The New York Knicks lost the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes, but if they are still set on landing another star, they can shift their focus to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Fresh off the news of losing Chet Holmgren for the season, it’s looking like this will be another rough season for the Thunder, and in an effort to land an even better draft pick, trading star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be in their best interest.
For the Knicks, landing a young talent like that would be huge, and it could help the team get back into the playoffs even without the services of Mitchell.
Big Knicks-Thunder Swap
The Knicks still have a bunch of assets they could make available in a trade after missing out on Mitchell, and they could get all of that together to land Gilgeous-Alexander.
What’s working in their favor is the fact the Thunder would likely have a lower asking price for the guard, but it would still cost the Knicks a lot. Here’s what Bailey proposes:
- Thunder Receive: Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 first-round pick and a 2027 first-round pick
- Knicks Receive: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
This deal would see the Knicks move Fournier’s contract while also giving up Grimes and Reddish. Fournier isn’t a big deal but Grimes is a fan-favorite in New York and it’d be tough to see him go.
On the bright side, this would be a huge pickup for the Knicks, and Bailey argues it could be better to land a player who is already good versus somebody who might be some day.
“Evan Fournier (mostly his salary), Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish and three first-round picks offers an awful lot of upside, but there’s no guarantee any of that develops into a consistent 20-5-5 guard with wing size,” he wrote.
Why Would the Thunder Trade Shai?
The Thunder have a young roster that will more than likely be very good in a few years, so why would they want to give up a young player who they have signed for the foreseeable future?
Bailey argues that it could be because Gilgeous-Alexander could grow tired of a rebuild, and there’s the ability to get assets right now for him instead of getting a bad haul.
“You never know when things might change with a star player, though,” he said. “And if Gilgeous-Alexander were to ever ask out, New York will be positioned to offer a package loaded with future assets. Two young wings and three shots to add more high-end talent around Josh Giddey and Chet Holmgren would be a strong consolation for losing a foundational talent.”
It’s not the worst idea for the Thunder in this scenario, and if Grimes could develop into the player Knicks fans think he can, then it would be a good move for them to make.
We also know how much Sam Presti values draft picks, and he’d snag three additional ones in this trade.