Following their acquisition of Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons, there’s a possibility the New York Knicks could make another move that might improve their chances of making the playoffs for the first time in close to a decade. As suggested in a new trade idea, this could involve acquiring DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs.
On Friday, NBA Analysis Network wrote that with the Knicks seemingly “interested” once again in qualifying for the postseason, with youthful players such as Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and R.J. Barrett making big contributions in a “very top-heavy” Eastern Conference. However, the outlet suggested that the Knicks could offer Randle and reserve point guard Frank Ntilikina in order to acquire DeRozan, who is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $2`7.7 million this season.
“Moving forward, he will get a much lower deal at this stage of his career. The Knicks would be in a position to extend DeRozan for a much cheaper price tag. He has proven that he still has plenty left in the tank leading the Spurs with 20.2 points per game.”
As further explained, the Knicks have not had a true No. 1 option on offense since the time Carmelo Anthony was still playing for the team. While Randle is currently enjoying his best statistical season in New York, NBA Analysis Network speculated that DeRozan might be a better fit than he is alongside Robinson and Barrett, making him a potentially better mentor for the two young stars. The publication added that the 31-year-old guard/forward’s scoring ability could be what the Knicks need to become a legitimate playoff contender.
Although Ntilikina has frequently been dismissed as a bust in the four years since he was picked eighth overall in the 2017 draft, the site predicted that he could benefit from a “change of scenery” in San Antonio.
Meanwhile, the hypothetical transaction could also be advantageous to the Spurs, who are ranked sixth in the Western Conference with a 14-11 record. The publication explained that Randle could be the impact player the club needs to further improve their chances of qualifying for the postseason. According to Basketball-Reference, the 26-year-old power forward is averaging 22.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 5.8 assists — the latter two being career-highs — and shooting 46.7 percent from the field for the Knicks.
Additionally, NBA Analysis Network noted that trading DeRozan could also free things up for the Spurs’ young core players, including Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson, who could get more scoring opportunities if the four-time All-Star is moved.