Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Knicks Mid-Season Trades

My fascination with the New York Knicks has continued this season, more so than before with Kristaps Porzingis exceeded expectations. So I thought it would be appropriate to look at how they can improve this season and possibly make the playoffs. We are almost at the halfway mark of the season so trades are going to start heating up. Now if we look at the Knicks they been quite surprising. They haven't been great but they haven't been bad either. The main issue they are having is their guards. Arron Afflalo is their lone bright spot, with Lance Thomas being able to switch between small forward and shooting guard. The play of their point guards however has been lousy. Jose Calderon has good field goal percentage and 3 point percentage. Unfortunately he doesn't take enough shots or get enough assists. Rookie Jerian Grant hasn't adjusted to the NBA level yet and the Knicks are paying the price. Then there is Langston Galloway, who was promising early but has dipped significantly in field goal percentage and assists. So what the Knicks need to do is trade for a starting point guard and preferably trade for a backup combo guard. Let's start with the point guards. Four names come to mind for trade targets. Ty Lawson, Jarrett Jack, Brandon Jennings and Ricky Rubio. If this was a free agency list I would have Rajon Rondo or Mike Conley at the top. Realistically Ty Lawson would be the cheapest option. The Knicks would really only have to give up Calderon and maybe a throw-in like Kevin Seraphin or Cleanthony Early. Ty Lawson is having a poor season but I blame that almost entirely on James Harden. He's been a plus assist man in the past, including last season. He does have off court issue and playing in New York might not help that so the Knicks need to be cautious.
Jarrett Jack is the type of player that I believe would fit well with the Knicks style of play. His field goal percentage is lackluster and he can't shoot 3s consistently, but his mid range jumper and ability to make assists is really what the Knicks need. Even with his below average season and because Brooklyn is not tanking, he would be more expensive. Jose Calderon would go in the deal and maybe Derrick Williams or Lance Thomas plus a throw in.
on Jennings would be an interesting pick up. He has yet to play an NBA game this year but has play a game in the D-League. He seems very eager to get back on the court but Reggie Jackson is clearly blocking him. If Jennings can bounce back he brings the assist the Knicks desperately need, explosiveness and the ability to hit 3s. He is very streaky however and is not know for his field goal percentage. I do believe that his style of play would fit nicely with the Knicks. He may also be expensive with the Pistons looking to grab a playoff spot. Jose Calderon would be a good backup for them as well as Langston Galloway to fill in for the injured Jodie Meeks. Throw in Kevin Seraphin and you have a deal.
Ricky Rubio is the most unlikely to get traded. The Timberwolves still have high hopes for him. The Knicks also don't have much to offer because the lack draft picks. Phil Jackson is crafty and the Wolves like Zach LaVine who has vastly improved and in my opinion has outplayed Rubio.
As for their choice in combo guards/backup shooting guards I can really only see one good fit and that's Jamal Crawford. He's not having the best season, especially shooting the 3 but a change of scenery from the fluctuating Clippers might be just what he needs. His experience and clutch scoring are what the Knicks really need coming off the bench. He shouldn't be too expensive either. He's going into free agency and the Clippers are very crowded in the backcourt. Trading Kevin Seraphin, Derrick Williams (Who I want the Knicks to keep) and a future pick should land them Crawford. Galloway might have to go as well if they haven't already traded him.
With additions to the team I believe the Knicks can sneak into the playoffs, if not they can definitely play spoilers to teams who are trying to.

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