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4 players the New York Knicks should trade in the offseason

This season has been a massive disappointment for the New York Knicks. After stunning the NBA last season and playing above expectation to land the fourth seed in the playoffs, the team has taken a major step back in 2021-2022.

Whether they make it into the playoffs or don’t even reach a play-in game, it is not too early for the franchise to start pondering worthwhile additions by subtraction this summer. Here are four players the Knicks should look to move in the offseason.

Derrick Rose

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Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This one may seem a bit surprising, considering the affinity coach Tom Thibodeau has for Derrick Rose, but the team needs to end its history of relying on oft-injured former superstars. Without a doubt, Rose was a hugely important part of the team’s success last year. But after playing just 26 games this season, due to an ankle injury, the team should see the downside of investing big money in the Chicago native.

  • Derrick Rose stats (2020-2021): 14.9 PPG, 3.0 REB, 4.0 AST

Despite his long history of injury woes, Rose would still be a valuable chip in the offseason. When healthy, he can still contribute at a high level, as he showed last year. Plus, he only has one guaranteed year left on his contract at $14.5 million. Expiring contracts are worth a whole lot in today’s NBA, and it makes Rose a viable option to score a decent return for the New York Knicks in a possible trade.

Nerlens Noel

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Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Nerlens Noel was one of the team’s MVPs in 2021-2022. When Mitchel Robinson went down with an injury and was lost for the season, the nine-year veteran stepped up in a big way and anchored the team’s league-leading defense into the playoffs.

This season has been a different story as he has been less effective on the defensive end, and has been supplanted by rookie center Jericho Sims over the last month. Sims has shown solid upside and is deserving of playing time so the team can give him a serious look. It makes Noel expendable, especially if they do re-sign restricted free agent Robinson.

Noel only has one guaranteed year left on his current deal at $9.2 million. With league contracts reaching absurd numbers lately — even for backups — the Kentucky University alum offers up a solid bench player with a favorable and expiring contract. A combination that could fetch the New York Knicks solid draft capital in return.

Kemba Walker

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Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This one is a no-brainer and just a formality at this point. For all the excitement New York fans had about Kemba Walker joining the team and playing in his hometown, the results have turned into a nightmare. The Bronx native’s style never meshed with coach Thibodeau, and Walker was even benched at one point in November. Only to get his starting job back a month later.

  • Kemba Walker stats (2021-2022): 11.6 PPG, 3.0 REB, 3.5 AST

However, with his lack of play in the fourth quarter and a severely diminished role, he and the team agreed to part ways and let him go home for the rest of the season. When he is traded, the return won’t be anything of note. However, if they can remove the $9.2 million he is set to make next year off their cap, without taking much back in return, that will be the best result possible from a disastrous situation.

Alec Burks

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Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Burks is one of the most tradable assets the New York Knicks have. That was proven in Feb. when he did receive interest from other teams before the NBA trade deadline. While his points per game and three-point percentage took a slight dip this year, he is still a valuable and consistent scorer off the bench.

Burks was thrust into a role as a starting point guard this season because of the injury to Rose and the Walker drama. A position that he was never meant to be in. With only one guaranteed year left on his deal, at $10.0 million, Burks would be a worthwhile addition for a team hoping to contend and in need of a strong six-man. The 30-year-old could very well land the Knicks a late first-round pick in a deal.

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