After starting the season 11-15, the New York Knicks are allegedly looking to make a move for a bona fide star to elevate their team further. The New York Post has reported that they are interested in Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo.
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) February 10, 2021
Their 11-15 start to the season is one of their best in recent memory. Knicks management likely hopes that making a move for one of these two players would make them a lock for the postseason. The Knicks have not been to the playoffs since 2013.
Beal currently leads the NBA in scoring with 32.8 points per game. However, the Wizards are just 6-16 and are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. Despite the tumultuous season, Beal has repeatedly insisted that he does not want to be traded. This may come as sad news for Knicks fans, but it is also hard to imagine Beal staying with Washington long-term if they continue to lose as prolifically as they are currently.
Oladipo began a season healthy for the first time since the 2018-2019 season after rupturing his quad tendon in 2018. It has been evident that he has lost some of the burst that made him an All-NBA player in 2018, but he has still been an effective scorer. So far this season, he is averaging 19.1 points per game. Trading for Oladipo would be a risky move for the Knicks, as his contract expires after this season and they would have no guarantee that he would stay in New York.
While there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of these rumors, it hardly means much. Beal likely will not be traded until the offseason, and Oladipo would probably not be a huge difference maker for them at this stage in his career. There are always free agency and trade rumors connecting the Knicks and basically any potentially available player (see Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant). It seldom happens that they actually manage to land elite players, the last time being Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Knicks fans are undoubtedly giddy at the prospect of acquiring either of these players, but the odds are probably slim. Obtaining a playoff berth would be huge for the morale of the franchise and fans, and would potentially make them a desirable free agency destination again, but they need to prove they have a culture and a team that is worth committing to before that will happen. The Knicks have had a decent start to the season and clearly have some talent, but they need to show it for more than 26 games first. Here’s to hoping head coach Tom Thibodeau has what it takes to turn things around in the big apple.
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