Are Going to Want to Play Here Now’
On a recent episode of Keyshawn, JWill, and Zubin, Hall of Fame point guard and former NBA executive Magic Johnson made a bold claim on the New York Knicks’ chances at a star:
Superstars are gonna want to play here now…I think because they made the run and got to the playoffs, and the city is alive about the Knicks, I think now guys are looking and saying ‘Hey if I put myself in that lineup with Julius Randle and Quickley, Barrett, on and on and on, we could do something special.’
This all comes after the team turned the page and a new leaf this season, finishing 41-31, the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, and making the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Perhaps Johnson is right, and superstars are already discussing the Knicks with a higher reverence than years past. But it takes the first domino falling for championship teams to form.
Maybe for New York, it’s Bradley Beal.