Knicks G Trey Burke has resurrected his NBA career as a New York Knick, blossoming into the scorer many expected when he was taken ninth overall in the 2013 NBA Draft. His production has come on the cheap, but once his contract expires this summer, teams looking for an offensive punch will swarm for his services.
Here are five trades the Knicks could entertain in order to max out his value before potentially losing him to the market...
Trey Burke and Ron Baker for Clippers G Milos Teodosic and a 2nd round pick
Flipping Burke to a Playoffs team for another expiring deal and a second-round pick is likely New York's most realistic and safe return. The Clippers are currently sitting atop the Western Conference, where they could feel inclined to take on some talent for a postseason run.
The Knicks would bet on a regression to put their pick in better position. Baker, who hasn't appeared in the past seven games, is thrown in for salary matching. Teodosic is a defensive sieve, but his fancy passing will make for some fun Garden moments, and another veteran in the locker room for the remainder of the season couldn't hurt.
Trey Burke for Magic SF Melvin Frazier Jr. and a 2nd round pick
Speaking of Playoffs teams likely to regress, the Orlando Magic are currently in the eighth spot despite a serious hole at point guard. Burke could immediately start if dealt there, and at the very least, would push the struggling (and former Knick!) Jerian Grant out of the rotation.
Frazier Jr. is a throw-in with the real boon for New York being the second-round pick that could feel more like a first rounder if Orlando finishes anywhere close to where they usually do in the standings.
Trey Burke for Trail Blazers G Wade Baldwin IV
There won't be many opportunities for the Knicks to deal less than a year of Burke for an actual prospect. But Baldwin IV hasn't been super impressive for Portland, and the Blazers are racing against the clock to make a real dent in the Playoffs. Burke can help them get there, adding a third dangerous scorer at the guard position.
For the Knicks, the 22-year-old Baldwin IV represents more of a long-term play than Burke, and has higher defensive upside. He was drafted 17th overall in the 2016 Draft, struggling to secure rotation minutes thus far in his career. Head coach David Fizdale coached the New Jersey native when he was a rookie with the Memphis Grizzlies, and could get a second shot at developing him into an NBA player.
Trey Burke and Lance Thomas for Pistons PG Ish Smith and SG Luke Kennard
Burke's value in a deal can also come as a package to clear up cap space. Lance Thomas is signed through 2020, making his $7 million contract a drag on this upcoming summer's free agent-palooza.
Smith is a veteran on an expiring deal, and can help push the pace for a Knicks team that struggles to score in the halfcourt at times. Kennard fell by the wayside in Detroit's hunt for a reliable wing before getting hurt, but is still only 22 with potential to be a useful sharpshooter.
The Pistons could be inclined to start making win-now moves with the postseason in sight and Blake Griffin getting older. Burke would provide more efficient scoring than Smith, while Thomas, depending on if he can get his three-point shot right, could at worst be a staunch defender and at best the versatile lineup plug the Pistons have long sought for.
Trey Burke, Lance Thomas and a 2nd round pick for 76ers PG Markelle Fultz
This might not do the trick for Fultz. There's really no telling what the market will look like for him, or if Philadelphia is ready to trade for him yet. That said, if the Knicks are feeling this Aaron Judge swing-for-the-fences move, these pieces could put them in the conversation.
A protected first-round pick could seal it. There are real concerns with Fultz's shoulder and confidence, as well as committing to his salary. However, he was drafted first overall for a reason, and fully realized could be an All-Star. Philadelphia would happily welcome Burke's scoring and Thomas's minutes at the forward spot, where they're shallow having dealt Robert Covington and Dario Saric.