Here we are…the offseason. It’s time for an endless assault of horrendous trade hypotheticals involving the New York Knicks.
It is a good and bad thing, but the invention of Twitter has turned tons of sports fans into GM cosplayers. Some have more fun examining the salary cap or cooking up hypothetical trades than they do actually watching the games. The rise in Twitter GMs has a direct correlation with the rise in horrific trade proposals.
Last year, it was all about Donovan Mitchell, but this offseason will be the summer of no good very bad Damian Lillard hypotheticals. Brace yourselves for some bad ones. It’s inevitable.
Let’s take a look at some of the key ingredients to any awful NBA hypothetical trade. This one is going to skew a bit towards the New York Knicks, but it applies to pretty much any NBA team and its fans.
Fringe Rotation Players
This is where most hypotheticals begin — some combination of fringe rotation players to set the foundation for this abomination. Whether or not the salaries match between the superstar player and the two or three rotation guys doesn’t make a difference either. Real-world application is irrelevant in many of these trade hypotheticals.
The fact that these players are struggling to find minutes shouldn’t matter. It’s a major plus if they are former lottery picks because that means they have untapped potential that another team might want to unlock.
Minimal 1st Round Picks
Here is where things get tricky. First-round picks are invaluable in the NBA and they are the easiest way to trade for a star. There’s a reason why teams like the Knicks, Thunder, and Pelicans have been stockpiling first-rounders for the last few years.
The key here is to make sure you are holding onto as many first-round picks as possible. Giving one away is the key, but if you have to budge, a pair of first-round picks won’t kill you. Bonus points if any of the fringe rotation players were former firsts because then you don’t have to give away future firsts!
SECOND ROUNDERS, BABY
Even the most ridiculous of Twitter GMs will look at the above package and say, “I might need a little something extra to sweeten the deal here.” That’s where the second-round picks come in.
When an NBA blogger puts together a horrendous trade proposal but wants to make it seem like they are giving away a ton pic.twitter.com/Exk2JJONAY
— Danny Small (@dwsmall8) June 10, 2021
The fact that second-round picks are a dime a dozen shouldn’t matter. Just keep stacking second-rounder after second-rounder until it looks like you are giving away a massive haul.
The Knicks are stocked with second-round picks for the foreseeable future, but teams who are not can just pivot to pick swaps instead. The key part here is that you are adding filler to a deal that is already mostly filler.
Insert Cliché Here
This might be the most crucial aspect of any trade hypothetical. “Giving up the farm” and “mortgaging the future” are two of my personal favorites here.
It doesn’t really matter how you phrase it, but it’s important to give off the impression that you are giving up way too much to get this star. In reality, this is a deal that any GM in the NBA would hang up on in seconds.
Knicks Bonus: Carmelo Anthony Trade
No Knicks hypothetical trade is complete without a reference to the Carmelo Anthony trade that went down over a decade ago. Sure, the league has changed a lot since then, but who cares about context?
Let’s get these hypothetical trades going. Who says no?