The New York Knicks are searching high and low for their next starting point guard, which could come in the form of using their first-round selection in the 2022 NBA Draft. If a new floor general doesn’t get added via the draft, it’s possible the Knickerbockers turn to the trade market instead. One team who could become a viable partner is the Minnesota Timberwolves, with D’Angelo Russell reportedly being shopped around.
Let’s break down some of the potential options for the Knicks at point guard while also diving into what a potential DLo trade could look like for both teams.
New York Knicks have a lot of PG options
While Russell might be an option, he’s not their top target.
The Knicks are likely to check in on some of the other options before coming back to Minnesota for a potential DLo trade.
The Timberwolves seem willing to part with Russell since he has just one year left on his contract and the front office has yet to meet his asking price on a potential contract extension.
- D’Angelo Russell contract: $31.3 million
While the team seems just as willing to run things back with their starting point guard from their playoff appearance last season, he could be had for the right price. According to Darren Wolfson of KSTP, as the Wolves shop around for the best possible trade, the Knicks are a team that could get in the mix.
“Talks are not advanced,” says Darren Wolfson. But it should be noted that Knicks president Leon Rose, has ties to Creative Arts Agency (CAA), who represents Russell. There’s also Gersson Rosas, who traded for Russell when acting as the Wolves GM, and now works with the Knicks.
Based on their previous relationships, the Knicks have clear ties to DLo plus a strong need for a point guard. It just might be enough to get a deal done.
What a D’Angelo Russell trade to the Knicks could look like
- Knicks get: D’Angelo Russell
- Timberwolves get: Nerlens Noel, Evan Fournier
Trading D’Angelo Russell is a complicated move. He’s an inconsistent player who rarely lives up to his contract value. But at 26, having shown an ability to average 20-plus points per game, he’s certainly worthy of a starting gig.
Being that the Knicks don’t currently have a starting-caliber point guard, it’s understandable to see how he’s at least mildly intriguing in the Big Apple, even if he’s not a good defender. Russell’s scoring ability can help pack the garden, he has a high basketball IQ, and chances are, his consistency issues will get worked out as he gains experience.
Russell has never relied on athleticism, so he should age well, continuing to refine his weaknesses. Though his frame limits his defensive upside, Russell’s offensive skills should continue to improve. He’s not a strong distributor, but he can get the job done. Taking a chance on his abilities for a season might work out, if not, the Knicks gain over $30 million in cap space next offseason, to maybe chase a max contract free agent.
Meanwhile, the Wolves don’t want to risk losing Russell for nothing a year from now as a free agent, so getting anything back in value today could be their best move. Especially if such a trade helps address other needs, like getting a center who can rebound and defend at a high level like Nerlens Noel.
Even if the deal isn’t flashy from the Wolves’ perspective, getting two contributors back, with much more reasonable, tradeable contracts could be valuable down the line too.