The New York Knicks have overcome Quentin Grimes‘ shooting struggles to register a 12-7 record heading into Tuesday’s In-Season Tournament quarterfinal game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
But their record is a mirage, masking the Knicks’ struggles to match up against the elite teams. All their losses have come against top contenders in both conferences.
Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz proposed a trade idea that could fix the Knicks’ woes and better equip them for a deep playoff run this season.
The proposed trade:
Knicks Receive: F DeMar DeRozan
Bulls Receive: SG Quentin Grimes, F Evan Fournier, C Jericho Sims, 2024 first-round pick (top-10 protected via Dallas Mavericks)
DeRozan wanted to come to New York or Miami, per The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
Pulling off a DeRozan trade prevents the Heat, their rival and last playoff tormentor, from upgrading their already veteran-savvy roster. But more importantly, it will give the Knicks two of the top three clutch players from last season.
DeRozan and Knicks rising point guard Jalen Brunson finished second and third, respectively, behind Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox in last year’s inaugural Clutch Player of the Year race.
The 34-year-old DeRozan would ease the pressure off Brunson’s shoulder to carry the team the way he did in the Knicks playoff run last season.
DeRozan would immediately become the Knicks’ most experienced playoff performer, averaging 21.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 63 postseason games. He was an All-Star reserve last season, marking his sixth All-Star berth. He was also named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2018 and 2022.
With LeBron James no longer ruling the Eastern Conference, this could be DeRozan’s best opportunity to break through with a partnership with Brunson and the defensive philosophy of Tom Thibodeau.
The Knicks could re-sign DeRozan in the offseason to a 1+1 deal that will align with the remaining two years of Brunson’s current contract before it becomes more expensive.