“The Knicks and Clippers originally had trade talks surrounding Paul George at the NBA Draft. At the time, New York was considering a package featuring Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, and three first-round picks in exchange for George, league sources told HoopsHype. Toppin was then traded to the Pacers for two second-round picks, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
After that, RJ Barrett’s name was brought up briefly in trade talks by the Clippers in place of Toppin, league sources told HoopsHype. However, the asking price of parting with Barrett, Grimes, three first-round picks, and then having to negotiate a long-term extension for George, who’s 33 years old, was too high for the Knicks.” Scotto wrote.
Had George not been on an expiring deal, there’s a big chance he could have been a Knick by now. The Knicks ultimately backed out and continued to operate with prudence and patience in search of a star to play alongside their ascending point guard Jalen Brunson and two-time All-Star forward Julius Randle.
Even if the Knicks pushed through with the deal, they would still have enough draft capital and the pair of RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley as trade chips for another star trade. As it turned out, they felt George’s looming extension — eligible to sign a four-year, $220 million new max contract in September — should have lowered the Clippers’ asking price.
Knicks Unlikely Done With Offseason Moves
According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, the Knicks “may have another move up their sleeve” this summer after trading away Toppin and signing Donte DiVincenzo in free agency.
“The world chatters about their quest for a star. But there are other tweaks they could make, ones that may not seize this faceless, long-awaited MVP candidate but could make them better today — and if a move like that occurred, it would give the DiVincenzo signing new context.”
“The Knicks have built packages around their promising young players to target prime-aged veterans they believe would help the current roster. If they flipped one of their 20-something guards for a versatile wing, that would change the context of the DiVincenzo signing, too,” Katz wrote.
Knicks Miss out on Grant Williams
According to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, the Knicks were among the teams interested in Boston Celtics’ Grant Williams before he agreed on a sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks.
“Though most of the league’s cap space has dried up at this point, the expectation with Williams has always been that a sign-and-trade or midlevel exception (MLE) would be the likely outcome. Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, New York and Washington are all still in the mix, according to league sources, with Williams eligible to sign an offer sheet on July 6. The Celtics have 24 hours to match once the sheet is signed,” Weiss wrote on July 4.
A day later, Williams was shipped to Dallas in a three-team deal that included San Antonio. The Celtics received two future second-round picks, while the Spurs absorbed Reggie Bullock and an unprotected 2030 Dallas pick swap. The Mavericks also received two second-round picks, along with Williams, who signed a four-year, $54 million deal.