Report: Knicks counting on ‘universal truth’ in pursuit of another star this summer

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks allegedly hope to make a deal for a star in the offseason and are counting on a “universal truth” that a big name will unexpectedly become available this summer.

“The organization is still targeting the upcoming summer as the time to trade for the next big name, league sources tell The Athletic,” Fred Katz wrote. “[Julius] Randle can become a free agent in 2025 and will be due for a raise then, as can [Jalen] Brunson, who is eligible for an extension this summer but could make more money by waiting until 2025 free agency to sign a new contract.

“A year from now, the Knicks will become more expensive. Financially, and with the current collective bargaining agreement, this summer is the time for a star trade.”

The Knicks were eliminated from the 2024 NBA Playoffs after falling to the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the second-round series between the two squads.

“It’s not clear who that star will be,” Katz continued. “Even the Knicks do not know. They are counting on one universal truth: In the NBA, someone unexpected always becomes available.

“Karl-Anthony Towns, Paul George on an opt-in-and-trade, the Miami Heat breaking it down, Donovan Mitchell again, the Phoenix Suns retooling — whatever happens, the Knicks plan to inject themselves into the conversation. Of course, circumstances today are not the same as they were when they sought after Mitchell only a couple of summers ago.”

New York simply couldn’t stop the Pacers from scoring the ball on Sunday. Indiana scored 130 points while shooting 67.1 percent from the field, the highest shooting percentage in a single playoff game in NBA history.

All five of the Pacers’ starters in Game 7 dropped at least 17 points, and floor general Tyrese Haliburton scored a team-high 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 6-of-12 from deep.

The Knicks didn’t have an awful offensive performance in Game 7 by any stretch; they just couldn’t keep up with the Pacers’ historically hot shooting. Led by Donte DiVincenzo’s game-high 39 points, New York scored 109 points as a team and shot 37.1 percent from deep.

Heading into the 2024 offseason, the Knicks only have two bona fide star players on their roster. Brunson — who averaged 32.4 points per contest during New York’s playoff run — is fresh off his first All-Star appearance, and Randle, a three-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection, averaged 24.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game during the 2023-24 regular season before going down with a shoulder injury.

The Knicks have more great players outside of Brunson and Randle, such as DiVincenzo, Isaiah Hartenstein, Josh Hart and Mitchell Robinson, but those players aren’t considered stars.

Considering how New York’s run in the 2024 NBA Playoffs came to an end, the Knicks might be one star away from being legitimate title contenders. Perhaps team president Leon Rose will help bring a star to New York this summer before the Knicks have to commit a lot of money to their stars in Brunson and Randle in order to retain them.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.