The surging Knicks shouldn’t be done adding talent after the trade deadline.
New York made a trade in late December, acquiring OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa, who have been very impactful players for them. The Knicks weren’t done there, as they acquired Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn, Ryan Arcidiacono and two second-round picks. While this trade isn’t for a star, it gives Tom Thibodeau a major dose of quality depth.
When healthy, New York can roll out a starting lineup of Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Anunoby, Julius Randle and Isaiah Hartenstein. Mitchell Robinson could reclaim the starting center spot once he returns from injury some time after the All-Star break, but it may take him some time to re-acclimate. Off the bench, the Knicks would have Bogdanovic, Josh Hart, Burks, Achiuwa and Miles McBride. When fully healthy, they have 11 players who Thibodeau can trust to be impactful.
While New York has a deep roster already, they could add more on the buyout market. The front office has two open roster spots after Thursday’s trade. With that said, here are three buyout candidates the Knicks must pursue after the 2024 NBA trade deadline.
Marcus Morris Sr. was involved in a trade at the deadline and was subsequently bought out by the San Antonio Spurs. The 34-year-old forward has appeared in 34 games this season, averaging 6.7 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 43.9 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three. Although Morris isn’t the player he once was, he is still a quality shot-maker and physical defender with ample playoff experience.
Morris played for New York in the 2019-20 season and was having a career season before they shipped him off to the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline. Returning to the Knicks would make sense, as the veteran forward will likely want to join a contender. Morris has played for some contenders over the years but has yet to win a championship.
He could come in and be an impactful role player, especially given the Knicks’ current injury situation. Anunoby and Randle are both out for multiple weeks. New York could use a player like Morris who can contribute and be a veteran leader on the team’s postseason run.
Danuel House Jr.
Danuel House Jr. is a wing who could be a quality depth piece for New York. House has played in 34 games this season, averaging 4.2 points and 1.7 rebounds, shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 30 percent from downtown. House may not be shooting efficiently this season, but he has been a solid 3&D wing in his career.
The 30-year-old is a career 35.9 percent three-point shooter. House could help the Knicks as they deal with their injuries and would be a depth wing when they’re full-strength.
If the Knicks want to add a locker room leader and depth center, Robin Lopez is an option. Lopez hasn’t played much this season, and most of his impact comes as a leader and experienced veteran. New York could benefit from having more veterans like Lopez on the roster.
The Knicks have a legitimate shot at being title contenders this season. While they don’t have star power like the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference, they have a very deep rotation of quality players, and Brunson seems en route to All-NBA honors this season. If New York can add more proven contributors on the buyout market, their burgeoning chances to win the East will increase even further.