With new head coach Tom Thibodeau leading the turnaround, the New York Knicks suddenly appear to be all-in on winning games sooner rather than later. To that end, the club is reportedly more willing than it has been in some time to do whatever is necessary to bring a star player to the Big Apple.
"They're going to be in the mix when a star becomes available," a source with knowledge of the situation told the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "That's been the plan."
Although the franchise has at least attempted to lure a slew of topflight free agents in recent years, the very concept of dangling its assets in trade talks has largely been a non-starter. As noted by the Daily News, former team president Steve Mills once declared he was unwilling to part with draft picks or assets to acquire "a guy we can get on our own later."
Clearly, though, the Knicks front office has been issued a different directive by current president Leon Rose and executive VP William Wesley.
Earlier this month, New York dealt point guard Dennis Smith Jr. -- a former No. 9 overall pick who is still just 23 years old -- to the Detroit Pistons in order to re-acquire veteran floor general and Thibodeau favorite Derrick Rose. While Rose's MVP days are long behind him, he's still a veteran playmaker whose presence makes more sense on a team pushing for the postseason than one who is looking to stockpile assets.
Now, it would seem the Knicks brass has even bigger things in mind going forward.
As relayed previously by The Inquisitr, the club has reportedly been monitoring standout guards Bradley Beal and Victor Oladipo as possible trade targets.
Of the two of them, Beal is the player with the biggest potential to elevate the Knicks in the Eastern Conference. According to Bondy, though, the asking price for the Washington Wizards star is a steep one. One longtime general manager reportedly indicated to him that it could take three unprotected first-round picks, two pick swaps, a young player and an expiring contract to get a deal done.
Nevertheless, the Knicks are one of only a handful of clubs who could be in a position to put together that kind of package. The team owns five first-round selections over the next three years and has fielded a roster featuring talented youngsters like RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley and others.
Veteran big man Julius Randle, meanwhile, is only fully guaranteed through the end of the current campaign.