Knicks’ dream scenario for 2023 NBA trade deadline

With the 2023 NBA trade deadline just a few days away (February 9), the New York Knicks sit in seventh place in the East at 25-23. The team needs to make some moves and have some things break their way to put together a team that can get into the playoffs (not just the play-in) and become a contender. The Knicks’ dream trade deadline scenario involves them using the assets they don’t really want or need to make the team better without giving away any key pieces or too many draft picks in the future. Here are the Knicks trades that can make that happen.

Cam Reddish to the Milwaukee Bucks for Grayson Allen

Cam Reddish is perpetually unhappy and not all that effective as an offensive player in the Knicks system. A Knicks trade that could send him out and bring back shooting to upgrade on Reddish’s 30.4% from 3-point range and 8.4 points per game would be ideal.

The Bucks’ Grayson Allen is a player that is currently on the block and would be an offensive upgrade over Reddish. He is averaging 10.7 points per game and shooting 40.2% from long range on double the attempts per game of the Knicks wing.

Although Allen makes nearly $3 million more than Reddish this season, a straight-up trade would work out with these two players, and that would be ideal for the Knicks. Reddish is four years younger and a better athlete and defender than Allen, so the Bucks may be able to get more out of the 23-year-old.

Knicks trade Obi Toppin for a center

With Mitchell Robinson out injured, the Knicks need a true center for the short term and if they could get someone who could be a rotation player or even a starter when Robinson comes back, that would be ideal.

There are two Knicks trade deadline deals that could make this happen, and they both involve Obi Toppin.

Toppin is a fan favorite being a New York-area local (Brooklyn-born, Ossining High School) but even the biggest Obi fans have to admit that he’s not developing as he should, buried on the Knicks bench behind Julius Randle and RJ Barrett. Getting a more pressing need back for him is a win-win for the player and the Knicks.

One option is to go to Milwaukee and get Serge Ibaka for Toppin. Salary-wise, the Bucks would also have to throw in George Hill’s $4 million expiring, and he could provide guard depth as well. Ibaka is 33, but in spurts can still be the near-elite rim protector he was in his heyday. And like with Reddish above, Toppin will fit better with the Bucks than he does with the Knicks.

The other option for Toppin is more of a home run swing.

A Knicks trade deadline deal with the Indiana Pacers for Myles Turner would be a much bigger move and one that could transform the Knicks starting lineup. The Pacers big is having a career year, averaging 17.0 points, 2.4 blocks, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. He’s also shooting 39.6% from 3.

Turner would be an incredible addition to the Knicks at the 2023 NBA trade deadline and would address several of the team’s issues with shooting and defense. The Knicks would have to send Obi Toppin and Derrick Rose to the Pacers, plus several first-round picks. There is a lot of competition around the league for Turner.

However, it should be worth it, as Turner is a star who could dramatically change the Knicks’ prospects in 2023.

Ship out Evan Fournier

The Knicks trade deadline deals above with Obi Toppin and Cam Reddish are ideal, but also somewhat realistic. Moving Evan Fournier’s deal with over $55 million left on it is a little more difficult. However, in the dream scenario at the NBA trade deadline, the Knicks could ship Fournier to the Los Angeles Lakers for Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn.

Financially, this deal would work out, and the Lakers are shopping Beverley and Nunn. Those guards (especially Beverley) would bring toughness, defense, and depth to the Knicks, especially if Derrick Rose goes in another deal.

Why would the Lakers do it? They wouldn’t have a reason to do it straight up, but if the Knicks attach a first-round pick to free themselves of Fournier, that could work. The Lakers are pick-poor and could use that pick to facilitate another, bigger deal.

This NBA trade deadline move not only helps the Knicks now but also gives them way more cap flexibility moving forward. The Lakers guard duo of Beverley and Nunn represent $18.25 million in expiring contracts.

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