Fresh off a quiet trade deadline, there are plenty of Knicks buyout targets.
The New York Knicks were fairly quiet leading up to the trade deadline a couple of days ago. The only move that they made was to acquire barely-used players in Terrance Ferguson and Vincent Poirier in a three-team trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With Poirier expected to be waived, it means that the Knicks did that deal for the main purpose of getting rid of Austin Rivers, who was shipped to the Thunder.
Knicks buyout targets 2021
The Knicks didn’t make waves in the trade radar, but they didn’t need to. It’s true that they only have one All-Star in their roster, but the Knicks are doing the right thing by building a winning culture first and establishing their identity moving forward.
It’s still a young and inexperienced squad compared to other playoff-contending teams. The Knicks are responding well to head coach Tim Thibodeau’s defensive-oriented, no-nonsense system.
Even though the Knicks front office doesn’t want to break this roster up, they can still add a quality player on the buyout market. We listed down three names that could help cover up New York’s roster holes, particularly in the frontcourt.
The Knicks weren’t too keen on adding more heft and height to their frontcourt, but Mitchell Robinson‘s recent injury should change that. Robinson, their starting center, fractured his foot during a recent game against the Milwaukee Bucks. There’s still no timetable for his return, but this indicates a major injury that could Robinson out for the rest of the season.
That should force the Knicks front office to turn their focus on acquiring another big man through the buyout market. Andre Drummond is the best candidate for that role, especially with how he gobbles rebounds and protects the rim.
But the problem is that reports say that the Los Angeles Lakers are closing in on securing a deal with Drummond. The Lakers’ situation is just too hard to pass up for Drummond as the defending champs will entice him with the golden opportunity of seriously competing for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Can the Thibodeau magic work on Hassan Whiteside? The 31-year-old veteran has always been one of the best shot-blockers in the league, but for some reason, he often gets lost on his team’s defensive schemes and switches.
Players that could reach a buyout if not traded in the coming days, via @TheSteinLine
– JJ Redick
– JaVale McGee
– Gorgui Dieng
– Hassan Whiteside
– Austin Rivers
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 23, 2021
Discipline and focus are two assets that Thibodeau requires from his players, and it’s interesting to see if he can bring those out from Whiteside. The question now is if the Sacramento Kings are keen on reaching a buyout agreement with Whiteside as the latter’s contract is expiring after this season anyway.
Otto Porter Jr.
If the Knicks miss out on bringing in a quality big man, they could set their sights on Otto Porter.
Porter’s overall production has dipped this season, but he is still putting up an efficient 40% clip from the three-point line while maintaining a reputation as a good wing defender.
The Knicks still don’t have a versatile perimeter defender on their roster, so vying for Porter’s 3-and-D services should make sense.