One of the few teams that’s shown interest in signing San Antonio Spurs wing DeMar DeRozan, the New York Knicks are a trade candidate if he opts-in.
This entire series has been based on the fact that the San Antonio Spurs need to make some changes this offseason and a major part of that has been that they have a ball-dominant player soaking up a lot of the young player’s opportunities in DeMar DeRozan. During the early portion of the Orlando restart, he’s taken a backseat, but if he opts-in and returns to the team next season, there’s no way that trend continues.
DeMar wants some financial security — there’s little doubt in my mind about that and the New York Knicks have been linked with him on numerous occasions. Before the pandemic hit the continental U.S., Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that DeRozan was likely to opt-out of his contract and pursue a more stable long-term deal. One of the teams that were noted beside the Spurs was the New York Knicks.
The Knicks don’t have any real identity by this point. After picking R.J. Barrett No. 3 overall this offseason, they signed four power forwards and clogged the lane, putting him in a worse position. Since then, new management has taken over that might be more inclined to enter a win-now mindset after the signing of head coach Tom Thibodeau. If the pandemic leaves DeRozan more inclined to opt-in and take his $27.7 million payday, the Spurs can still ship him to New York.
For DeMar DeRozan and Chimezie Metu, the New York Knicks trade Julius Randle, Kevin Knox and the LA Clippers’ 2021 first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs.
Many players have fallen victim to the New York Knicks’ shortcomings over the years and now, this roster is fumbling over itself. By bringing DeRozan along, the Knicks create a clear direction and a go-to guy to run the team through that’s not a 6-foot-8 power forward/center who’s being forced to do everything at once.
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San Antonio could make good use of Julius Randle‘s skill set, having him play at his natural power forward position. With proper spacing and smart decision-makers around him, Randle is a very exciting player. Looking past this season in which he was the go-to guy for one of the worst teams in the league, he was a 21.4 point-per-game scorer in New Orleans who was finding his 3-point range and served as an underrated secondary-playmaker.
Under the proper guidance, Randle could become a decent two-way threat with a versatile offensive skill set that would pair well with the Spurs’ young core. They’d also take a low-risk, high-reward swing on Kevin Knox, who’s still just 20-years-old and hasn’t found his way in the NBA just yet. San Antonio could salvage what he has left in the tank at a position of need at the small forward and power forward spots.
As for the draft pick, it’s one of the last in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft and the Knicks will hang onto their lottery pick. If they’re trading for DeRozan then they’re taking a win-now mentality anyway, so why wouldn’t they be willing to part with a dart throw of a draft pick? They’re getting back a proven player who dominated them as a member of the Raptors for years, so they know what he’s capable of and would be taking a step toward being a winning team.
You can find other articles in this series by clicking on the team name below:
Western Conference: LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies. Eastern Conference: Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors.