The New York Knicks were one of the best defensive teams in the league last NBA season, but so far this year, they have really struggled to play with that same intensity on defense. Ranking just 16th in the league in defensive rating, the Knicks are definitely not terrible defensively, but they are not the same team we saw last season.
As for their offense, they are definitely a much more balanced scoring team, especially with the additions of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier. The Knicks are currently 11-9 on the season and while they have suffered some bad losses to teams like the Magic and Pacers, they have also won some big games over the Lakers, Bulls, and 76ers.
Being 5-6 at home is something we are not used to seeing, as Madison Square Garden is one of the best home-court advantages in the league, but this team is still trying to develop chemistry with one another.
Two of the five players in their starting lineup were not on the team last year and with Mitchell Robinson playing just 31 games last year, he is still trying to get up to speed with everything as well.
In time, this Knicks team will no doubt be a contending force in the Eastern Conference, but the problem right now is time.
With how good the East is this season, the Knicks need to begin putting together a bunch of wins in a row and not just here and there, especially if they want to make it past the first round of the playoffs this year.
Being roughly $19M below the tax line for this season and having some tradable assets, the New York Knicks could absolutely be a team to keep an eye on as the trade deadline approaches this season. There is still a lot of time between now and February 10, but New York needs to begin figuring out what/who they are going to be targeting.
Leon Rose and Scott Perry have done an excellent job of building this team through the years and this front-office really does like the way this team is assembled, but are they good enough to contend against the likes of the Bucks, Nets, Heat, and Bulls right now?
The Knicks could look to add some more depth to their roster ahead of the trade deadline this year, so let’s take a look at three players the 76ers could target, as proposed by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, and evaluate whether or not Philly should “pass or pursue” said trade targets.
De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings
The New York Knicks do not need to make a trade in order to find success this year, but with the way their roster is constructed right now, it is hard to imagine that they will be far better than they were last season when they lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs.
They may win a playoff series with this year’s team, but what this team needs is another true star next to Julius Randle. Kemba Walker is not this kind of player anymore and both R.J. Barrett and Evan Fournier are solid secondary scoring options.
Going out and trading for De’Aaron Fox would be a massive move for the Knicks to make, but it is just not realistic at this time. The Kings have been unwilling to trade Fox for any All-Star talents and they recently extended him on a five-year max contract, so why would they want to get rid of him?