damian lillard knicks
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks should let this season play out before making a big move.

The New York Knicks are flirting with mediocrity this season. They’re not bad, but they can’t seem to develop any real level of consistency like last year. It’s up — then it’s down.

If one thing is clear, it’s that this is not a championship-level roster. Playoff team? Maybe, but a championship contender they are not. The Knicks still need to make one big splash to acquire a star who can be the No. 1 banana on an NBA Finals contender.

But here is the thing: Now is not the time to make that splash. It’s time to continue playing the waiting game.

Part of this has to do with the available players on the market, but we should also keep an eye on case studies in why making a move just to make a move doesn’t work.

Available Stars?

There are a handful of “available stars” on the market at the moment, but this statement is up for interpretation to a certain degree.

Rumors have surfaced that the Pacers and Kings were at least discussing the possibility of a swap involving Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. Myles Turner is another name on the trade block but a recent injury complicates things.

These guys might be “available” but are they stars who can put the Knicks over the edge? Probably not. Definitely not when one considers how much New York would have to part with to acquire any of these guys.

Damian Lillard is the one transcendent star who might be able to elevate the Knicks into a real contender in the Eastern Conference, but is he really available? It’s hard to know for sure and much like Turner, Lillard is currently injured.

Ben Simmons is clearly not a No. 1 and Daryl Morey is trying to trade him for all the tea in China. We don’t need to open up that can of worms.

The players who are currently “available” don’t check the boxes needed to make the Knicks a championship contender. The stars who might push the Knicks over the hump might not even be available.

Lakers-Westbrook Yikes

The Knicks don’t need to make their move now. The upcoming trade deadline doesn’t look like it’s going to move the needle enough for Knicks president Leon Rose to make his big splash. There’s no need to make a move just for the sake of making a move.

The Lakers are a great case study in how making a big splash just to make a big splash can backfire. They traded for Russell Westbrook in the offseason as a way to reinvigorate the lineup. That hasn’t worked out — at all.

In fact, the Knicks and Lakers have the exact same record through 45 games of the season (22-23). The difference is that New York still has plenty of flexibility to make upgrades to the roster.

The Lakers are stuck trying to convince the rest of the world that Talen Horton-Tucker is the best thing since sliced bread.

Cam Reddish Move Makes Sense

In truth, the Knicks have probably made their big midseason addition in Cam Reddish. This is similar to their deal for Derrick Rose last season. They struck well in advance of the trade deadline for someone who can improve the team but isn’t really a star.

The addition of Reddish comes with the possibility of future stardom. After all, he was a lottery pick not too long ago.

Things aren’t perfect for the Knicks, but they still have a path to the playoffs. With the murky trade market, their best course of action is to let this season play out and reassess in the offseason.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.