The 2023 NBA trade deadline came and went, and, although the New York Knicks may not have made that highly anticipated big swing, they still managed to come away with a bolstered rotation as Leon Rose and company struck a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers to acquire the services of wing, Josh Hart.
Though not a star by any stretch of the word, the 27-year-old has the kind of attributes that easily could help complement this playoff-hopeful Knicks squad, and NBA legend Magic Johnson seems to thoroughly agree with this sentiment as he suggested in a February 9 tweet that the fanbase will soon be enthralled by his on-court efforts and abilities.
“I like Thomas Bryant to the Nuggets and Josh Hart to the Knicks. The NY fans are going to love Josh Hart because he can do a little bit of everything!,” Johnson tweeted.
Johnson’s comments certainly have merit as Hart, a proven two-way talent and arguably the best backcourt rebounder in the game today, has posted impressive all-around averages of 9.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.1 steals on 50.4% shooting from the field through 51 games played in 2022-23.
The first game the new Knickerbocker could see himself suiting up in the orange and blue threads is in a January 10 road game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Reddish Freed From Knicks
After months of reported discontent with the franchise and 33-consecutive DNPs, fourth-year forward Cam Reddish has finally been granted his wish of parting ways with the Knicks, as he was sent Portland-bound in the Hart exchange on February 8, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The number 10 overall pick from the 2019 NBA Draft, Reddish has struggled mightily to prove his lottery-selected worth since entering the association and boasts middling career averages of 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.0 steals per game.
The 23-year-old’s arrival in Portland marks as the third time in four years that he’ll be representing a different NBA franchise. Hopefully, for his sake, the once highly-touted prospect can now manage to find stability in Rip City, though, based on his career trajectory to this point, those odds seem rather slim.
Knicks Wanted Major Haul for Toppin
The Knicks may not have made any major splashes at this year’s deadline, but this is not to say that the opportunity wasn’t presenting itself during the waning hours leading up to the February 9, 3 PM cutoff.
Per SNY’s Ian Begley, one name that many teams were reported as being interested in pursuing leading up to the deadline was third-year big man Obi Toppin though, according to Marc Berman, the front office was asking for quite a pretty penny in exchange for his services.
“Knicks executive William Wesley has a love affair with Obi Toppin and they set asking price way too high. Thibodeau still has reservations on Obi’s basketball IQ,” Berman wrote.
Despite the fact that he only finds himself logging slightly above 15 minutes per game in 2022-23, it appears the Knicks have their reservations about parting ways with their former eighth overall selection and soon-to-be extension-eligible 24-year-old.