One of the biggest surprises of the NBA’s first half has been the play of the New York Knicks, who are currently the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Led by first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks are overachieving with a relative lack of star power. The team has one All-Star–forward Julius Randle, who is having a career year–and a host of other contributors ranging from youngsters with promise (R.J. Barrett and Mitchell Robinson) to wise-old vets (Taj Gibson).
However, one longtime NBA reporter thinks that could be changing relatively soon. On the latest edition of his “Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he expects a “star/superstar” player to try to force his way to New York down the road.
Windhorst put the timeline on such a demand as within the next year.
“I say within the next 12 months a star, slash, superstar player demands a trade to New York. And I don’t know who it’s going to be. I have some guesses. I’m not going to say right here. I’ll let you guys start thinking about that. Let’s just put it this way: league executives certainly have some guesses.
“I say by next year’s trade deadline a superstar, an All-Star tries to force his way there. They’re going to be in position to do that type of trade and maybe that’s where Julius Randle comes in [as a trade piece].”
We get rumors about the Knicks landing star players all the time, but most of them are in the form of free agency pipe dreams. If New York keeps playing at its current clip, perhaps this scenario is actually feasible.
If the Knicks were finally going to rebuild and become a viable NBA organization, they were going to have to go through an overachieving phase first before adding top talent. Maybe that’s what is happening right now.
[ RealGM ]