After firing head coach Derek Fisher, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson admitted that they need to make moves to improve the team before the trade deadline this season either for their campaign in the current season or the long-term.
Jackson confessed, via ESPN, that the team does not have much to offer on the trade front but that won’t stop the veteran mentor and executive from exploring trades.
“Do we sit in a really favorable spot? Probably not. We don’t have a tremendous amount of favorable trade items that are on our roster,” Jackson said during the press conference for the firing of Fisher.
According to the same ESPN report, the Knicks have had exploratory talks with the Atlanta Hawks but the latter balked because of the former’s “lack of assets”. Also from the same report, the Knicks are said to be “monitoring” the play of point guard Brandon Jennings of the Detroit Pistons.
One team that could be the Knicks’ trade partner before the trade deadline are the Milwaukee Bucks, who reportedly put center Greg Monroe and point guard Michael-Carter Williams on the trading block.
Via ESPN’s Trade Machine, here’s how a probable deal between the Knicks and Bucks can look like if they decide to make a deal this February:
New York Knicks – Milwaukee Bucks Trade:
Robin Lopez ($12.65M), Jose Calderon ($7.4M) and 2017 second round pick for Greg Monroe ($16.4M) and Michael Carter-Williams ($2.39M)
Why this NBA trade works for the Knicks:
Monroe is not a very good shot-blocking presence but pairing him with rim protector and promising rookie Kristaps Porzingis in New York can solve that weakness.
With Monroe a legit threat down the block, Porzingis can be busy with developing his three-point shot more and of course, crashing the offensive glass for those pretty putbacks.
Carter-Williams has two years left in his deal and he could be the Knicks’ starting point guard this year and next. He’s also a tall point guard, which is something Jackson likes for the one-position in the triangle offense.
Why this NBA trade makes sense for the Bucks:
Admitting that signing Monroe and dealing for Carter-Williams was a mistake, the Bucks can now stop that experiment and get two serviceable veteran players in Lopez and Calderon.
Lopez is actually a better fit alongside athletic forwards Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo compared to Monroe, who needs the ball in the paint to be effective.
With Lopez, who is known for his hustle and energy, more shots will go to Parker and Antetokounmpo, both of whom are seen as core of the franchise for the long-term.
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