Report: Dennis Smith Jr. among multiple Knicks who prefer to get traded

Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
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The Knicks reportedly have an ideal plan of trading for a disgruntled star.

They needn’t look far to find players less than thrilled with their situations.

Ian Begley of SNY:

a few Knicks have said privately in recent weeks that they prefer to be traded ahead of the Feb. 6 trade deadline, per SNY sources.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

rival teams believe Dennis Smith Jr. prefers a move from the Knicks.

Of course, multiple Knicks prefer to get traded. The Knicks stink and are early into a lost season.

There are different levels, though. Preferring a trade is different than requesting a trade, which is different than demanding a trade. So far, there’s no evidence anyone has done more than merely state a preference.

It’s unsurprising Dennis Smith Jr. is part of that group. He has fallen behind Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina and R.J. Barrett for minutes at point guard this season. Smith is probably ready for his third chance.

This is why it’s overly simplistic to say players don’t tank. Yes, they want to win when the floor. But do you really think these players are preparing their very hardest – through conditioning, sleep, film work – to help a losing team they don’t want to be on? Doubtful. Losing manifests through an organization and affects players’ habits.

Some of these Knicks might get their wish and join a new team. Others will have to play out the string in New York. Aside from Marcus Morris, who might net a first-rounder, few Knicks have much trade value.

But at least New York’s unhappy players will help the team get a high draft pick.