Three Potential Trade Targets For New York Knicks To Consider

The New York Knicks will be active ahead of this season’s trade deadline and here are some potential names for them to target.

The 2020-21 season offered hope for the New York Knicks, as they made the playoffs for the first time in what seemed like forever and they earned the 4-seed in the Eastern Conference. Even though they lost in the first-round of the playoffs, the season was still a major win for the Knicks, as the future looked very bright.

Then the 2021-22 season happened, the Knicks missed the playoffs and once again, question marks surrounded this franchise heading into the offseason. Signing Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein, the Knicks have definitely improved in areas where they struggled a season ago and this team has not been terrible, but they have not been great either.

The Knicks are currently 9-9 on the season and with how crowded the Eastern Conference is, there is very little room for error this year. Making the playoffs would be a big accomplishment yet again for this organization, but the end goal of team president Leon Rose and general manager Scott Perry is to find a way to build New York into a title contending franchise again, much like they were in the 90s with Patrick Ewing.

Trading for an All-Star-like talent is something that will happen in the future for the Knicks. The only question though is when will they actually pull the trigger on a deal?

Who knows, maybe this will happen ahead of this season’s trade deadline, but with the lack of starpower available across the league right now, it seems more likely that the Knicks will look to sure up their rotations by going out and trading for some secondary talents to help them make a real playoff push.

Several of these kinds of players should be available or be made available over the course of the next few months, so here are a few names we should keep an eye on in regards to New York possibly pursuing.

Robert Covington – Los Angeles Clippers

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Regardless of how they look right now or what their record is, the Los Angeles Clippers are a title contending team this year simply because of how strong of a defensive team they are and how experienced they are.

Assuming Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are healthy at the end of the year, Los Angeles will be at the top of the totem pole in the Western Conference and nobody will want to play them.

However, owner Steve Ballmer is not afraid to spend more money to set his team up for success and as a result, he could look to move some guys ahead of the trade deadline in order to add talent in areas that they need.

Veteran Robert Covington is a guy the Clippers could look to trade, especially since he is not playing much early on this season and since he is making $12.3 million this year. Still having one more year left on his current contract as well, Covington could definitely be a midseason addition for a team looking to add some more depth on the wing and at their forward positions.

He plays tough on the defensive-end of the floor and can spread the floor offensively, knocking down routine three-pointers from the corner, which is why he could be an excellent fit in Tom Thibodeau’s system with the Knicks.

Covington offers New York the chance to have a true “small-ball” lineup with his ability to play the center position and while he is not a flashy name, Robert Covington knows what it takes to win in this league. The Knicks do not have many playoff experienced players on their roster, which is why moving a player like Evan Fournier or Derrick Rose in a trade for the Clippers’ veteran could make sense.

The only problem is that Los Angeles may be saving Covington for later in the season and they may not want to trade for Fournier or Rose, especially given the weight of their contracts.

Duncan Robinson – Miami Heat

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Duncan Robinson’s situation with the Miami Heat is very unique because following the 2020-21 season, a year in which Robinson shot 40.8 percent from the floor and made a career-high 65 three-pointers, the Heat gave him a massive five-year, $90 million deal.

The very next season after signing this deal, Robinson seemed to fall out of the rotation for Miami seeing his minutes and overall production decline, and now he has only seen 20 or more minutes in just seven games this season.

Miami seems like they are open to dealing Robinson for the right price and being an elite-level three-point shooter, he should absolutely be a player the Knicks keep an eye on.

Obviously his contract is worse than Evan Fournier’s, a player the Knicks brought in to be a key three-point shooting threat, but Robinson is 28-years-old, he understands his role as a three-point shooter and he is a smart player on both ends of the floor.

The path to getting Robinson that could present itself for New York could be through a three-team deal in which Miami gets aggressive ahead of the trade deadline. Looking to replace his near $17 million contract with a key talent could be a goal of the Heat’s, which is why they could look to “dump” Robinson elsewhere in a trade.

Assuming they are going to look to move Evan Fournier at some point, Duncan Robinson may not be a bad addition for the Knicks, especially since they rank 29th in the league in three-point shooting.

Terrence Ross – Orlando Magic

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All options are on the table for the Knicks heading into the month of December and looking ahead to February’s trade deadline, New York will need to bring in some more talent on the offensive side of things.

Terrence Ross has proven to be a “spark” off-the-bench his entire career and it seems like he has been on the trade block ever since he arrived in Orlando during the 2016-17 season. In 501 career games coming off-the-bench, Ross has averaged 11.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 35.5 percent from three-point range.

At 31-years-old, Ross is an experienced player that is very consistent offensively and the best part about acquiring him is that he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023. 

Basically, the Knicks could go out and trade for Terrence Ross knowing he would be a “one-year loan” type of player, ultimately freeing up $11.5 million in cap space next summer that the Knicks could utilize to try and bring in that superstar-like talent mentioned earlier.

The Orlando Magic should be more than happy to talk about trades pertaining to the veteran guard ahead of the trade deadline and their asking price should not be too high either. Immanuel Quickley is a player the Knicks have made available in trade talks right now and veteran Derrick Ross is another player the team has expressed interest in possibly moving this season.

Again, maybe this is another three-team deal scenario in which Rose and/or Quickley would not go to Orlando, but nonetheless, the Knicks still have the ability financially to go out and trade for a player like Terrence Ross, someone who would be instant offense for them off-the-bench. 

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