Mike Stobe/Associated Press
The New York Knicks have long maintained a desire to acquire a star player as they rebuild under team president Leon Rose.
With the March 25 trade deadline a little more than a month away, those hopes have been rekindled.
A source told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News the Knicks plan to “be in the mix when a star becomes available” and that the club has enough assets to make it happen.
New York owns five first-round picks over the next three years and could leverage their draft capital to land one of the league’s elite players. Just which team would be willing to part ways with the type of superstar the Knicks seek remains unclear.
The two most obvious candidates would appear to be Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
Beal, the league’s leading scorer with 32.8 points per game, currently plays for the league’s third-worst team but has indicated little desire to leave Washington. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Fred Katz, Beal isn’t likely to be available at the deadline anyways.
LaVine is playing the best ball of his career with 28.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, but the rebuilding Bulls have yet to determine their long-term plans for him. Considering the guard is under contract until the end of next season, there’s no rush to make a decision on his future in Chicago just yet.
Bondy noted the Knicks are willing to offer RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley or Obi Toppin in a potential trade.
As the trade market takes shape over the coming weeks, the Knicks will find out just what those assets are capable of returning.