New York Knicks Leon Rose
New York Knicks

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday and the Knicks are keeping busy. The question is just which of the many rumors will come true?

As we’ve discussed, New York needs bench scoring, namely a three-and-D to spell Quentin Grimes. Reggie Bullock appeared to be an option at one point and so did Grayson Allen. Both shoot the three well enough that they’d instantly boost the Knicks.

But since then, Leon Rose and Scott Perry have added a few more names to the mix. Some would be great fits on both sides. Others, not so much. Let’s take a closer look.

Zach LaVine. Yahoo’s Jake Fischer reports the Knicks are one of four teams interested in the Bulls’ star guard. LaVine only just signed a max contract with Chicago last summer, but the team hasn’t improved at all and is clinging to the final playoff spot in the East. And even with alleged concerns over an old knee surgery, the Knicks have remained one of four teams consistently interested in the former UCLA Bruin.

First, the Knicks can absolutely make a trade and absorb LaVine’s contract without giving up key pieces. It’d just be a matter of convincing the Bulls to take on Evan Fournier’s deal and then some along with draft capital, of which New York has plenty. The greater issue is LaVine’s health and lack of defensive game, plus how he would fit into Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. Would he start and relegate Grimes to the bench or be New York’s most expensive sixth man? Sure, he fills a need and is better than Fournier, but may also be a worse fit.

Saddiq Bey. Ian Begley of SNY reports the Knicks have inquired about Detroit’s third-year wing, and he wouldn’t be a bad fit. As of now, he and his inconsistent shot are averaging 14.6 points for the lowly Pistons. Bey isn’t the best shooter or defender either, but perhaps Thibodeau thinks he can unlock something in him.

But as Begley points out, Bey is a Villanova guy like star point guard Jalen Brunson. Their college days didn’t overlap, but the connection may matter. If Brunson says Bey is the guy, then that could be enough for Thibs, Rose, and the rest of the front office to pull the trigger.

Malik Beasley. Hoopshype reports the Knicks have “kept tabs” on Beasley since his Minnesota days, citing his relationship with team executive Gersson Rosas. Beasley is currently averaging 13.6 points off the bench in Utah and shooting over 36% from three.

Like Reggie Bullock, Beasley instantly boosts New York’s bench scoring and gives Immanuel Quickley some support. Yet, he’s never been a good defender. What matters most to the Knicks in trade talks? Three-point shooting and scoring, defense, or someone who can do both? We’ll soon find out.

OG Anunoby. It’s no wonder the Knicks love Anunoby. His defensive wizardry makes him a great match with Thibodeau and the former Hoosier can also shoot consistently. New York clearly wants him too. Michael Grange at Sportsnet reported the Knicks are ready to offer the Raptors three first-round picks.

New York has more draft capital than it knows what to do with. Anunoby comes from a winning culture in Toronto and won a ring in 2019. The Knicks have been missing something since Bullock left two seasons ago and if he can’t be re-acquired, OG Anunoby is the next best option.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.