Insider: Knicks ‘Keeping an Eye on’ Stars as NBA Trade Deadline Nears

Leon Rose, New York Knicks

Getty President Leon Rose of the New York Knicks looks on during the third quarter against the Miami Heat.

The New York Knicks appear ready to go all-in.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Knicks are a team to monitor as the NBA’s February 8 trade deadline approaches.

“I’m told the Knicks are monitoring the marketplace across the league and keeping an eye on whether a star player becomes available and for whom they would go all in on a deal,” Charania reported.

The Knicks’ 2-8 record against teams with a winning record. Four of those eight losses came against the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks, the top two teams in the East. That has put some pressure on their front office to upgrade their middling roster.

Who Is Knicks’ All-in Star?

The Knicks flirted with trading for Donovan Mitchell two summers ago, but resisted going all-in. They balked at the cost of acquiring Paul George last summer.

They have been linked to Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid in the offseason. But both All-Star big men are in pretty good spot with their teams performing well following a disappointing season.

Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-4) currently have the best record in the NBA with their top-ranked defense. Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers (13-7) have found early success with the rise of Tyrese Maxey in the wake of the James Harden trade.

Only the Chicago Bulls stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, who wants to go to New York, are the realistic trade targets at the moment. But the NBA landscape could easily change when February arrives.

“Would you put all your chips in the middle? Would you trade 3 to 4 first-round picks for Karl Anthony-Towns? To what capacity would they go all in for? I think these are the questions they to answer. But I think they are keeping an open mind and they are monitoring which star they are going to all in for,” Charania said.

Quentin Grimes’ Growing Discontent

Knicks starting wing Quentin Grimes did not mince his words as he voiced out his frustrations amid a shooting slump.

“It feels like if I don’t hit the shot, I’m coming out,” Grimes said via New York Post after their 146-122 blowout loss to the Bucks on Tuesday, December 5. “So every shot I shoot probably weighs like 100 pounds if I don’t make it, and our defense, it ain’t cutting it, so I know I ain’t going back in.”

Grimes missed his only attempt in the game as he went scoreless for the second time over his last three outings. Tom Thibodeau benched him in the fourth quarter of those games.

“It’s just hard when you go the whole quarter without touching the ball, the whole second quarter without touching the ball, and then you get one shot and you got to make it,” Grimes said. “So it’s tough going out there and just standing in the corner the whole game. Then you got to make the shot when you shoot the ball one or two times per game. It is what it is.”

The Knicks have made him untouchable in the Mitchell trade talks. Will this episode force the Knicks’ hand and reconsider their stand on Grimes?

Read More