To say that the season has been a disappointment for the New York Knicks so far would perhaps be giving them too much credit. In even the most generous estimation, few people outside of the organization expected them to be anything but what they are: a bad team headed for the lottery again without a clear vision of how to approach their future.
The good news is that, even as they whiffed on all their free agent targets last summer, they managed not to saddle themselves with immovable contracts, putting them in a relatively good position to upgrade their roster as the February trade deadline approaches.
And to be certain, some roster reconstruction is desperately needed. The Knicks have a logjam at both the point guard and power forward positions, rendering it impossible to find any consistency in their lineups and minutes distribution. Fortunately, several of their players are reportedly ready to move onto the next phase of their NBA journey, according to a new report.
We already know several teams – including the Minnesota Timberwolves – have expressed interest in guard Dennis Smith Jr. It’s also worth noting that a few Knicks have said privately in recent weeks that they prefer to be traded ahead of the Feb. 6 trade deadline, per SNY sources.
It’s unclear if any of those players have made a formal trade request to management, but the idea that Knicks players want to be somewhere else is indicative of how things have gone for New York this season.
Smith Jr. is a name that’s popped up a lot lately, and his departure would at least create some room in their crowded backcourt. Frank Ntilikina is another player who has surfaced regularly in trade rumors since the season stared, and veteran forward Marcus Morris is no doubt eyeing a more ideal situation with a contender later this season.
Someone involved with the organization has also floated the idea that the team may go after Lakers assistant Jason Kidd in a misguided attempt to try and lure Giannis Antetokounmpo. Regardless, the Knicks figure to be active on the trade market over the next several weeks as they attempt to bring some logic and clarity to their personnel charts.