Threat No. 5: The New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are having a great season, with a top-10 offense and a breakout star in Jalen Brunson. Their goal for the offseason, no matter how far their go in the playoffs, is to find a star player and trade for him. That’s easier said than done, but the Knicks have a great collection of players and picks to use in such a deal.
On the surface, Trae Young seems like an ideal Knicks target. He’s a big-name player who loves the bright lights and would welcome a move to the largest city in the country. The issue is that Brunson, the Knicks’ star they signed in free agency last offseason, is also a point guard.
If the Knicks are comfortable playing both Brunson and Young together in a small backcourt, they have plenty of draft assets. They could send some combination of RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin to the Hawks, well laden with draft picks. If they decide the two can’t coexist, they have to decide whether Young on his contract is a better fit than Brunson on his contract.
The Knicks probably decide to look for a star at a different position than point guard, but their combination of intent and assets places them on the list. These five teams could all make a play to trade for Trae Young, so the Hawks need to be careful.