New York Knicks News, Roster and Rumors 2014: Which NBA Trades Can Knicks Make to Win Next Season?
In the wake of signing Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks could be on the verge of making some bold moves.
In fact, team president Phil Jackson reportedly took a gamble in offering up Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Minnesota Timberwolves for arguably the most sought-after player in the NBA right now, Kevin Love. The trade may have been turned away, but it's a sign that the Knicks mean business when it comes to revamping their roster after failing to make the playoffs one season removed from winning the Atlantic Division title in 2013.
The Knicks have been searching for ways to retool their roster in hopes of building a team that can capture an NBA championship for the first time since the 1972-73 season. With that being said, accomplishing that will be no easy feat, as bloated contracts and a lack of tradeable assets still stand in their way. Yet Jackson has shown intent on being bold and creative in his pursuit of shaking up the roster.
While getting Love might not be in the cards trade-wise this coming season for the Knicks, that doesn't mean that the team is completely out of options. There are several other key players they could look to bolster their roster with before next February's NBA trade deadline.
Latin Post takes a look at some of those players the Knicks can--and perhaps should--target for a trade:
While the Knicks may be better advised to wait until the four-time NBA All-Star and 2008 NBA champion Rondo becomes a free agent next summer, there certainly wouldn't be any harm in exploring a trade for the dynamic point guard a little bit earlier than that. The Knicks are chock full of guards on their roster, so shipping the troubled former Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith and a couple of wing players for Rondo could work, especially if Rondo decides to push for a trade prior to next February. Their challenge will be pulling off a trade with a division rival, particularly a bitter historic rival like Boston. Yet, from the Celtics' point of view, they might be more willing, if pressed, to deal Rondo and get something for him in return instead of running the risk of losing him to their Atlantic Division foes for nothing.
The downside of getting Nash? He's aging, he's been hurt for the last few seasons, and his numbers are nowhere near the NBA MVP-winning stats he put up in 2005 and 2006.
The upside? He's Steve Nash.
The Lakers point guard is coming off the books after the season, and there's little-to-no chance that the Lakers will look to resign him considering his age and his underwhelming performance with them over the past two seasons. If the Knicks are looking to give themselves some veteran edge in the point guard department, who better than a future Hall of Famer to give them some bite, especially when they look to reach the postseason? With controlled minutes to manage his health, Nash could do for the Knicks what Jason Kidd did for them two seasons ago, when the all-time great helped get New York's offense more pass-heavy, which lead them to their first Atlantic Division title in nearly 20 years. Granted, the Knicks may not have much to offer the Lakers in terms of draft picks or stars for Nash, but aside from Smith, they could offer defensive stopper Iman Shumpert or even an expiring contract in the form of Amar'e Stoudemire or Andrea Bargnani. Nash might only be good for a season or two, but if the Knicks are sticking with the younger Jose Calderon at point guard, he can only benefit by learning tricks from the wily Nash.
Asik may be happier now in a new situation with the New Orleans Pelicans after spending the last season strapped for playing time behind Dwight Howard on the Houston Rockets, but will that be enough to keep Asik in a Pelicans uniform when his contract expires next season? If the defensive stalwart and rebounding beast Asik solely wants playing time, he's in the right place. But if he wants to win now, his best bet isn't with the Pelicans. Asik has tasted success before, having been with the Chicago Bulls during their Eastern Conference Finals run in 2010-11 and with the Rockets during their first-round battles the last two seasons. But the Pelicans don't look like a team ready to win immediately; New York, on the other hand, is looking to do exactly that. And with no Tyson Chandler holding down the center spot anymore, the Knicks could use a player of equally impressive defensive tenacity to hold down the fort. The Pelicans may be leery of dealing with New York and their bare cupboard assets, but if it looks like Asik won't sign long-term, New Orleans may settle for getting something for Asik rather than losing him for nothing.
Right off the bat, this offensive-minded forward could easily make up part of the Triangle Offense that New York is seeking to implement. Smith, who was a key factor in leading the Atlanta Hawks to success for years, is currently with the Detroit Pistons, who have a fairly crowded frontcourt with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Even with Stan Van Gundy-who coached Orlando to the 2009 NBA Finals-at the helm, the Pistons are a fixer-upper. Plus, with three years left on his $54 million contract, Detroit may look to unload Smith if they struggle at the start of the season. The only snag may be orienting Smith around Carmelo Anthony, who also plays forward. Could Smith operate in the same spots where Anthony makes his bread and butter? Could he learn to play in different spots? There's only one way to find out.
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