The New York Knicks‘ season is over and now the team will be looking forward to the offseason and looking at the variety of ways they can upgrade the roster.
Last season’s additions were Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker, and former is now a record holder with the Knicks and the latter will be leaving the team.
This means New York is yet again looking for a point guard who can hold down the position for longer than a season, and that has proven to be a difficult task for them.
One option has always been a blockbuster trade, and the team has been linked to names like Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell in the past, so there’s a possibility they could swing for the fences and grab a name like that.
The New York Post’s Marc Berman believes the team would have to trade away their budding star in RJ Barrett in order to acquire Donovan Mitchell. While many fans wouldn’t want to see Barrett go and shine elsewhere, it might be what’s needed for the team to land a true star.
Knicks Have to Trade Barrett?
The argument for acquiring Mitchell comes down to the plummeting trade value of Julius Randle.
It’s no question Randle had a regression from the previous season in which he was named to the All-NBA team and became an All-Star.
“With Julius Randle’s trade value down, RJ Barrett would have to be in the package,” wrote Berman. “There seems no way around it. Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, their 2022 lottery pick, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2023 second-round pick and $3 million in cash might be competitive. That is, if Wade and Ainge regard Barrett as highly as Knicks GM Scott Perry does.”
It would be a big move for the Knicks to give up a chunk of their young core like that, but if it means they land a star player like Mitchell, it might be worthwhile.
Acquiring Mitchell would right the wrong from the 2017 draft when the team passed up on him and took point guard Frank Ntilikina instead.
What Should Happen?
Barrett took a big leap forward this year and became a 20 points per game scorer, something that not everyone was sold on him being able to do.
It certainly looks like he can be a cornerstone piece of the Knicks, but that hasn’t resulted in much success as of yet. He did emerge as the fan-favorite over Julius Randle in the past season, and he even starred in a commercial promoting The Batman, so he’s enjoying some mainstream fame as well.
It’s been reported that the Knicks have gotten some interest in Randle at the trade deadline, so there’s no reason to suspect teams won’t come calling about him in the offseason. Something that’s going to be more difficult now is moving his big salary now that his extension will be kicking in.
This could be part of what pushes the team to include Barrett in a potential deal now because the Knicks might need to sweeten their offers.