New York Knicks: Potential trade targets to fix defensive issues
Dec 18, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) looks for a opening past the defense of Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel (4) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Trade rumors in the NBA are starting to pick up steam. We looked at how the New York Knicks can use the market to improve their defense.

Defense is still the problem for the New York Knicks (16-13). Appointing Kurt Rambis to fix the problem (after six games) hasn’t worked. Rambis was given the defense in part because the Knicks allowed over 100 points in their first six contests.

But since the announcement of Rambis’ new role on Nov. 9, the Knicks have only held five opponents under 100 points in 23 games, and two were the lowly Brooklyn Nets (7-21) and Dallas Mavericks (8-21).

Now let’s take a look at the strange defensive metrics for this team.

Thanks to strong defense from Kristaps PorzingisWilly Hernangomez, and Kyle O’Quinn the Knicks are sixth in the league in covering the restricted area (per

So if the Knicks are so good at the rim why are they 24th in points allowed per 100 possessions?

Well, like most big men, those three don’t like to stray too far from their comfort zone.

Joakim Noah was supposed to be the do-everything defensive anchor who could make plays all over the court. So much for that.

A majority of the rotation has struggled individually on defense, and it’s hurting them in the paint. They’re 26th in opponent’s non-restricted area field goal percentage and 26th in opponent’s points in the paint.

New York’s weak defense has created a likely problem with fouling.

They’re 25th in personal fouls which creates easy opportunities for other teams at the free throw line. The Knicks are 27th in opponent’s free throw attempts per game.

Their biggest problem is still on the boards. They’re giving away baskets. They rank 29th in defensive rebounding percentage and 28th in opponent’s second chance points (via

It doesn’t look like the answer is in-house. If the Knicks are serious about fixing their defense and making a playoff push, they’ll need to make a trade. We looked at some options.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.