NBA trade rumors are saying that the New York Knicks had a chance to upgrade their back court but backed out at the last minute. According to Hoops Rumors, Knicks president Phil Jackson rejected a deal from the Houston Rockets that would have enabled them to acquire Patrick Beverley, who is an upgrade over Jose Calderon, in exchange for two rotation players and a first round draft pick.
For much of February, all the trade rumors surrounding the Houston Rockets involved Ty Lawson, who has struggled to fit in with the ball-dominant James Harden. Rumors had him going to the Utah Jazz, a team that needed a veteran guard in the worst of ways. They instead settled on Shelvin Mack, a reserve for the Atlanta Hawks who was stuck behind Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder on the depth chart.
While all the talk about Ty Lawson was going on, the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets were secretly discussing a trade of Patrick Beverley, their other point guard. Beverley is a really solid guard and a willing defender. The 27-year-old veteran was skilled enough to win the NBA Skills Competition during the All Star weekend in 2015. Combine all of his intangibles, and it’s easy to see why teams would be interested in him.
When the New York Knicks surprisingly fired Derek Fisher, the team publicly stated that the move was done so that they can salvage the season and get into the NBA Playoffs. Carmelo Anthony was once again an All-Star player, and Latvian rookie Kristaps Porzingis has developed much quicker than anyone in the National Basketball Association could have imagined, but the team knows that they need to upgrade from Jose Calderon if they really wanted to reach their goal.
For years, the New York Knicks were notorious for spending money loosely and making bad decisions. The old regime might have done the trade for Patrick Beverley, especially since they had no qualms about giving away draft picks. When Phil Jackson took over as the Knicks president, he vowed to be patient and calculated. By showing restraint during the trade deadline, Jackson is proving true to his words.
A first round draft pick is really a lot to give up in the NBA. It’s not like the NFL, where you can frequently find gems in the later rounds. The New York Knicks never would have acquired Kristaps Porzingis had they traded his pick away. The seven-foot, three-inch, 240-pound forward will some day become the franchise player. The Knicks are already without a first round draft pick in the upcoming draft, and that stings because the team is trying to rebuild quickly.
Trading away two rotational players is pretty rough as well, especially since the New York Knicks aren’t as deep as they want to be. Their back court is already shallow, so it definitely would have hurt them to give up either Jerian Grant or Langston Galloway. Pretty sure the Houston Rockets don’t consider Sasha Vujacic a rotational player. A team desperately looking for a guard upgrade shouldn’t be keen on giving away the little talent that they have now.
Derrick Williams could have been thrown into the trade, but the 24-year-old forward looks like he’s finally found his niche and a home with the New York Knicks. Lance Thomas has developed into a solid two-way player, and the Knicks are going to try really hard to fit him into the salary cap this summer. Losing either of those guys would really hurt the front court.
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