2 potential trade candidates for Knicks entering 2022-23 NBA training camp
In the 2020-21 NBA season, Tom Thibodeau led the New York Knicks to the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. In the 2021-22 season, though, the Knicks couldn’t replicate that magic, finishing 37-45 and 11th in the Eastern Conference. Heading into Year 3 of the “Tibs” Era, the team’s roster looks largely the same as last season, with the addition of Jalen Brunson on a massive free-agent deal. This means a Knicks trade is likely the best way to shake things up. With Knicks training camp starting the last week of September, here are the reasons why Cam Reddish and Julius Randle are the two biggest potential Knicks trade candidates for Knicks entering the 2022-23 NBA season.
By now, we are all used to superstar NBA players becoming unhappy and demanding a trade. When a major star does this, the team often (but not always, see Kevin Durant) have to oblige.
But what happens when a mid-level malcontent with a history of unhappiness and career averages of 10.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists declares he wants out? Well, we’ll see with the case of the New York Knicks and Cam Reddish.
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) September 1, 2022
The 23-year-old No. 10 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft is, once again, unhappy with the team he’s playing on. What makes this more obnoxious than usual is that Reddish is only on the Knicks because he was unhappy on the Atlanta Hawks and forced his way out of there after just 188 NBA games.
The Knicks trade that brought Reddish to New York City in January 2022 included Kevin Knox and a protected first-round pick. Reports are that the franchise now wants a first-rounder back in return. The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be too many teams willing to give that up for a player who has now asked out of two organizations.
At the end of the day, Reddish is only 23 and still has all the talent he had coming out in the draft. He’s also shot over 40% from behind the arc in his last two seasons, and his defensive numbers improved dramatically last year.
Cam Reddish still has the potential to develop into a legit 3-and-D star in this league if he can ever find his happy place. The Knicks might have a give a little on their asking price, but it makes sense to deal with the Reddish problem sooner rather than later. If anyone is going to get shipped out of New York during Knicks training camp, Reddish is the most likely option.
A Knicks trade involving Cam Reddish is small potatoes. It is the type of deal that is already in the NBA ether and is so likely to happen you can pretty much pencil it in.
There is another type of Knicks trade that could happen during training camp, though, and that’s a big, swing-for-the-fences deal that ships the team’s biggest veteran star, Julius Randle, to another team.
As mentioned above, the Knicks were in on several big-name players this offseason (see Donovan Mitchell) but couldn’t get any deals done. They did sign Jalen Brunson to a four-year, $104 million deal, but (best case) that gets the Knicks from 11th in the East to what? The play-in tournament? Maybe sixth?
If the Knicks hope to become a true contender this season (or beyond) Leon Rose and Scott Perry need to make some bold moves. One of those moves is to find a way to get rid of Julius Randle and his onerous contract.
This won’t be easy. Randle has three years plus a player option and $106.4 million left on his deal, per Spotrac. He’s still relatively young (turning 28 in November), but that’s a big contract for a player who had his first All-Star year before he signed it and then dropped off across the board statistically last season.
A Knicks training camp trade involving Julius Randle isn’t going to bring back a difference-making player. However, it could get the Knicks some interesting role-player pieces who could help as the team transitions to building around a young starting lineup of RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson, and Obi Toppin.
A friend suggested Charlotte to me as a trade partner for Julius Randle. I've been thinking about it and I'm starting to like it.
Julius Randle+Cam Reddish for Gordon Hayward.
Randle fills the PF+salary slot that would've gone to Miles Bridges. Knicks get a shorter contract.
— Sam Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS) September 8, 2022
Rumors are that a deal for Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward is possible, as is a deal with the Suns for some picks and flotsam and jetsam like Dario Saric and Landry Shamet. Either of these deals involves players that could help this year and picks to help in the future.
Then, of course, there is always the possibility that the Knicks package Julius Randle and Evan Fournier for Russell Westbrook’s expiring contract. This move might still be available at eth deadline, so New York can wait and see. But a Knicks training camp deal for Westbrook is a serious sign the franchise is ready to start the RJ Barret Era in earnest.