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The New York Knicks have improved greatly this season. They have an All-Star in Julius Randle, a great coach in Tom Thibodeau, and some good young players, including Emmanual Quickley and RJ Barrett. The franchise is no longer a late bloomer in the East, but rather a place that players want to play for.
But the Knicks still need a superstar to take them to the next level. The Eastern Conference is wide open except for the top two spots. The Knicks could easily become one of the top three or four teams in the conference if they can negotiate a contract with a superstar, either through a trade or Free Agency.
With assets like Randle, Barrett and Kevin Knox, they have enough talent to close the deal. But the Knicks only waive Randle or Barrett, meaning a deal with either is out of the question. Here are the players the Knicks can acquire to find their next superstar.
Unfortunately for Knicks fans, Damian Lillard probably won’t be in the game. Lillard is averaging 29.8 points per game this season and leads the Portland Trail Blazers to fifth place in the Western Conference. Lillard is one of the best point guards in the NBA and has made it to the 6th round this season. The all-star team.
But Lillard is a very loyal player and probably won’t think about leaving Portland anytime soon. The Trail Blazers are happy to have Lillard as their star player and only two more years in the Western Conference Finals. The Knicks could offer Portland a huge package for Lillard, but even if Lillard asks for a deal, it would be for an immediate contender, not a rebuilding team like New York.
Every team needs Bradley Beal. As one of the best shooters in the NBA and the best scorer of the moment, he is perhaps the most sought after asset on the market. The Washington Wizards are a disappointing team, which is why many feel Beal should leave. He finished with a 32.9 PPG average on 48.2% from the field and 33.5% from three-point range.
But like Damian Lillard, Beal would rather play with an opponent. Beal is almost 28 years old and he wants the next 4 years of his career to be about championships, which is why he includes the Miami Heat in his list. If Beal is traded, it will likely be to Miami, leaving New York out.
credit : Getty Images
Kawhi Leonard is an RFA (restricted free agent), but he will likely sign a lucrative contract this summer and stay in Los Angeles. Kawhi Leonard is from California and created a furore a few years ago when he had to leave San Antonio to play in Los Angeles. After all, the Clippers are one of the top five teams in the league, and Leonard is the centerpiece.
Leonard is having another great year, averaging 26.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG, and has advanced to the 5th round. This season’s All-Star team. With players like Paul George (who also made his 7th star this season) alongside him, the Clippers are probably a better opponent than the Knicks, even with Kawhi. The clacks never makes it to New York.
The Knicks would be a much better team than the Bulls at this point if they had traded All-Star Zach LaVine first. LaVine is an exceptional young player who is averaging 28.7 PPG this season with 43.5% three-pointers. LaVine has proven he can lead a franchise in scoring and even be a franchise player, and the Knicks desperately need him to do that.
If the Bulls part ways with Knox and Barrett because they need a backcourt, Nix could become a factor in the East and Quickley, Randle and Lavin form a solid trio. The idea is that the Knicks get their star with LaVine and start building their team from the top 4 in the East each year. That could happen if Lavine leaves Chicago.
Devin Booker has a long-term contract with Phoenix, but if he doesn’t win this season with the Suns or at least make it to the Western Conference Finals, he’ll probably want to play on the big market. Booker is averaging 24.9 points per game this season with 36.2% three-pointers, which ranks him second in the Western Conference.
But the Suns are not expected to go west, especially with the Lakers and Clippers in contention. Booker is one of the best scorers in the league and deserves a chance to play on the big market and make a name for himself in the league. The Knicks could acquire Booker in their biggest trade since Carmelo Anthony.
(via Sports Illustrated)
There is no doubt that Karl-Anthony Towns is a special player. Towns is having a tough year, but he’s still hitting a double-double with 22.0 PPG and 10.9 RPG. Townsman does everything on the field and has no weaknesses when playing at his best. Not to mention that cities deserve a bigger market to play in and change the environment.
Under coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota, New York has good chemistry. The Timberwolves are one of the worst teams in the league with a 7-29 record and last place in the West. If the Knicks can part with their young talent and offer them a choice, they may have a legitimate chance to acquire Towns before the trade deadline.
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