February 8 is coming quickly, how will the New York Knicks look after the trade deadline? The team seems to be set on selling off assets in order to try and improve for 2018-19, but will they find any trade partners? The Knicks certainly have pieces to sell, teams should be interested in Kyle O’Quinn, Enes Kanter, Willy Hernangomez and Courtney Lee. In the end, it all comes down to whether or not the team can get a modest return on their assets.

Kristaps Porzingas has let his feelings known about his expectations during the recent days. He wants the Knicks to contend, to bring in vets that will push the team over the top.

“Playoff experience for myself individually would be huge at this point in my career — the sooner the better,” Porzingas said to the media. “For myself, selfishly I would want to play in the playoffs, but we’ll see what happens and how we can end the season.”

Of course, some playoff experience would benefit KP and rookie Frank Ntilikina greatly but is it worth going all in for a first-round loss? The Knicks now sit at the tenth worst record in the NBA, the team would fall to number 15-16 in the upcoming draft if they were able to grab the 8th seed. According to a Sports Illustrated released mock draft, their current spot would give the Knicks a shot to draft 6’7” SF Mikal Bridges out of Villanova. The Knicks need scoring and defense and Bridges appeals on both ends, fitting well into the 3 and D mold. The 2018 NBA Draft is supposed to be very deep, Miles Bridges, Robert Williams III, and Kevin Knox are all projected to go around the 8-11 range, all of these players can benefit the Knicks as well.

Historically, skills and upsides of draftees sharply decreases after the top 10-12. Having the chance to build young talent around Ntliikina and KP is an opportunity which they should not pass up.

The Knicks have a chance to build a young core of players, something they haven’t been able to do for a long time. Frank Ntilikina is 19, Tim Hardaway Jr. is 25, Kristaps Porzingas is 22 and Enes Kanter is 25. The team should focus on dealing O’Quinn and Lee in order to keep building. Both are veteran players who are having very good seasons.

Porzingas may be itching to make the playoffs ASAP, but they have a real opportunity to build a consistent winner. This is the way to have your jersey raised into the rafters of MSG.  This is what he deserves and what Knicks fans deserve.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.


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