D'Angelo Russell Could Be Traded To Knicks For Immanuel Quickley, Kevin Knox II & Two 1st-Rounders

D'Angelo Russell taunting the crowd
Gettyimages | Michael Reaves
Basketball

The New York Knicks are one of the most surprising teams in the 2020-21 NBA season. Despite having a roster mostly consisting of young players, the Knicks have managed to finish the regular season at the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 41-31 record. Regardless of the outcome of the 2021 Playoffs, the Knicks are expected to be more aggressive in building a roster that can legitimately contend for the NBA championship title next year.

Aside from having enough salary cap space to chase a max free agent, the Knicks also possess a plethora of interesting trade assets that they could use to engage in a blockbuster deal this summer.

Knicks Could Bring D'Angelo Russell To New York

D'Angelo Russell finding an open man
Gettyimages | Steph Chambers

One of the most intriguing trade targets for the Knicks in the 2021 offseason is D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In a recent article, Michael Balko of NBA Analysis Network suggested a hypothetical blockbuster trade idea that would enable the Knicks to acquire Russell from the Timberwolves this summer.

In the proposed trade scenario, the Knicks would be sending a package that includes Immanuel Quickley, Kevin Knox II, a 2021 first-round pick, and the Dallas Mavericks' 2023 first-round pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for Russell.

D'Angelo Russell Gives Knicks Long-Term Answer At PG Spot

D'Angelo Russell making plays for his teammates
Gettyimages | Michael Reaves

Giving up Quickley, Knox II, and two future first-round picks is undeniably a no-brainer for the Knicks if it means acquiring a player of Russell's caliber. Russell would provide the Knicks a long-term solution to their major backcourt problem, giving them a starting-caliber point guard that fits the timeline of Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

Russell's potential arrival in New York would also bring a significant improvement in their performance on both ends of the floor, giving them another very reliable scoring option and floor-spacer. This season, he averaged 19.0 points, 5.8 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Knicks Reunite Julius Randle With A Former Lakers' Teammate

D'Angelo Russell shake hands with Julius Randle
Gettyimages | Harry How

Aside from helping them address their major backcourt issue, what makes Russell a more intriguing acquisition for the Knicks is his familiarity with Randle's game. Russell and Randle played together for the Los Angeles Lakers for two consecutive years. Though they haven't accomplished anything as a team, they perfectly knew how each other moves inside the court.

Russell and Randle could be great pick-and-roll partners in New York. Russell won't also have a problem if Randle wants to dominate the ball since he's capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity.

Why The Trade Makes Sense For The Timberwolves

The proposed trade deal would make a lot of sense for the Timberwolves if they no longer believe in the pairing of Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. Sending Russell to New York won't only allow them to open up a huge chunk of their salary cap space, but it would also enable them to replace him with another promising point guard in Quickley and add two future draft assets to their collection.

"Immanuel Quickley is very quickly emerging as one of the NBA’s young stars and being dealt to Minnesota where he could see an increased role could really prove that," Balko wrote. "Quickley, this season, averaged 11.4 points per game, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists off the bench for the Knicks."