The New York Knicks are having a better season than even the most optimistic of fans could have predicted. Despite a disappointing showing against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, the team is still tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference and poised to make a run toward the postseason. Could they still look to improve at the NBA trade deadline?
That run toward the postseason got a little more difficult this past weekend. Starting center Mitchell Robinson fractured his hand against the Washington Wizards. He underwent surgery this week and will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.
Taking his spot in the starting lineup will be Nerlens Noel. Noel has had a good season for the Knicks with the second unit, setting the tone defensively. Taking his place with the second unit is a Tom Thibodeau favorite, Taj Gibson.
You know what you are going to get from both players when they are on the court. However, the team could look to add another center to the mix before the deadline. In the latest NBA trade rumors, one name to keep an eye on is Mo Bamba of the Orlando Magic.
The Knicks got an up-close look at Bamba on Wednesday night, as they visited the Magic. He played only 10 minutes but had a positive impact on the game, scoring four points with five rebounds and two blocks.
Bamba has yet to find consistent playing time with Orlando and according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, could be a potential trade target for the Knicks.
“Noel and Gibson likely will also confront Orlando 7-foot center Mo Bamba, who could see action Wednesday against Gibson. Bamba could be a future trade target. The New York native and fifth pick of the 2018 NBA Draft has yet to make his mark in Orlando.”
This isn’t the first time the Knicks have been connected to Bamba. When he declared for the NBA Draft out of Texas in 2018, the Knicks explored avenues to try and trade up to select him themselves. Instead, they stood pat at No. 9 and selected Kevin Knox II out of Kentucky.
Bomba would be an intriguing addition for the Knicks. He brings something different to the frontcourt, as none of the centers currently on the roster can space the floor. He could also be looked at as insurance for Robinson, who is a restricted free agent this upcoming offseason.
It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks if anything materializes between the Knicks and Magic. They are reportedly not the only team interested in Bamba, as the Los Angeles Lakers also have an interest.
What the Knicks are willing to offer will also be something worth monitoring in NBA trade rumors. Could a package revolving around Frank Ntilikina and Knox be enough to get the job done? A change of scenery for all three could be the key to helping them reach the potential none of them have been able to reach yet in their careers.