Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Trade season started, unofficially, on Sunday. That was the first day most free agents who signed over the summer were eligible to be moved. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 6, so there's plenty of time for teams to discuss potential deals.
It will be interesting to see how the Knicks approach the trade season, as the seven veterans they signed over the summer are now eligible to be moved. At 7-21, New York could be willing to trade some of those veterans to acquire future assets, and give younger players more minutes/chances to develop.
But, as noted earlier this month, it's unclear if they'll take that approach. Instead, they may look for ways to improve the roster in the short-term.
Given the uncertain status of team president Steve Mills, it would be a bit surprising if the Knicks made any major moves before the trade deadline. But that doesn't mean they're going to stand pat.
Several teams in touch recently with the Knicks are under the impression that they're open to moving one of their point guards.
That in and of itself isn't surprising. Given how the season has gone, it's safe to assume that any player on the roster outside of RJ Barrett will be available via trade if the Knicks get an offer they like.
But the point guard factor is noteworthy because several teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, are interested in trading for Dennis Smith Jr., per SNY sources.
Smith Jr., acquired by New York from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, was a DNP-CD in the two games prior to Tuesday's win over Atlanta. He had eight points, five assists and five rebounds in 13 minutes against the Hawks and was on the floor during the team's 21-0 run.
It's unclear what the Knicks would want back in a potential Smith trade. The degree of the Timberwolves' interest in trading for him is also unknown. But one executive, speculating, said that getting a first-round pick back for Smith would be unlikely.
Smith has competed with Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina for minutes at point guard. He has mostly come off the bench this season, a role he hadn't filled much previously in his career.
On the season, Smith Jr. is averaging 5.6 points on 33 percent shooting and 2.8 assists in 17 minutes per game.