The New York Knicks were surprisingly quiet during the chaotic NBA trade deadline. New York was linked to several high-profile players but decided against making any roster-altering moves.
Instead, the Knicks shipped out rotation castoffs Austin Rivers and Ignas Brazdeikis in the George Hill trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. New York got back Philadelphia’s 2021 second-round pick in the deal.
The Chicago Bulls made a no-brainer trade for two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic. They understandably want to maximize Zach LaVine’s incredible offensive season. But the Bulls are trying to jump into the playoff picture. The Knicks are already in the playoff hunt.
The NBA traded deadline came and went with minimal activity from the New York Knicks. These are 3 takeaways from New York’s quiet deadline.
New York didn’t need to do anything. This roster has chemistry, plays hard, and has bought into what Tom Thibodeau is selling. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett have emerged as two potential long-term pieces to build around.
New York reportedly flirted with the idea of Andre Drummond, but the idea that he would benefit Randle and Barrett this season or in the future is highly debatable. It didn’t feel like there was a Vucevic level move out there for the Knicks.
The Knicks didn’t wind up with a new star, but there was plenty of takeaway from what didn’t happen. Here are three observations about the Knicks after their surprisingly quiet trade deadline.
First takeaway from the trade deadline: The front office is leaving their options open
So much about how Leon Rose’s Knicks operate is still a mystery. We assume that Rose leans heavily on the immortal World Wide Wes and Sam Hinkie doppelganger Brock Aller. Still, Rose himself works from the shadows — refusing even to acknowledge the New York media.
A quiet trade deadline from Rose and his crew screams of Aller’s influence. Aller was hired due to his expertise with the salary cap. His job with the Cavs was to come up with various trade possibilities and work with the analytics department and the salary cap experts, per Cleveland.com.
New York will be one of the most financially flexible teams in the league in this coming offseason. They can negotiate with 10 picks in the next six drafts. This leaves the Knicks with multiple avenues to explore while building their team.
They can keep stockpiling picks and adding prospects or use some of those picks to trade for the next disgruntled star who becomes available (we know that’s coming). Free agency is another possibility, but this year’s class isn’t the one to break the bank on.
The best New York could’ve done was make a move to improve their odds of securing a playoff spot. There wasn’t a realistic player available who could help them win a playoff series this season.