Fake trades have gotten actual.
Per week in the past, Kyrie Irving on the Dallas Mavericks was a far-off thought, a pairing that existed solely in video video games the place customers can deal gamers wherever they like. Today, it’s a actuality. Yet, somebody will need to have predicted it.
At some level earlier than Irving requested a commerce final week, a clairvoyant fan will need to have gone into the commerce machine and — only for enjoyable — tried out an Irving-to-the-Mavs imaginary swap.
Sometimes, fantasy turns into actuality. That’s what we’re doing as we speak.
With the Feb. 9 deadline approaching, we requested you, the readers, to submit pretend New York Knicks-related trades. Let’s have a look at a few of these offers, break down what every concerned group would possibly consider them and (with a nod to Bill Simmons) ask: Who says no?
Charlotte Hornets obtain: Evan Fournier, Cam Reddish, Svi Mykhailiuk
Knicks obtain: Gordon Hayward, CHA second-round choose
(Submitted by Joshua G.)
Who says no? Hornets.
I may see a commerce like this getting finished, however I lean towards the Hornets not wanting this model of it if solely as a result of three-for-one trades are troublesome in-season. Charlotte has 14 gamers already on the roster; if it agreed to this deal, it must release somebody.
As for negotiations, I may see each groups getting hung up over that second-round choose Joshua G. has the Hornets sending the Knicks. Charlotte owns the Denver Nuggets’ protected 2023 first-round choose, which New York would most likely need over a second-rounder because it’s taking over extra long-term cash. Reddish’s and Mykhailiuk’s contracts are expiring, and Fournier is on the books for $12 million lower than Hayward is in 2023-24.
The Knicks have focused much less team-friendly contracts in Fournier negotiations, hoping for a technique to carry again one other draft choose. They’ve tried pairing Fournier and Reddish collectively to allow them to carry again a bigger wage. In that sense, I like what Joshua G. has going right here.
But I guess the Hornets would imagine they need to be those getting the choose, too, since they’re giving up the very best participant within the deal. As cumbersome as Hayward’s contract is and as injury-prone as he’s been, he’s nonetheless ranges above any of the gamers that Charlotte would obtain right here. If Hayward have been wholesome, he’d play recurrently for the Knicks. Reddish, Fournier and Mykhailiuk don’t.
This is the place the Knicks harm themselves with their steadfast disinterest in utilizing Reddish. Because he hasn’t gotten right into a sport in two months, groups received’t have a look at him as a lot aside from wage filler.
Toronto Raptors obtain: Mitchell Robinson, NYK 2023 first-round choose (unprotected)
Knicks obtain: OG Anunoby
(Submitted by Jeff B.)
Who says no? Everyone.
Let’s begin with the Raptors’ facet of this.
As The Athletic just lately detailed, it’s a vendor’s market. Not many groups want to worsen, which implies if Toronto chooses to say goodbye to Anunoby, who has one other season remaining on his contract after this one, then it may obtain a haul in return.
But one first-round choose from a doable playoff group shouldn’t be a haul. It will value way more to land Anunoby.
The Memphis Grizzlies can provide as much as 4 first-rounders. So can the Phoenix Suns, who simply missed out on Kyrie Irving and are clearly making an attempt to get higher earlier than the deadline. The New Orleans Pelicans have all of their very own first-rounders in addition to ones from the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Knicks have eight first-round picks accessible to commerce: 4 of their very own in addition to 4 protected ones from different groups. The Raptors wouldn’t accept solely one in all them, particularly on this market.
Anunoby is presumably the highest position participant within the Eastern Conference. In a world the place Derrick White went for a first-round choose and a first-round swap final winter, the Raptors’ 3-and-D savant isn’t going for much less — regardless of how good Mitchell Robinson has change into … which brings us to the New York facet of this.
If an Anunoby-to-the-Knicks deal have been to go down, I doubt Robinson could be part of it, regardless that Toronto may use a middle and Robinson, with excessive size and athleticism, could be very a lot the Raptors’ kind. The shot-blocking large man is just too essential for the Knicks, who construct their protection round rim safety.
This shouldn’t be the kind of group to begin a super-small lineup of Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Anunoby and Julius Randle simply because these are the group’s 5 finest gamers (a technique much like the one the Raptors have taken). Chances are, Isaiah Hartenstein or Jericho Sims would be part of the primary unit, bouncing somebody like Grimes to the bench.
