The Knicks don’t have a definitive answer at point guard for next season, but it shouldn’t be the Pacers’ Malcolm Brogdon. NBA sources are telling Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer that there is a link between New York and Brogdon.
Here’s the full quote on the Brogdon report:
“The Knicks have also been linked to Brogdon in recent days by league personnel. New York is known to have interest in trading up from the No. 11 pick, with a perceived target of Purdue combo guard Jaden Ivey. But if New York doesn’t jump up the lottery order — league executives don’t forecast such a deal — and determines it is out of the running for free agent-to-be Jalen Brunson, Brogdon has been mentioned as one of several potential backup options for the Knicks to plug their hole at starting point guard.”
The good news here for Knicks fans is Brogdon seems to be a fallback option. But the bad news is he’s an option at all. This isn’t to say that Brogdon is a bad player — not by a long shot — but it doesn’t make sense for the Knicks to invest young players and assets in a deal for a pricey, injury-prone point guard.
He’s due nearly $66 million over the next three years and only appeared in 36 games last season. The year before that? It was 56 games out of 72 and just 54 of 73 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Are his best years behind him as each new injury mounts? After all, Brogdon is about to be on the wrong side of 30.
If the Knicks were able to acquire Brogdon for pennies on the dollar, maybe a deal makes sense. However, this isn’t NBA 2K, it’s the real world. The Pacers are going to be looking for young players and draft capital in any move for Brogdon.
Why would the Knicks part ways with Immanuel Quickley or Obi Toppin when they are beginning to blossom into potential franchise cornerstones? It’s unlikely that either player develops into a legitimate superstar, but Brogdon isn’t one either.
Quickly and Toppin set career marks with 34 and 42 points, respectively, in the season finale against Toronto. Not to mention, Quickley’s 34 points came as part of a triple-double.
Going back a little further, Toppin put up 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 10 games as a starter down the stretch. As for the spry lead guard, he averaged 16.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists on 45/39/85 shooting splits in his last 24 games. Brogdon’s 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists in 36 games aren’t that far off from Quickley’s late-season surge.
Are these sample sizes large enough to say Quickley and Toppin have made it? Of course not, but it’s enough to know we want to see more. Trading either player or *shudders* both for Brogdon would be moving a sizable stack of chips to the table for an inside straight draw. It’s not worth it.
The same goes for draft picks. Future first-rounders offer long-term flexibility while Brogdon would put the Knicks into a box for the next three years. Again, he’s a good player when he’s healthy, but that’s an awfully big risk to take.
Now, if the Pacers were willing to trade Brogdon in a deal that centered on Julius Randle and some filler on either side, maybe this makes sense. Flipping Randle for Brogdon would mean that Toppin could step into the starting lineup. Meanwhile, there would still be a place for Quickley either as Brogdon’s starting backcourt mate or a super-sixth man.
It’s unlikely that Indiana would want to do that after moving Domantas Sabonis last season. But at the very least the salaries would line up.
“Building from within” is going to be a theme for my Knicks writing this summer and outside of this one scenario, Brogdon doesn’t fulfill that goal.