Four Knicks who could be dealt as NBA trade deadline looms
The Feb. 9 trade deadline is looming, and the skidding Knicks, losers of four straight games entering Tuesday’s contest against the Cavaliers, obviously need reinforcements. They also have a number of out-of-the-rotation players who could be moved.
The Post takes a look at those players, and their current situation:
He was a surprise contributor on opening night and actually received eight starts, but he has been tied to the bench for six weeks, ever since coach Tom Thibodeau went to a nine-man rotation on Dec. 4. An unrestricted free agent at season’s end, the 6-foot-8 Reddish is a long shot to be a knick after the trade deadline.
There were rumors that the Lakers could be a possible destination for the former one-and-done star out of Duke, before they landed Washington’s Rui Hachimura. The latest talk includes a possible deal to the Bucks for Grayson Allen, according to HoopsHype. But clearly, the Knicks are not going to receive a first-round pick in exchange for Reddish, which is what they gave the Hawks last January in exchange for the talented — but so far disappointing — wing in one of the worst moves of the Leon Rose era.
Will his role ever expand? Will he ever perform up to the level of the eighth-overall pick? Odds are, it won’t happen here, not as long as Julius Randle is playing so well.
This has so far been a lost season for Toppin, who recently missed 13 games due to a non-displaced fracture in his right fibula. On Sunday against Toronto, he scored 12 first-half points — his first time in double figures since Nov. 13 — then got buried for basically the rest of the game.
His defensive issues and inability to create his own shot won’t help his trade value. He is still an asset, on his rookie deal, and his 3-point shooting has improved — Toppin is shooting a career-best 36.2 percent from distance — even if his overall numbers have regressed. He could be part of a deal to land an established veteran. According to NBA reporter Sean Deveney, the Knicks and Pacers have talked about a deal involving Toppin.
The sharpshooting guard from France says he wants to be a Knick, but he wants to play, too. He lost his starting job, first to Reddish and then Quentin Grimes, and has been out of the rotation since Nov. 13, only playing meaningful minutes due to injury.
Moving Fournier will be difficult, since he owed $18 million this season, $18.9 million next season and has a $19 million club option the following year. It would almost certainly take the Knicks attaching an asset to move Fournier, which they have been so far unwilling to do, according to multiple reports.
The Thibodeau favorite handled his demotion to the bench gracefully, and the Knicks’ young guards have raved about his leadership. But he is merely collecting dust at this point.
NBA reporter Marc Stein recently reported that the Knicks want to do right by the 34-year-old Rose and send him to a good situation before the deadline. That situation could be Chicago, his hometown and the place he won an MVP. Rose was showered with cheers when the Knicks were in the Windy City recently.
It could be the perfect send off to a memorable career, particularly since the Bulls have a few impact players, such as DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, who could be made available.