Knicks steal star away from Lakers in Bleacher Report's proposed 3-team swap with Hawks and Thunder

Jalen Brunson, Donte Divincenzo, Og Anunoby
Jalen Brunson, Donte Divincenzo, Og Anunoby / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The New York Knicks are already the hottest team in the league, going 14-2 in the month of January after acquiring a small forward, OG Anunoby, from the Toronto Raptors. Despite that, they are expected to make another deal, perhaps a big one, before the trade deadline and, according to Bleacher Report, it could be for an Atlanta Hawks star.

With the trade deadline fewer than 72 hours away, Dejounte Murray appears to be the highest-profile player likely to be traded and the Knicks have been linked to him before. However, in their proposed deal, the Oklahoma City Thunder would also be included.

The Thunder have both draft picks and expiring salaries that could appeal to the Hawks, who are short on picks and they are probably looking to shed salary as they look to retool around their best remaining player.

Knicks steal Dejounte Murray away from the Lakers in Bleacher Report's proposed 3-team swap with the Hawks and Thunder.

Thus far, the Los Angeles Lakers have been the team closest to landing Murray but trade talks have seemingly stalled, giving the Knicks the opening that they need to get a deal done. Bleacher reports would have the Knicks send Quentin Grimes to the Thunder and Evan Fournier, their 2024 first-round pick, and Milwaukee's top 4 protected 2025 first to the Hawks for Murray. Meanwhile, the Hawks would send Clint Capela to the Thunder in exchange for Kenrich Williams and Davis Bertans.

The hypothetical trade would help boost the Knicks title hopes by essentially swapping out Grimes for Murray and pairing him with Jalen Brunson, Anunoby, as well as Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson—once they are both healthy. Were that to happen, that could be a potentially potent lineup that could be a threat on both sides of the ball.

While Murray isn't the player he once was on the defensive end, he could focus more on defending the other team's best guard with him being the Knicks' third option. While Anunoby, who is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, can focus on shutting down opponents' best wings. Both being able to do so would be key to a deep Knicks playoff run.

As for the Hawks and Thunder, the Hawks would pick up two first-round picks as well as clear out more than $47 million in salary next season. Meanwhile, the Thunder would turn Bertans and Williams into one of the better centers in the NBA in Capela. Capela may not play a big role with the Thunder, though he would help address their depth at center and give them a valuable trade piece in the off-season, should they look to improve their roster in other areas.

All In all, Bleacher Report's mock trade would greatly benefit the Knicks and also potentially the Thunder and Hawks. With New York playing some of their best basketball in years, they should look to build on that strong play by making another win now, and this could be it.