Giving up Robinson could be a success to the present roster, which might defeat the aim of chasing Anunoby.
The Knicks would make a commerce for the 25-year-old wing to enhance considerably straight away. If they have been to tug one off, wage filler (like Fournier) and a bunch of draft picks looks like a extra doubtless package deal.
Orlando Magic obtain: Cam Reddish, NYK second-round choose
Knicks obtain: Chuma Okeke
(Submitted by David N.)
Who says no? Knicks.
I’ve finished some model of this story for 3 or 4 consecutive years. Each time, my index finger quivers earlier than clicking on the hyperlink to see the fake-trade submissions. You simply know a Svi Mykhailiuk-for-LeBron James deal is in there. Oh, and by some means, the Knicks are getting a future second-round choose in that commerce, too.
But a Reddish-for-Okeke commerce is why I do that. Heck, it’s why I rise up within the morning. David N., I don’t know who you’re, however we’re now finest associates.
Not many individuals in New York are freely watching the Magic and their sneakily enjoyable, big-man-laden group, however Okeke has really proven potential. Because of that, Orlando could hesitate to do that commerce, however there are two causes I imagine the Knicks say no even faster.
First, I battle to see New York attaching a draft choose to Reddish in a deal of this ilk after sending out a protected first-round choose for him solely a yr in the past.
Second, Okeke remains to be recovering from knee surgical procedure. The Knicks may additionally not love the match. Okeke is one other ahead with an inconsistent soar shot.
But David N., as a result of our households now get collectively for Simchat Torah yearly, I’ll offer you an opportunity to suggest a second commerce …
Houston Rockets obtain: Cam Reddish, NYK second-round choose
Knicks obtain: Jae’Sean Tate
(Submitted by my finest good friend, David N.)
Who says no? Rockets.
The Rockets have been proof against buying and selling Tate, based on league sources who granted anonymity in order that they might converse freely. Houston opted to pay the defensive-minded wing final summer season, which locked him right into a contract by 2025. It received’t give him away now for under matching wage and a second-rounder.
Tate would assist the Knicks. He’s a bodily, good defender. His hyperactivity would slot in effectively with their hard-nosed tradition. And I may see the Rockets, who’ve a factor for hyper athletes trying to find construction, being into Reddish. But he and a second-rounder wouldn’t be sufficient to pry Tate away.
In this state of affairs, I guess the Rockets would ask for one of many Knicks’ protected first-rounders.
Rockets obtain: Derrick Rose, Cam Reddish, NYK second-round choose
Knicks obtain: Eric Gordon
(Submitted by Victor R.)
Who says no? Rockets (however not for good purpose).
Let’s keep on Houston, which has insisted on a first-round choose in alternate for Gordon, who would fill a necessity for the Knicks.
Gordon can nonetheless shoot, create and desperately needs out of his present scenario, the only veteran on the group with the NBA’s worst file. He would steal the Miles McBride minutes, which might imply sliding Immanuel Quickley to full-time backup level guard duties. Gordon doesn’t simply shoot 3s; he shoots deep ones, which might add further spacing to a Knicks squad that wants it.
There’s a purpose the 34-year-old former Sixth Man of the Year remains to be on the Rockets, although: nobody has met their asking value, and this commerce doesn’t both, which is why I say Houston turns it down. But Gordon may change into a free agent this summer season. His $20.9 million wage for 2023-24 is non-guaranteed. Would the Rockets really choose that up, contemplating it’s most likely greater than he would earn on the open market? And in the event that they wouldn’t, is it price it to lose Gordon for nothing simply since you didn’t get precisely what you wished?
Surely, Houston wouldn’t preserve Rose on this state of affairs. It would negotiate a buyout so he may go someplace else. Meanwhile, the rebuilding Rockets are able to take a threat on Reddish. Their books are clear sufficient that they need to really feel comfy extending him the qualifying provide (a monetary predicament outlined within the fifth query of this story) with out worrying about paying him an excessive amount of on a one-year contract.
I’m into this commerce for each side, however my first thought is that the Rockets flip it down as a result of it doesn’t meet their asking value of a first-rounder for Gordon.
LA Clippers obtain: Isaiah Hartenstein, Cam Reddish
Knicks obtain: Luke Kennard
(Submitted by Kurt E.)
