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New York Knicks eyeing megastar trade: A look at 3 options

Vincent Frank
Anthony Davis against the New York knicks
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a summer filled with trade rumors, the New York Knicks find themselves at a mediocre 5-5 on the season.

Outside of adding Jalen Brunson in free agency, New York’s brass pretty much decided to stand pat with its underperforming roster. That included pushing back against offering up the bounty that it would’ve taken to land New York star guard Donovan Mitchell, who was ultimately traded to the conference-rival Cleveland Cavaliers.

New York did make several draft-day trades in June to add three future first-round picks to the mix. Perhaps, the team is looking to use those assets to add a star player.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that NBA executives believe New York is hoarding picks in order to acquire the next megastar that becomes available.

“For whatever reason, they did not believe that Donovan Mitchell was a guy they wanted to go fully, fully all-in on. You choose that you’d rather keep all the picks and all the flexibility.” Report on New York Knicks trade situation. “And you have to give Leon Rose credit for this: They’ve built up those assets necessary to when whoever that megastar is available, they’ll be right there for him.”

Cleveland ended up giving up three first-round picks, two pick swaps and three players to the Utah Jazz for Mitchell. If New York is hellbent on acquiring a star, it’s surprising that it didn’t dole that out to bring in Mitchell, who is playing at an MVP level in his first season with the Cavaliers.

With the Knicks reportedly looking to make the next big splash, let’s look at three potential options for the downtrodden organization below.

Related: New York Knicks standing in Sportsnaut’s NBA power rankings

New York Knicks trade for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

new york knicks trade for shai gilgeous-alexander
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
  • Knicks get: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • Thunder get: Cam Reddish, Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, 3 first-round picks, pick swap

Despite some recent injury issues, SGA is considered one of the better all-around young stars in the game. He’s a mere 24 years old and has continued to improve since Oklahoma City acquired the former first-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Paul George blockbuster back in 2019.

This season alone, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging a resounding 30.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 54% shooting from the field. That’s some dominating stuff.

The idea of teaming SGA up with Brunson in the backcourt might be too much for the Knicks’ brass to pass up on. In turn, Oklahoma City continues with its rebuild by adding a young frontcourt guy in Toppin as well as three future unprotected first-round selections. We know how much Thunder front office head Sam Presti loves his draft picks, too.

Related: New York Knicks as an NBA Playoff contender?

Anthony Davis heads to the Big Apple

NBA: New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • Knicks get: Anthony Davis
  • Lakers get: Obi Toppin, Cam Reddish, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier, 3 first-round picks

There’s been some rumors around the NBA that the Los Angeles Lakers could end up listening to offers for Davis should both his injury-plagued ways and their team-wide struggles continue. While this would also likely include Los Angeles biting the bullet and trading LeBron James next summer, the team is going nowhere fast right now.

Starting anew with a rebuild while recouping picks it gave up for Davis and Russell Westbrook could make sense moving forward.

Here, Los Angeles picks up multiple future first-round selections as well as two potential franchise cornerstones to build with in that of Toppin and Reddish. It could also end up using Fournier’s soon-to-be expiring contract to bring in other assets.

As for the New York Knicks, taking a chance on Davis would absolutely be a risk. He missed half of the Lakers’ games over the past two seasons due to injury. But when on the court, he’s still among the top-10 players in the Association.

Kevin Durant lands with the New York Knicks in blockbuster trade

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
  • Knicks get: Kevin Durant, Joe Harris
  • Nets get: Julius Randle, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, 3 1st-round picks

How about both KD and the Knicks righting a wrong from all the way back in 2019? We know New York made a full-court press to sign both Durant and Kyrie Irving that summer. The two stars opted to shun Broadway for Brooklyn.

Fast forward more than three years, and there’s a good chance that the drama-filled Nets will look to trade Durant here soon. They just fired head coach Steve Nash. Kyrie Irving is suspended and has likely played his final game as a member of the Nets. A full rebuild could very well be in the cards here.

If so, moving off Durant for assets that include two young players, a former All-Star and three future first-round picks would help initiate a rebuild. In turn, New York is able to get that legitimate star who remains one of the faces of the NBA. It almost makes too much sense.