The New York Knicks, despite their Monday night loss against the Toronto Raptors, are currently in the middle of a solid, bounce back campaign built mostly off of their torrid stretch to begin December. The addition of Jalen Brunson has been immense, and Julius Randle is even posting comparable numbers to that of his All-Star campaign in 2021. As a result, the Knicks are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference – good enough for an outright playoff berth if the season were to end today.

However, the Knicks cannot afford to rest on their laurels. There is always room to improve, even if the Knicks are one of the few teams in the NBA who currently rank in the top 10 for both points scored and points allowed per 100 possessions. And as we’ve seen this past offseason, the Knicks have plenty of draft assets, as well as the contracts necessary, to pull off a blockbuster trade. After all, they almost traded for Donovan Mitchell.

Still, an upgrade on the margins appears to be the most reasonable route for the Knicks to pursue if they were to cement themselves as a bonafide playoff team. And for that to transpire, these four players may have to make way.

Here are four players the Knicks could trade away to bolster their chances of making some noise in the postseason.

Evan Fournier

There doesn’t seem to be a single major Knicks trade idea that doesn’t involve Evan Fournier, and it’s not difficult to see why. Fournier is making $18 million this season, making him the perfect addition in a trade that could bring back an impact player for the Knicks. The 30 year-old Frenchman could have been that impact player, but he has severely underperformed relative to expectations in the Big Apple.

During his first season in New York, Fournier posted the worst field-goal percentage of his career, and he just hasn’t found his Orlando Magic form after his big money move to the Empire State.

And to make matters worse for him, his mediocre play has landed him in head coach Tom Thibodeau’s doghouse, aside from the occasional appearance when the Knicks are shorthanded. Thus, it is extremely clear that both the Knicks and Fournier could do well with a divorce. If only it were that easy to part ways in the NBA, especially for a player locked into an onerous, long-term contract much like Fournier is.

So try as the Knicks might, they may find it extremely difficult to offload Evan Fournier especially with his contract running until the conclusion of the 2024 season.

Derrick Rose

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Fans still love Derrick Rose, and that will not change for as long as the former MVP belongs in an NBA roster. However, the Knicks coaching staff clearly don’t love Rose as much as they used to. With the signing of Jalen Brunson and the continued development of Immanuel Quickley and Miles McBride, the Knicks have relegated Rose to fourth in the point guard depth chart. In fact, Rose, despite being healthy enough to play, hasn’t seen the floor in the past six games.

Thus, it might be in both the Knicks and Rose’s best interest to find a suitable trade where the youngest MVP in NBA history could get consistent minutes. And for the Knicks’ part, they seem willing to do right by Rose. However, Rose doesn’t come without question marks.

Rose is already 34, and he has barely played this season. Thus, it’s unclear just how much he has left in the tank. Moreover, his contract isn’t the easiest to trade, as he’s making $14.5 million this season. Still, there may be a team out there that’s willing to take a chance that Rose could still, at the very least, play like his 2021 playoff self.

Cam Reddish

Acquired from the Atlanta Hawks in January 2022, Cam Reddish has not been able to earn the good graces of head coach Tom Thibodeau. Second-year 3 and D wing Quentin Grimes has already usurped Reddish in the Knicks’ pecking order, and that appears to be in no danger of changing anytime soon.

Thus, the Knicks may have no other recourse but to try and dangle Reddish in order to recoup the draft asset they relinquished in exchange for his services. And Reddish is reportedly readily available in a trade for the measly price of two second-round picks. Even then, with him being in the last season of his rookie contract, prospective suitors may still very well be wary of having to secure him to a long-term deal in only a few months time.

Isaiah Hartenstein

Isaiah Hartenstein had an impressive 2021-22 season as the backup big man for the Los Angeles Clippers, and he was able to parlay it into a two-year, $16 million contract in free agency. Hartenstein had a huge role for the Clippers last year, functioning as a high post offensive hub blessed with uncanny court vision for a guy of his size.

However, the Knicks just haven’t been able to utilize him to the best of his ability, as he has sometimes looked lost, unsure of his role in their offense. A trade with the Clippers (a team that could absorb Hartenstein using a trade exception) could bring back draft assets for the Knicks, with Jericho Sims taking over the backup role.