The New York Knicks may have failed to reach a deal for coveted guard Donovan Mitchell, as he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on September 1but that’s not to say the franchise can’t still make a splash at some point during the 2022-23 championship year.
Considering the plethora of young workers and the treasure of the capital project the front office grown seemingly to run a blockbuster for the perennial All-Star, now with that business wiped out, Leon Rose and company may want to focus their attention on exchanging said luxury for another high-quality actor found floating in the commercial market.
Lately, OKC Thunder rising star combo guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been found linked as a realistic target for the Knicks this season, with the likes of New York Post’s Marc Berman saying he was better suited to the team’s backcourt rotation than even Mitchell would have been.
Now, although there are currently no credible reports that the 24-year-old is even available, the folks at Bleacher Report seem pretty confident that Gilgeous-Alexander will be bought at some point during this upcoming season. , as a writer Greg Swartz included him on his list of players he thinks are most likely to hit the trading block in 2022-23.
“All eyes will be on Gilgeous-Alexander this season as the dynamic young point guard will once again lead a team that could win under 30 games for the third year in a row. Marc Berman of the New York Post has previously mentioned Gilgeous -Alexander as a possible trade target to pivot after failed Donovan Mitchell lawsuit,” Swartz wrote in a September 7 post.
Entering his fifth season with the association, Gilgeous-Alexander established himself as one of the best players under 25 and is posting impressive per game averages of 18.2 points, 4.5 assists and 4.3 boards.
Land SGA “better result” than Mitchell
Marc Berman and Greg Swartz certainly aren’t the only pundits to have discussed the idea of the New York Knicks pursuing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at some point this season.
In fact, during a Sept. 1 episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” host Bill Simmons speculated with colleague Ryen Russillo of The Ringer that, given Oklahoma City’s desire to tank, the rising guard could realistically end up being bought in the near future and, if that happened, he could become a better target for the Knickerbockers than Mitchell was.
“Are we sure you can’t get SGA from OKC,” Simmons asked. “Are we sure that the 80% transport for Mitchell – SGA would probably cost a little more than Dejounte Murray and less than Mitchell, somewhere in there.
“If I’m the Knicks, is it a better outcome if I can keep RJ Barrett and add SGA and I can throw unprotected picks in there and [Quentin] Grimes and whoever and if I’m OKC, how many years in a row can you say to SGA like, ‘Hey man, it’s not gonna be this year.’
Simmons would later state that Gilgeous-Alexander was “previously available,” according to his sources.
Knicks Wing is a ‘likely’ trade candidate
Knicks winger Evan Fournier is also on Swartz’s list of players he believes are most likely to be bought in the coming season.
Signed last offseason to a four-year, $73 million deal, the 29-year-old fell short of the high expectations that came with such a lofty deal.
He played so badly, in fact, that by dropping him from all lineups last season, he and compatriot Kemba Walker acquired free agency at the top of the list in 2021, New York’s net rating jumped from minus-0.1 (50th percentile) to plus-5.3 (80th percentile).
Now, heading into the second year under contract, Swartz is confident the Knicks could end up trying to cut ties with the France native.
“The Knicks overpaid Fournier last season and still owe him $36.9 million over the next two years. His 14.1 points per game and 38.9 percent on three rating didn’t make up for Fournier’s poor defense, which led to the worst swing rating of his career. minus-6.7“Wrote Swartz. “New York should see what it would take to get rid of Fournier’s deal and cast a player like Quentin Grimes in his place. Away shooting will always be in demand, so maybe the Knicks can find a buyer. .
As Swartz mentioned, trading Evan Fournier would give someone like Quentin Grimes the opportunity to see an increased role in his second campaign, which is a concept some analysts have already talked a lot about.
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