Despite failing to acquire their top targets last summer, the New York Knicks still haven’t given up on their dream of adding a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster. Aside from preserving salary cap space for the 2020 free agency, the Knicks also have a plethora of trade assets that they could use if an All-Star-caliber player becomes available on the trade market before the February trade deadline.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks envision themselves being in a good position to engage in a blockbuster trade for a “star player who could grow disgruntled with his current situation.”
Berman listed the top four trade targets for the Knicks. These include Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, and Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal, who scored 30 points at the Garden on Monday, had been on the Knicks’ radar but signed a long-term deal in October. He’s still on a lousy Wizards’ club in a mediocre NBA market. Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday is said to be on the trade block and there’s been rumors in the past about Portland’s Damian Lillard looking to play in a larger market. According to the source, another player the Knicks are expected to monitor is local product, Karl Anthony-Towns, the Timberwolves’ 24-year-old superstar who also signed a max extension this summer.”
No matter how good the players are, adding just one of Towns, Beal, Lillard, or Holiday won’t make the Knicks an instant title contender in the league. However, successfully bringing one of those superstars to New York would be a great start for the Knicks. It could tremendously increase their chances of winning games and end their years of playoff drought.
Of all those superstars, Towns proved to be the most intriguing trade target for the Knicks. Towns, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, was born in New Jersey and grew up as a Knicks’ fan. At the age of 24-years-old, Towns perfectly fits the timeline of the Knicks’ young core of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Julius Randle, and Dennis Smith Jr.
In the potential blockbuster deal, Berman suggested that the Knicks would need to sacrifice the two future first-round selections they got from the Dallas Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. To further convince teams to make a deal, the Knicks should also include a young player in the trade package and players who have expiring contracts for salary-matching purposes.