HomeBasketball TodayKnicks' Genius Trade: Stealing Blazers' Malcolm Brogdon!

Knicks’ Genius Trade: Stealing Blazers’ Malcolm Brogdon!

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After trading for OG Anunoby, Blazers veteran Malcom Brogdon could be next on the Knicks’ wish list.

The New York Knicks are 32-18, and currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks have a legitimate chance to make it to the NBA Finals and they should be going all-in this season. They already made one major move in trading for OG Anunoby, and another deal could put New York in a great spot to contend for a championship.

The Portland Trail Blazers, meanwhile, are in the middle of a rebuild. They have three core players in Anfernee Simons, Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe. The Blazers need to build around that trio, meaning Portland’s other valuable players are better used trade chips to acquire future assets. This contrast makes the Knicks and Blazers ideal trade partners.

A hypothetical Brogdan trade between New York and Portland was recently proposed by ESPN’s  Chris Herring. Let’s break down the deal and give each team a grade.

Knicks get:

Malcolm Brogdon

Trail Blazers get:

Evan Fournier, 2024 first round pick and 2025 second round pick

In this deal, the Knicks acquire a versatile two-way player who can contribute in many ways in exchange for a seldom-used bench piece and future draft picks.

Malcolm Brogdon can play a supporting role in the starting rotation, and he could just as easily lead the team’s second unit. This by itself makes Brogdon incredibly valuable, because while a strong starting rotation is important, it is equally vital to make sure that your bench players do not blow the game when the starters need to rest.

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Brogdon is capable of playing on and off the ball. He is a strong cutter and three-point shooter who would fit in well in New York while playing off of Jalen Brunson’s creation ability.

Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers get Evan Fournier and two draft picks. Fournier is a useful player but he won’t get Portland back into playoff contention by himself. Rather, this is about helping the Blazers accelerate their rebuild.

Knicks still need more firepower after adding OG Anunoby

Former Raptors forward OG Anunoby reflecting in a Knicks jersey after his trade

The Knicks recently traded for two-way star OG Anunoby, who was previously with the Toronto Raptors. Anunoby brings a strong defensive presence to the Knicks, along with scoring capabilities.

However, Anunoby is best suited as a tertiary scoring option. He is capable of creating for himself, but is at his best when he is playing off of somebody else.

Anunoby’s handles are adequate, but he can sometimes struggle to get by defenders in isolation, and he is prone to turning the ball over.

When Anunoby has other playmakers to initiate the offense, he is lethal. When his teammates can get a defense off balance, Anunoby can leverage his top-tier athleticism and instincts to take advantage of the opportunity and make the defense pay.

While the Knicks have one elite creator in Jalen Brunson who can make plays for himself and others, Brunson is the only true perimeter creator. Brogdon would bring ball-handling skills to serve as a secondary initiator, efficient scoring and additional defense.

Portland can flip Fournier for additional assets

Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon in front of Moda Center

Evan Fournier will be an unrestricted free agent in 2025. This will give Fournier some value to the Blazers as a future trade asset. At next year’s trade deadline, the Blazers should be able to flip Fournier to a team looking to clear up cap space by acquiring an expiring contract in exchange for a player with a contract the team wishes to move, along with one or multiple draft picks as compensation.

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The first round pick Portland will acquire from the Knicks is likely to fall in the late teens to the mid-twenties, but this will still be valuable to Portland. The 2024 draft class isn’t particularly top-heavy and doesn’t have a consensus top player. However, there is depth, and some good players are likely to fall in the draft.

Depending on where New York’s pick falls, Portland can package that selection with their own to move up a few slots in the order. Or, they can use it to add two young, cost-controlled players to complement their emerging core.

This would be an opportunity for the Blazers to draft a wing such as Zaccharie Risacher with their own pick, and then add a big man with New York’s pick such as Kel’el Ware or even potentially Donovan Clingan. This deal would give the Blazers three first round picks, as they also have a pick from Golden State that is top-four protected.

Blazers get enviable flexibility, but could get more for Brogdon

This deal by itself would give the Blazers incredible flexibility, with the opportunity to draft three potential contributors or to package their picks and move up for a player that Portland’s front office really likes.

Brogdon is a good player, and Portland may be able to find a better deal. They would be wise to try and get at least another second round pick out of the Knicks in this deal, but they could do a lot worse than the added draft flexibility they will get from this deal.

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Portland Trail Blazers Grade: B+

The Knicks get an excellent fit for a reasonable cost

The Knicks will be adding an efficient player who addresses their most pressing needs. They will only lose a projected late first round pick, a second round pick and a player on the end of their bench. If the Blazers were to make this offer, the Knicks should sprint to answer the phone.

New York Knicks Grade: A

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