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1 trade Knicks need to make right now

Knicks trade, Myles Turner Knicks

The New York Knicks’ start to the 2021-22 season has been quite a mixed bag. Their season hasn’t gone the way they expected after a breakout 2020-21 campaign and after signing some key free agents over the summer. Their additions — Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier — haven’t quite panned out and All-Star forward Julius Randle is having a rough start to the season.

The Knicks are by no means back to their old ways of being bottom-dweller teams. They are 8-7 on the new year, good for 7th in the Eastern Conference. But for a team that broke out last year and added some talent this summer, they definitely had their sights set on taking that next step. Instead, the Knicks seem to have taken a step back to start the campaign, having lost six of their last nine games, including three of their last four outings.

Knicks Trade – Myles Turner Knicks Bound?!

With that said, perhaps New York needs to make some changes to turn their season around and prevent a regression. One trade target the Knicks could pursue is Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner.

The Knicks could offer a package consisting of Obi Toppin, Nerlens Noel, and a future first round pick in exchange for Turner. That should be enough to entice Indiana to part ways with Turner. The Pacers have been wanting to slide Domantas Sabonis at the center spot, as he figures to be most effective as the main man down on the block.

Turner’s presence, however, has prevented making Sabonis a full-time five. This deal would allow them to do that as they get an energetic and young power forward in Toppin. The 23-year old should be a more complementary piece next to the 2-time All-Star in the Pacers front court.

If the Knicks would also want to bolster their perimeter defense, they could also go after someone like Justin Holiday or T.J. McConnell as an additional piece in the Turner package. Holiday and McConnell are both pesky perimeter defenders that would  be an excellent complement to New York’s more offensive-minded guards.

Nonetheless, Turner is going to be the centerpiece of this deal. Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks’ recipe for success last season was their defense. They finished the 2020-21 campaign with the 4th best defensive rating in the NBA, 4th in allowed points in the paint, 5th in opponents’ off turnovers, and 2nd in opponents’ fastbreak points.

This season, however, they have regressed on that end of the floor. While they still allow the 3rd least points in the paint, the Knicks are now at just 17th in defensive rating across the league. Turner’s rim protection should further boost their interior defense and could shoot them at the top of the league in that regard. Furthermore, as the no. 1 shot blocker in the NBA, his presence as the most threatening deterrent in the paint should trickle down and address their other concerns defensively.

In addition, while the Knicks already have a strong rim protector in Mitchell Robinson, Turner offers more offensively as a floor-spacing big man. The former Texas standout is shooting the lights out from downtown this season at 41.0 percent and is more than capable of scoring down low with his height and heft.