3 trades the Knicks should absolutely consider this offseason

Peter Dewey
10 Min Read
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are quickly becoming a team that has title expectations, and this coming offseason may be the time for them to take the next step towards making that a reality.

New York – despite a litany of injuries – earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference this season, making the second round of the playoffs before losing in seven games to the Indiana Pacers.

Julius Randle (shoulder), Mitchell Robinson (ankle), O.G. Anunoby (hamstring) and Bojan Bogdanovic (foot) all missed time in the playoffs, and Randle, Anunoby and Robinson missed significant chunks of the regular season.

Still, New York has a bona fide star in Jalen Brunson, who earned his first All-Star appearance in the 2023-24 campaign. Building around Brunson should be the Knicks’ focus going forward, and it’s imperative that they maximize the 2024-25 season, as it’s possibly the last season Brunson will be on a value deal.

The All-Star guard is set to make just under $25 million next season, and he has a player option for the 2025-26 campaign. Brunson could opt out of that contract and get a major raise. It’s also possible the Knicks decide to extend him before that, which would complicate the franchise’s salary cap situation down the line.

The Knicks also have major decisions with Anunoby and Randle coming up when it comes to their contracts.

New York could offer Randle an extension on his deal, but the two-time All-NBA selection is coming off a major injury that cost him about half of the 2023-24 season.

As for Anunoby, he is likely going to be an unrestricted free agent this coming offseason. New York gave up two important young pieces in RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley for him during the 2023-24 season, so it’s likely that it will try to re-sign him.

Even if Anunoby is back, there is room to improve the roster, but there are questions as well.

Trade acquisitions Alec Burks and Precious Achiuwa are set to become free agents. Can the Knicks bring them back? Do they want to?

Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart, who played great this season, both went from bench players to every night starters playing heavy minutes during the 2023-24 campaign.

What will their roles look like in the 2024-25 season?

Isaiah Hartenstein was terrific all season filling in for Robinson, who missed a ton of time due to injury, but he is now a free agent this summer. Do the Knicks have to choose between one of these centers to make the things work money-wise this offseason?

Bogdanovic, who is under contract in the 2024-25 season, is aging and may be a perfect trade chip to mix up the roster, but what is his actual value on the trade market?

Ultimately, it’s going to be a challenge for the Knicks to run back the same team, and after watching injuries derail this season’s playoff run, they may want to add to the roster in the trade market, especially if they’re at risk of losing Hartenstein or Anunoby in free agency.

It’s also worth considering if the Knicks need to make a tweak to a core piece like Randle after they played well without him at times down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs.

There are pros and cons to every deal, but there are a few players that should at least be on the Knicks’ radar this coming offseason.

Here are three trades that the Knicks should consider when evaluating their roster this offseason, featuring the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards as potential trade partners.

1. Reunite the Villanova crew

Knicks receive: Mikal Bridges
Nets receive: Bojan Bogdanovic, 2024 first-round pick, 2024 first-round pick (via WAS), 2025 first-round pick (via MIL) and 2026 first-round pick

Mikal Bridges and Bojan Bogdanovic

This is the most obvious target of all.

Brunson, Hart, DiVincenzo and Bridges all played in college together at Villanova University, and it’s well-documented that they are close friends. Bridges was even a guest on the podcast that Hart and Brunson host.

The real question is whether or not Brooklyn would part ways with Bridges at this stage.

Brooklyn has very little control over its future draft picks after trading for James Harden a few seasons ago, but it is loaded with the draft capital it gained from trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

While the Nets may not want a full rebuild, could they turn down four firsts in exchange for Bridges? That could be enough to at least get Brooklyn to consider moving the two-way star.

As for the Knicks, this deal is a match made in heaven.

Bridges fits into the culture that has already been built by his former college teammates, and he gives the Knicks insurance on Anunoby, who has not played 70 or more games in a season since his rookie year.

Plus, by only having to move Bogdanovic to make the salaries work, the Knicks can keep key pieces like Randle, Robinson and others on the roster.

It’s possible that Brooklyn would want players in exchange for Bridges, but the Knicks have the draft capital to at least make the Nets consider a deal.

2. Make the splash for Paul George?

Knicks receive: Paul George
Clippers receive: Julius Randle, Bojan Bogdanovic, 2024 first-round pick and 2025 first-round pick (via MIL)

Paul George, Julius Randle, Bojan Bogdanovic

The Knicks have been rumored to be interested in George dating back to last offseason and the 2023 NBA Draft.

If George opts into the last season of his deal with Los Angeles, he could be a perfect trade candidate for a Knicks team that needs another scoring option next to Brunson.

Losing Randle in this deal would hurt, but the Knicks would be relying on the core that closed out the regular season to mesh well with George.

A proven scoring and nine-time All-Star, George would likely need to stay long term with the Knicks to make this deal worth it. If it’s just a one-year rental, New York is probably better off keeping Randle.

Still, adding George and keeping him off the Philadelphia 76ers, who are rumored to be pursuing him this offseason, could end up as a double win for New York.

For the Clippers, their hands could be tied if George doesn’t agree to a long-term extension with the team, as he also could simply opt out of his deal to become a free agent this offseason.

There are a lot of moving parts that would need to happen for this deal to materialize for the Knicks, but it’s worth kicking the tires to see if it’s available this summer.

3. Package picks for Kyle Kuzma

Knicks receive: Kyle Kuzma
Wizards receive: Bojan Bogdanovic, 2024 first-round pick, 2024 first-round pick (via WAS) and 2026 first-round pick

Kyle Kuzma an Bojan Bogdanovic

If Bridges isn’t available, the Knicks could pivot to another forward in Washington’s Kuzma, who signed a new deal with the Wizards last offseason.

The price for Kuzma, who isn’t the same caliber of defender as Bridges, may be less, and the Knicks could return one of the Wizards’ picks that they own (although it is protected) as part of this deal.

Essentially, the Knicks would be upgrading Bogdanovic’s spot in the rotation and getting younger in the process. Plus, Kuzma can play both forward spots (he’s played small and power forward during his NBA career) which would give the Knicks some flexibility if they are once again bit by the injury bug.

The fit isn’t as perfect as Bridges, but it could be a deal that’s available if Washington wants to stockpile draft picks during its rebuild.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.