With the Knicks clearly in playoff contention, rumors will continue to fly over the next month leading up to the NBA trade deadline about more notable deals.
Earlier this month New York acquired former MVP Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons for pennies on the dollar. He’s worked out pretty well for the upstart team.
As the Knicks attempt to find a happy medium between playoff contention in 2020-21 and long-term relevance around the league, president Leon Rose will be active over the next month. That could include bringing in another former All-Star player from a conference rival.
“According to an NBA source who has been in touch with the Knicks, the club has made no decisions, but are ‘analyzing’ whether making a play for on-the-block Cavaliers center Andre Drummond makes sense from a chemistry and winning standpoint,” Marc Berman of the NY Post noted.
A two-time All-Star performer, Drummond is currently wasting away on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench as the Cavs look to find a trade partner for the impending free agent.
Prior to being benched, the center was averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Statistically speaking, these approach career-best numbers for the four-time NBA rebounding champion.
New York could certainly use some more beef in the low post. Mitchell Robinson is out at least through the NBA All-Star break after undergoing hand surgery. Nerlens Noel leaves a lot to be desired behind him in the rotation.
New York has a ton of flexibility. Even after the above-mentioned Rose trade, the team is currently $17 million under the cap. This means roughly $11.6 million would have to head back to the Cavaliers in a hypothetical Drummond trade.
It remains to be seen what the market is for Drummond right now. While his stats are great, there are limitations on both ends of the court. He struggles with switches on defense and is not the greatest pick-and-roll big man in the game. Hence, the limited return the Detroit Pistons received when dealing Drummond to Cleveland at the NBA trade deadline last season makes sense.
With that said, he fits what the Knicks are looking to do: bringing in veteran players and meshing them with talented youngsters. Something like this could work for both the rebuilding Cavaliers and the Knicks:
We already know that the Knicks’ new front office is attempting to move off the two first-round busts from the previous regime in Ntilikina and Knox.
Neither one would fetch a whole heck of a lot in separate trades given their track records. For the Cavaliers, this would represent an ability to bring in two former high picks in hopes that a change of scenery helps. They also get two second-round picks.
As for New York, its center position would be completely revamped with Drummond and another solid veteran big man in McGee. It almost makes too much sense.