Knicks Could Strike 3-Team Blockbuster for New $158 Million Star

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

Getty RJ Barrett talks with Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks during the second half against the Detroit Pistons.

Though recent rumblings suggest the New York Knicks have an interest in acquiring Karl-Anthony Towns via trade this summer, one league executive informed Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney that such a pursuit will undoubtedly be rather complex.

That said, the general manager suggested there is a scenario in which Leon Rose and company could wind up landing the $158 million perennial All-Star, though it would likely come in the form of a multi-team summer blockbuster, and the Toronto Raptors are viewed as a viable third party in such a hypothetical scenario.

“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,” the Eastern Conference GM told Deveney.

Though the anonymous general manager believes such a proposal could feasibly work, they expressed fears of seeing a Julius Randle and Karl-Anthony Towns frontcourt being assembled, stating 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.”

Bruce Brown ‘Ideal’ Target for Knicks

Though a splashy move such as a trade for Karl-Anthony Towns may be viewed as the more exciting option, considering how successful they proved to be in 2022-23, there’s an argument to be made that executing smaller, more strategic transactions to better fill out the roster would be the best course of action for the Knicks this summer.

Should this wind up being the case, and New York looks to add on simpler names via simpler means, one rival GM informed Sean Deveney that Denver Nuggets guard Bruce Brown should be atop Leon Rose’s summer targets wish list.

“Denver probably is not letting Bruce Brown go,” the general manager told Deveney. “But that would be the ideal piece for the Knicks. [Tom Thibodeau] would love him.”

After signing a two-year, $13.2 million deal with Denver last offseason, Bruce Brown has gone on to have a career campaign for the current Western Conference champions.

Through 80 games played, the fifth-year veteran finished his first season with the Nuggets boasting averages of 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 48.3% from the field and 35.8% from deep.

Though the GM is doubtful that Brown will be leaving Mile High City this summer, should he turn down his player option (worth of $6.8 million) in search of a larger payday, what bodes well for a team like the Knicks is that they would be able to offer more money than the Nuggets by using their $12.2 million non-taxpayer exception.

Possible Knicks GM Replacements Revealed

Tuesday evening, news broke that Knicks GM Scott Perry would be departing from the franchise this summer. According to Newsday’s Steve Popper, the club could look to a few internal figures to serve as his successor.

“Gersson Rosas would be a fitting successor to Perry, already having been a visible presence since arriving with a vague title: senior basketball consultant. Rosas worked 16 seasons in the Houston Rockets’ front office, much of it spent working with current Philadelphia 76er president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, briefly serving a three-month stay as general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, and then heading to Minnesota as president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves. Rosas, 44, was a constant at courtside with the Knicks last season after being the primary contact in negotiations as the Knicks tried to swing a deal for Donovan Mitchell last summer,” Popper said.

Perry leaves the Knicks organization after nearly six seasons serving as general manager.

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