Who says no? Knicks.
We know Hartenstein works effectively on the Clippers, as a result of he performed the very best basketball of his life there lower than a yr in the past. The Clippers are in search of a backup middle, too. This would get them one, in addition to one other lengthy wing so as to add to their trove.
Kennard is among the world’s biggest shooters. Once once more, he’s within the mid-40s from deep. The Knicks, in the meantime, are twenty third in 3-point proportion. But I believe they’re those who hesitate right here.
Sure, New York wants taking pictures, but when it needs a long-range menace who affords questionable protection, it may simply play Fournier (who’s on a similarly-structured contract for marginally extra money) with out really having to surrender a rotation common, like Hartenstein. Heck, it’s doable that if the Knicks have been to do that commerce, Kennard would undergo the identical destiny as Fournier has, relegated to the top of the bench due to his flaws. He’s on the perimeter of the Clippers’ rotation proper now.
Hartenstein, who has struggled by an Achilles downside for a lot of the season, is within the midst of his finest stretch and says he’s beginning to really feel wholesome once more.
The Knicks could be taking over extra money than the Clippers, too.
Oklahoma City Thunder obtain: Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, RJ Barrett, Derrick Rose, NYK 2023 first-round choose, NYK 2025 first-round choose, NYK 2027 first-round choose, NYK 2029 first-round choose
Knicks obtain: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
(Submitted by TC T.)
Who says no? The NBA, then the Thunder.
Speculation swirled round Gilgeous-Alexander for years main as much as this one. Might the rebuilding Thunder commerce him for a bunch of picks, because it appeared they’d finished with everybody else?
The reply was at all times no. OKC swatted away SGA-wooers persistently. Now that he’s certain for All-NBA at age 24, they’re not buying and selling him now — regardless that that is clearly an enormous provide.
But there’s another reason this commerce wouldn’t work, and it’s a very powerful one: as a result of Gilgeous-Alexander prolonged this previous summer season, he isn’t eligible to be traded till the upcoming offseason. Even if the Thunder wished to deal him proper now, they couldn’t. And particularly after a lot of their younger guys have taken vital leaps this season and with former No. 2 choose Chet Holmgren coming into the combination in 2023-24, they aren’t dealing him now.
Utah Jazz obtain: Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, DAL 2023 first-round choose (top-10 protected), WAS 2023 first-round choose (lottery protected), DET 2024 second-round choose
Knicks obtain: Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt
(Submitted by Jordan M.)
Who says no? Knicks.
The Knicks have ties to Beasley and Vanderbilt. Gersson Rosas, who has a rising presence in New York’s entrance workplace, traded for each of them when he was operating the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Beasley is one other 3-point marksman who may discover a new group within the coming days. The Jazz are floating across the backside of the Play-In Tournament, however make them a powerful provide for any of their position gamers, they usually’re choosing up the telephone. This is, with out query, a powerful provide.
In reality, it’s too robust.
Beasley has no downside hoisting as many 3s as a protection will let him, a trait that will assist the Knicks. Vanderbilt is a gritty, inside-the-arc ahead and top-notch rebounder. But Toppin and two first-round picks in addition to a second-rounder is so much.
I perceive Jordan M,’s logic right here: the Knicks surrender Toppin and a first-rounder for Beasley and Vanderbilt, however as a result of that commerce doesn’t match salaries, they’ve to incorporate Fournier, however Fournier has two undesirable seasons remaining on his contract, in order that they have to connect one other first-round choose to him as incentive for the Jazz to take him.
Throw in a second-rounder for good measure, and voilà, you’ve got your commerce.
But the Knicks haven’t expressed any curiosity in attaching draft picks to Fournier simply to get off of him, league sources in different entrance places of work say. They may wipe him from their books and nonetheless not have cap house this upcoming offseason. Because of that, they could be extra prone to embrace Rose on this hypothetical than Fournier, which might enable them to get rid of one of many first-round picks from the provide since Rose’s contract is expiring. Yet, even in that state of affairs, I’m wondering if the Knicks would deem Toppin, a protected first-rounder and a possible excessive second-rounder within the Detroit choose an excessive amount of to half with in a commerce for Beasley and Vanderbilt, who can every change into free brokers in 2024.
(Photo of Cam Reddish and Isaiah Hartenstein: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)