Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
A few post-trade deadline notes:
News of the Knicks agreeing in principle with new team president Leon Rose broke hours before Thursday's trade deadline. It's unclear how, if at all, that impacted the Knicks' approach at the deadline. But the firing of ex-team president Steve Mills certainly changed their thinking.
Earlier in the week, before Mills was reassigned to another role at Madison Square Garden, members of the Knicks organization felt that they had made significant progress toward a trade for D'Angelo Russell. It's unclear what package was on the table, but one offer included Bobby Portis, Allonzo Trier and Frank Ntilikina, per sources. The Knicks obviously would have had to include at least one first-round pick. Before Mills was let go, they were willing to do that. Afterward, it was about making deals with the future in mind.
Which is why they traded Marcus Morris for the package they got back, which included a 2020 first-round draft pick. New York now has seven first-round picks in the next four years. That's a strong cache of assets for Rose and his front office to work with.
Assets for disgruntled stars
One of the Knicks' goals on Thursday was to keep enough assets post-deadline to be in position to trade for a disgruntled superstar, if one becomes available.
They did that. Though it seems the potential for a young star to be disgruntled took a bit of a hit on Thursday when Golden State traded Russell to Minnesota.
New York also explored deals for several other players, including Portis, but obviously nothing came to fruition before the deadline. Earlier in the week, they talked to Indiana about a trade that involved Aaron Holiday and Marcus Morris, but there was no traction because the Pacers, per sources, preferred a player in return that would remain with them beyond this season. Morris is a free agent this summer.
With regards to Morris, the Knicks were hesitant to send Morris to the Lakers in any deal that didn't bring back Kyle Kuzma. They also wanted Landry Shamet in a Clippers deal, but Los Angeles never considered moving Shamet.
Support for Hornets deal
Prior to Mills getting reassigned, there was internal support for a trade package with Charlotte that would have sent Dennis Smith Jr. to the Hornets and landed Malik Monk in New York. Once Mills was reassigned, the club shifted its thinking on that deal and the Russell deal. Now, the focus is on developing young players, filling out the front office and coaching staff for 2020 and deciding which veterans to keep and which to let go.