Could the New York Knicks trade for two former All-Stars in the 2020 offseason and greatly improve their odds of making the postseason for the first time since 2013? Following reports suggesting that the Knicks could make a move for a “disgruntled” star player if one becomes available this summer, a new report took a look at a number of trade ideas for the struggling team, including one that would send Cleveland Cavaliers big men Kevin Love and Andre Drummond to New York for a package centered on Julius Randle.
As explained by BleacherReport, the aforementioned trade suggestion — which would also have guards Frank Ntilikina and Wayne Ellington, big men Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson, and a 2021 first-round pick (via the Dallas Mavericks) joining Randle in Cleveland — could benefit both teams involved in a number of ways. The publication noted that this would allow the Cavaliers to “completely” enter rebuilding mode and give the Knicks two proven frontcourt stars who have combined for seven All-Star Game appearances and are still playing at a high level at this point in their careers.
Aside from stressing how the 31-year-old Love could contribute as an outside shooter and rebounder, Bleacher Report wrote that Drummond — who was on track to a fourth rebounding title when the NBA went on hiatus last month — was just recently targeted by the Knicks, only for the Cavaliers to make a deal with the Detroit Pistons and acquire him before this year’s trade deadline. The outlet predicted that the duo could see their scoring averages go up in New York, thanks to the presence of pass-first point guard Elfrid Payton.
Welcome to Cleveland, Andre Drummond ???? pic.twitter.com/kheRLZbW4P— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) February 10, 2020
On the other hand, it was pointed out that the Cavaliers would likely be most interested in what Randle, Ntilikina, and the future draft pick could contribute if the trade idea becomes a reality. At only 25 years old, with averages of 19.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game, per Basketball-Reference, Randle is very much in the prime of his career and is in the first season of the three-year free-agent contract he signed with the Knicks last summer. If he gets traded to Cleveland, the move would also reunite him with his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate, Larry Nance Jr.
Although the 21-year-old Ntilikina has yet to live up to expectations as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, he was described as someone who could still develop into a quality player, especially on the defensive end.
While Portis, Gibson, and Ellington appear to have been included in the hypothetical transaction as salary filler, Bleacher Report concluded by cautioning that before “[settling] for a draft pick,” the Cavaliers could request that the Knicks sweeten the deal by also including promising second-year center Mitchell Robinson.