Knicks fans should rejoice about D'Angelo Russell trade prediction -

Knicks fans should rejoice about D’Angelo Russell trade prediction

Just a few years back at the 2019 NBA trade deadline, New York Knicks fans voiced and shared their hopes about a potential trade that would have landed the franchise All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell.

Now, as we all know, such a transaction was never made, as the No. 2 overall pick from the 2015 draft was sent from his then employers in Golden State to Minnesota with the hopes of formulating a menacing dynamic duo between him and his same class’s first overall pick, Karl-Anthony Towns.

Fast forward two years later, and we find that, despite the Timberwolves’ best efforts, all they have to show for this pairing is a total record of 73-95 and one playoff appearance that ended in round one.

As we hurdle towards the official start of the NBA offseason, many are under the impression that Minnesota will look to part ways with the point guard, with the reasoning believed to be due to his lackluster production against the Memphis Grizzlies (12 points, 6.7 assists, and 2.5 boards per game).

Bleacher Report predicts D’Angelo Russell will be traded to Knicks in offseason

Despite his shortcomings under the bright lights of the postseason, should he be placed on the block, Russell will certainly draw considerable interest from plenty of teams across the league. According to the folks at Bleacher Report, the Knicks should be one of those teams.

In fact, they’re not just thinking that New York will be inquiring about his services — they’re predicting that the Knicks will be the ones to land them.

Citing the franchise’s need for a legitimate point guard to pair alongside RJ Barrett and Julius Randle (assuming he stays put, of course), writer Grant Hughes believes Leon Rose and Co. could find themselves drawn to the concept of acquiring the estranged youngster this summer:

New York needs a point guard as badly as any team in the league. RJ Barrett is overstretched as a playmaker, and the notion of Julius Randle running the show has its downsides. The Knicks offense flopped last season after its shooting luck from 2020-21 predictably regressed.

Russell is on an expiring deal and may not be part of the long-term picture in Minnesota. It’d be strange to see a rising Wolves outfit cut bait with a 26-year-old former All-Star, presumably for a package from the Knicks that would include some iffy contracts (think Evan Fournier and maybe Kemba Walker).

But there’s just enough combined need on New York’s end and expendability on Minnesota’s to get Russell into a Knicks uniform.

Now, we love this trade idea for a multitude of reasons. One, because it adds a 26-year-old to a still rather young New York core.

Two, because it brings Tom Thibodeau a highly-coveted lead guard who can push the pace and is not afraid to drive the lane, where he can either finish around the rim or dish it out for those popular kick-outs that his offensive scheme lives off of.

Three, it’s a low-risk move to make, for, as Hughes stated, Russell is on an expiring contract and, should it not work out, he’d be coming off the books next summer anyway, thus creating salary-space with him becoming a free agent. And with the fact that, in all likelihood, the Knicks have already departed with Evan Fournier’s lofty longer-term deal in order to acquire him in the first place.

And, lastly, four, while D-Lo may have had a poor showing in the playoffs, since the 2018-19 campaign he’s been able to produce at rather underrated rates, boasting averages of 20.3 points, 6.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals on 36% shooting from deep whilst boasting a plus-minus rating of +2.0 and an offensive plus-minus rating of +3.3.

Let’s not forget, the last time we saw the Ohio State product in a contract year he went on to post 21.1 points, 7 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game on 37% shooting from deep while nabbing his first All-Star nod. He went on to guide his team to the sixth-seed in the Eastern Conference standings along the way.

Coincidently, this all took place in the great state of New York.

Should he be able to be snagged with a package similar to the one Hughes mentioned in his piece (Fournier and Kemba Walker), I believe it would be foolish for the Knicks to not pursue the high-upside guard who is still in the prime of his career.

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