Of course the New York Knicks are in the middle of trade rumors heading into the deadline next Thursday. First, the team is a disappointing 24-28, sitting 12th in the East out of even the play-in, and those are the kind of teams that often make deadline deals. Second, they’re the Knicks. Even if they were 52-0 there would be a bunch of trade rumors around this team. It’s New York.
One report floating around (most notably promoted Brian Windhorst of ESPN) was New York had its eye on Sacramento point guard De'Aaron Fox and was the logical move was to put big man Julius Randle — who has not lived up to his $62 million contract extension so far — into the deal.
Randle said that sounded like gossip to him.
”Sounds like gossip to me”: Julius Randle after practice today on reports the Knicks are open to trading him pic.twitter.com/wfCnk86MKs
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) February 4, 2022
Every trade rumor is gossip until it isn’t. Some of that talk comes from more reliable sources than others — fans should be thinking about where they source their information — and Windhorst is reliable. He’s not just throwing stuff against a wall, talk of the Knicks at least listening to offers for Randle has been all over the league. Whether they would pull the trigger is a different question.
The more likely deal the Knicks would like to make: trading Kemba Walker.
From Marc Berman at the New York Post, in a story about how Walker is struggling to adapt to a role where scoring is not the priority.
According to a source, the Knicks would like to trade him by the deadline. That would likely open up a spot [in the rotation] for the recently acquired Cam Reddish, because Alec Burks would slide into the point-guard role.
One NBA source said he doubts any team would be willing to give up anything beyond a future second-round draft pick for Walker.
Any trade for Walker would be a “let’s move on and never speak of this again” kind of deal. As Berman notes, some teams would take a flier on Walker for the remainder of the season, but they are not sending a player or pick of real value back to take that shot.
The Knicks rumors will be flying around until the deadline, but with the patience team president Leon Rose has shown so far, it’s not wise to expect a dramatic move (unless a deal they want unexpectedly materializes).