Knicks ‘Check Off’ Every Box With Proposed Trade Target

robert covington

Getty Robert Covington could help plug a lot of holes for the Knicks.

The New York Knicks are stuck in rut and there’s not much they can do with the way the roster is currently constructed to get out of it.

With big money tied up into Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett, there’s not a ton of flexibility for the team to improve outside of moving one of them, and that’s even an idea that’s been floated.

Instead, the time might be better suited in going after players they could get for cheap, and Los Angeles Clippers forward Robert Covington is a name that comes to mind.

He’s been linked to the Knicks as a possible candidate already, and his defense would make him a strong fit with coach Tom Thibodeau. Now we have Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley making the case for New York to add him.

Covington to the Knicks

There are a lot of the things the Knicks need, and one of them is shooting. Evan Fournier, the team’s record holder in three pointers hit in a season, is out of the rotation, so the team needs to find a way to replace that production.

Covington could certainly help chip in there, and he could also bring even more to the table.

“The Knicks need more stoppers,” Buckley wrote. “And shooters. And, if they’re being greedy, how about a true small-ball option at center, too? Well, why not check off all three boxes in a single trade for Covington?”

Buckley argues that because Covington isn’t playing a whole lot for the Clippers, there’s a chance he could be acquired for cheap.

“He’s been mostly squeezed out of the Clippers’ rotation, so his trade cost can’t be too steep,” he continued. “He’s cashed in 38 percent of his long-range attempts since the start of 2020-21, so his three-ball should rank among the more trustworthy on the market. He’s also a chaos-creating off-ball defender (career 1.9 steals and 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes), so he could help the Knicks, who rank just 19th in points off turnovers, find more scoring chances in the open court.”

Grimes is arguably the team’s best perimeter defender, but the rest of the team leaves a lot to be desired in that category. Brunson is an undersized guard, Fournier’s defensive liabilities have caused him to be taken out of the rotation, and Mitchell Robinson hasn’t been completely healthy to start the season, so help is needed.

Covington could slot in as a small-ball center if the Knicks want to add offense, but they could’ve been doing that with Obi Toppin as well, but we don’t see that happen all that much. At the end of the day, this would be a good pick up for the Knicks, especially if they could get him for cheap.

Who Would Be Moved?

With Derrick Rose facing a similar situation as Covington, a swap of the two could make sense. Rose has become expendable in New York with the arrival of Brunson, and replacing him with Covington would add another solid rotation piece for the team.

As the Knicks fight for the play-in spot, they’ll need to get all the help they can get and it’s hard to imagine Covington not fitting that bill for them.

Obviously, it’s easy to make trades as a fan, but another thing entirely for a team to make it happen. The Knicks certainly have the assets to get something done, so we’ll have to wait and see if it’s a smaller move like Covington, or something bigger like landing a star.

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