With almost two months of the 2022-23 NBA season in the books, the New York Knicks are staring at an 11-13 record, which is good for ninth in the Eastern Conference. That's not horrible, and if the season ended today, the Knicks would make the play-in round. However, there's certainly room for improvement, especially on the defensive side of the ball where the Knicks rank 23rd in the league, and allow the third-most made 3s this season, including a recent loss where they allowed the Dallas Mavericks to connect on 24 3-pointers.
Jalen Brunson, who was New York's heralded offseason acquisition, has lived up to his contract thus far, averaging career highs across the board (21.0 points, 6.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals) for the Knicks, and giving them a much-needed lead ball-handler to run the show for New York.
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That being said, with the Knicks' middling start to the season, they're already looking for ways to improve. The Athletic reports New York is active in trade discussions ahead of Dec. 15, the date in which many players who signed this past summer become available. The players involved in those discussions are Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish, in no particular order, but some of those names will fetch more in trades than others.
For instance, as Fred Katz reports, if the Knicks were to trade Fournier, who has fallen out of the rotation completely over the last 11 games, New York wouldn't want to attach draft picks to get his contract off the books. Fournier is owed $36.5 million over this year and next year, with a $19 million team option for the 2024-25 season. However, the Knicks would probably have to attach a pick for a team to take on that contract.
The same likely goes for Rose, whose injury history has reared its ugly head over the last two seasons, where he's played a combined 61 games during that span. This season, he's averaging a career-low 6.4 points, and didn't even play in the Knicks' recent win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. If Rose were to be traded it would make more sense for him to be the filler to a package, not as the centerpiece.
As far as the younger guys in Reddish and Quickley are concerned, Katz reports the Knicks would be willing to attach one of them to a deal for Fournier to make it more enticing for teams. Quickley is certainly the more intriguing prospect of the two players, earning All-Rookie honors in 2021, and proving to be a solid role player for the Knicks over the past three years. The Knicks are also entertaining the idea of trading Quickley as the centerpiece, but they are reportedly asking for a future first-round pick in return for him, a steep asking price for a player who has career averages of 11.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and shoots just 39.6 percent from the field.
While it's not common for teams to make a ton of trades in December, it sounds like the Knicks are doing some early work ahead of the trade deadline in February to try and improve the team in an attempt to chase a playoff spot this season.