The New York Knicks have turned some heads during Tom Thibodeau’s first season as head coach. They currently have a record of 15-16 and sit in 7th place in the Eastern Conference so far this NBA season.
While some may not view that as overly impressive, as they are still a game under the .500 mark, this is a massive improvement from where the team has been in recent seasons. They have missed the postseason for six consecutive seasons, twice tying a franchise-low in wins during that span and breaking the 30-win plateau only three times.
It is fair for fans to be excited about the direction the organization is heading. They have some exciting young players, such as RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson and Obi Toppin. Draft capital and cap space are plentiful and a rising star has come out of the ashes in the form of Julius Randle this season.
When Tom Thibodeau came on to be head coach, you knew it wasn’t going to be as a rebuild. He’d want to be competitive from the jump and they have been. He has them locked in defensively, but there are flaws on the team still, namely offensively.
New York needs to find more consistent shooting to take the next step in its development. You can count on their defense every night, but the offense has not been as consistent. The trade market is one place they can accomplish that.
The Knicks have been mentioned in plenty of NBA trade rumors thus far. They could go big game hunting with Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo or Zach LaVine. Another potential name to keep an eye on is Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings.
Buddy Hield’s skill set offensively is exactly what the Knicks could use. While his 3-point shooting numbers are low this season, at 36.1 percent, for his career he knocks down over 40 percent of his attempts.
Prior to the 2020-21 season, many people believed that Hield would be on the move from Sacramento. The Kings selected guard Tyrese Haliburton in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, further fueling those rumors.
While nothing came to fruition at the time, it could be worth checking in on again. When talks originally occurred, a Hield for Randle swap was what was being discussed, given their contracts. That would no longer be on the table, as Randle is playing at an All-Star level and someone the front office is beginning to view as a long-term piece with their core.
New York has plenty of picks they can dangle in trade talks. The Knicks don’t necessarily need another backcourt player, as their guard rotation is already logjammed as is. But, if they could clear some of that logjam and add Hield to the mix, their offense would receive a much-needed boost.