Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Knicks have registered interest with Golden State about trading for D'Angelo Russell, league sources confirm.
It's unclear how far along talks have gone, but Bobby Portis is one name that came up in the conversations, per SNY sources.
Per SNY sources, Frank Ntilikina's name has also come up in conversations between the Knicks and Warriors around Russell.
Some people around Russell said over the summer that he was open to the possibility of signing with New York because he liked the city and he was intrigued by the idea of competing so closely with the Nets -- the team that decided to sign Kyrie Irving instead of bringing him back.
Several teams say the Warriors are looking to make a trade to help them avoid the luxury tax this season or a trade that would reduce their future luxury tax bill, per SNY sources.
The Knicks, of course, can help with that effort. They have several players with contracts that aren't guaranteed past this season. So, if they traded one or more of those players to Golden State, it could reduce the Warriors' future tax commitments.
If the Warriors trade Russell, there are scenarios where they could shed some salary to help them towards a goal of getting under the tax this season. There are also scenarios where a Russell trade could reduce the Warriors' future tax bills.
It will be interesting to see if the Knicks, under team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry, add a player of Russell's caliber via trade.
The move would impact New York's cap space moving forward because Russell is under contract for the next three years. But New York doesn't have many other salary commitments, so there are scenarios where the club still maintains significant cap space in future summers with Russell on the books.
The Knicks could have inked Russell as a restricted free agent this past summer, but the club had narrowed its focus in free agency to players at the very top of the market -- Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving, if Irving came with Durant.
So to surrender assets to acquire Russell at the trade deadline would leave them open to criticism. Russell, you'd think, would help the Knicks (14-36) win more games after the deadline. It's fair to assume that winning is a goal for the Knicks' front office, which is facing an uncertain future in the wake of the club's slow start.
As SNY has reported, executives came away from a conversation with owner James Dolan in mid-November with the feeling that their jobs would be safe if the club showed steady improvement. New York is 10-18 since Mills and Perry fired David Fizdale. Only Dolan knows whether that record is a sign of consistent improvement.
The Athletic first reported the Knicks registering interest in Russell.