New York Knicks eyeing ‘big center move’ for young player with sky-high potential

New York Knicks
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Some might argue that the New York Knicks already made the biggest trade of the NBA offseason, acquiring Mikal Bridges in exchange for five first-round picks. This was clearly an all-in move by the Knicks’ front office, but new reports suggest team president Leon Rose isn’t done.

According to long-time New York insider Marc Berman, the Knicks are still eyeing a “big center move” and could begin negotiating with Detroit and Houston for their young frontcourt prospects.

“Leon Rose was in 1st row of presser yesterday with Mikal’s mother. Didn’t talk, but he’s still cooking, wants to make big center move after Philly’s 2 additions. Heard Houston’s Sengun has been on radar, even Detroit’s Jalen Duren. And that was before Pistons signed Paul Reed.”

Marc Berman on New York Knicks

The Pistons and Rockets have other players clogging up the future for Jalen Duren and Alperen Sengun. While Houston doesn’t have a long-term starting center, they do have veteran Steven Adams, who’s more than capable. They also have Jabari Smith Jr., who’s the same height as Sengun, but he profiles better as a power forward.

As for Detroit, they’ve committed to paying Isaiah Stewart $60 million across four seasons. That contract kicks in this season, keeping him in Detroit through the 2027-28 league year. Things change quickly in the NBA, and it’s always possible Duren becomes the long-term starting center in Detroit, but it’s clear other teams covet the rebounding-savvy center.

Sengun, 21, and Duren, 20, would both represent significant upgrades for Tom Thibodeau’s team, giving the Knicks a center who could still develop into a star.

After seeing Isaiah Hartenstein leave in free agency, the Knicks are now scrambling a bit to recover. They do still have Mitchell Robinson, who’s also been included in trade rumors this summer. Either way, if the Knicks could pluck the versatile Sengun or the defensive-minded Duren, they’d be getting yet another massive boost to their starting five.

Related: Where does Jalen Brunson land in our 2025 NBA MVP predictions?

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