Those guards include reigning Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, 2021 Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson, Pistons veteran and former Knick Alec Burks, and Charlotte’s Terry Rozier.
It’s obvious why the Knicks want an extra guard. Trading Immanuel Quickley for OG Anunoby left a big scoring void on New York’s bench. Deuce McBride has done a good job stepping up, shooting 43.5% from three, but it’s a small sample size. The Knicks simply can’t go into the playoffs with him as their best bench scorer.
Meanwhile, each of the four players Stein mentioned could be a solid fit in the Knicks’ system. All of them can score in bunches and have the range New York seeks.
Let’s start with Brogdon, who’s averaged 14.8 points and 5.1 assists for Portland this year. He’s shot 41% from three and could also be a playmaker off the Knicks’ bench. He would be a proper backup point guard. The downside is he’s making $22.5 million this year, and is under contract through 2025.
Rozier comes with a similar downside. He’s making $23.2 million this year and set to earn nearly $25 million next season. However, he’s in the midst of a career season, averagint 24 points and shooting a career-high 46.1% from the floor. He can’t defend, but he’d be in New York to score points.
Clarkson, meanwhile, is having another solid year bouncing between the starting lineup and bench in Utah. His 17.6 points and 5.2 dimes are impressive, his percentages less so. Add his turnstile defense, and it’s hard to justify bringing him on despite his expiring contract.
Burks is an old 32 and we can forget his shooting under 40% on the year. He’s still making his threes and just needs to get off the 4-37 Pistons. He knows coach Tom Thibodeau’s system and should work well with Jalen Brunson.
The Knicks wouldn’t have to give up much for any of these players either. They have a treasure trove of first-round draft picks and have both Quentin Grimes and Evan Fournier to offer. Burks might not cost any draft capital at all!
All this to say that team president Leon Rose and his front office know they have a talented team. They know they’re one piece away, star or not, from making some serious noise in the playoffs.
A New York Knicks trade is on the horizon. We’ll soon see who rides into town.