Despite strengthening their backcourt with the acquisition of Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons, the New York Knicks still have several assets available -- including perceived draft busts Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox -- in the lead-up to the March 25 trade deadline. As a new report suggests, the Knicks have chosen to hang on to these players because of how they are monitoring two other guards who have been a staple of the rumor mill over the past several months -- Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards and Victor Oladipo of the Houston Rockets.
As reported on Wednesday by Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks are "saving as many young assets as possible" in anticipation of a blockbuster deal in the near future. He noted that the team is specifically monitoring Beal and Oladipo, who will both be seeing action against the Knicks in the coming days, with the Wizards hosting them on Friday and the Rockets traveling to New York for Saturday's game.
Despite the various rumors that have suggested he might be unhappy with the Wizards' continued losing ways, Beal remains committed to the organization, which, for its part, has maintained it has no plans of trading him. As of this writing, the 27-year-old shooting guard is averaging a league-high 33.3 points along with 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists, with a clip of 47 percent from the field.
"Eventually I think the Wizards will [trade him]," an unnamed NBA executive said, as quoted by Berman. "They want to treat Beal right. I think Beal will get frustrated enough to ask for a trade and they will accommodate him."
Meanwhile, Oladipo seems to be regaining the form that has eluded him since he underwent knee surgery in January 2019. He presently has averages of 19.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.7 assists and, as one of Berman's sources hinted, the Knicks were "definitely sniffing around" the former All-Defensive Team selection shortly before he was acquired by the Rockets from the Indiana Pacers in a four-team transaction that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.
Regarding the possible components the Knicks will need to include in their offer for Beal or Oladipo, second-year forward R.J. Barrett might not be part of the package, given how head coach Tom Thibodeau is a fan of his ability to contribute on both ends of the floor. Instead, the club might offer Knox, Ntilikina, and what could be two lottery picks in the 2021 draft as well as the second-round selection they got from the Pistons in the Rose deal. The Knicks could also offer their 2023 picks, which include two first-rounders.
Beal and Oladipo aren't the only shooting guards who are reportedly on the Knicks' radar. Late last month, it was rumored that the franchise is monitoring Zach LaVine's progress with the Chicago Bulls in the event he gets placed on the trading block.