As currently constructed, the New York Knicks have proven to be one of the hottest teams in the entire association. With Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson leading the charge, they’ve managed to compile a 42-31 record through 73 games played, the fifth-best mark in the Eastern Conference.
And while the club as constructed is believed to be capable of making some serious noise during the upcoming postseason, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated on the latest episode of the Hoops Collective podcast that he believes the franchise could look to strengthen its talent pool even more moving forward “if they needed to,” all while holding onto their two key centerpieces.
“In my view, they could trade for two star-level players…They can hold Jalen Brunson, they can hold Julius Randle and they could make two giant trades. Now, whether they can hold Brunson, Randle, and [RJ] Barrett and make two giant trades, that would depend on the players, but there is even a window that they can hold all three of those and make two giant trades,” Windhorst said.
The NBA insider would go on to state that he’s unsure whether it would have to take “a player to say ‘send me to New York,’ and potentially another star player to say ‘oh, I’ll go to New York too'” or “for New York to pull off a big trade and then a star player going ‘oh man, they got this and they still got this? I want to do that,'” but seems to be under the impression that, should the Knicks be driven to pull off a blockbuster at some point in the future, they very well could.
Knicks Linked to Several Stars
Considering their history within the league and their residence in the big market of New York, the Knicks are always found linked as being a possible trade destination for star-level talents rumored to be displeased with their current situation.
Back in late February, SNY’s NBA insider Ian Begley went as far as to tab the franchise as being a potential landing spot for the likes of MVP candidate Joel Embiid should the Philadelphia 76ers fall short of a deep run in the upcoming postseason.
More recently, an anonymous Western Conference executive informed Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that the Knickerbockers could be in the running for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James should he force his hand with a trade request in the not-too-distant future.
Other names that have been linked to the Knicks during this season alone have also included Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Anthony Davis, and Karl-Anthony Towns, among many others.
With this, it’s evident that Leon Rose and company could have several options to choose from moving forward. The only questions that seem to remain are which player will they look to pursue and how much will it take to acquire them.
Josh Hart Opens Up on Future With Knicks
Seemingly since he arrived in New York, Josh Hart has proven himself to be an integral part of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation.
However, with questions arising about his impending free agency, many are wondering whether his new-found successes here in the Big Apple could turn into an unfortunate half-season rental.
Though a lot could theoretically change between now and this summer’s free agency period, it appears as though the veteran is strongly leaning towards staying put beyond 2022-23, as he recently told Andscape’s Marc J. Spears that he can see a long-term future with the Knicks.
“I want bigger things for my wife and myself,” Hart said. “Just find a home somewhere where we are valued and really like living there. And I think that can be New York. I would love for it to be New York and hopefully the organization feels the same way. Coming up, this contract is hopefully my biggest one, one where I’m making sure my family’s fully taken care of. So, I’ve also got to take that into account, too.”
Since making his first start for the Knicks back on February 11, Hart has posted impressive two-way averages of 11.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.4 steals per game on 60.6% shooting from the floor, and 55.6% shooting from deep.
Throughout this span, New York has gone 12-4.