The Knicks are off tonight so I’d like to talk about some of the players whose names have come up in trade talk. There have been a few names being thrown out there by the media about players being linked to certain teams. Courtney Lee, Kyle O’Quinn, And Kanter are the three that have gained the most attention. I like most Knick Fans, really like all three of these guys because they all share a common trait (which is also why so many teams are looking into them). They showcase effort and grit everytime they are on the floor.
I love watching KO come down with a rebound and just throw his elbows out, as if to say “Dont even think about getting this ball without catching one to the chin”. Its grit that New Yorkers love to see and love to cheer for. But O’Quinn is also gonna be a free agent this year, and as he approaches 28 years old he’s going to be looking to really cash in with a team. I would love for the Knicks to keep him but we already have enough money tied up into other players, especially at the Center position (looking at you Noah). His Per 36 looks great especially defensively but I don’t think the Knicks can afford him. I say trade him to a contender that needs a rebounding big, off the bench and we might be able to come away with a second round pick or a young prospect. OUT.
Courtney is having a career year here with the Knicks. He’s always been a reliable 3 and D type of player throughout his career but he has shown so much more than that this year. He’s had career high in Rebounds and Assists in a game and had his first NBA double-double with the Knicks. As of right now he’s averaging career highs in Points, Steals, and Assists per game. All while still being that reliable 3 and D player that he’s been known as. He’s currently under the Knicks for the next 2 years (ending in 2020) and is gonna make about $12.5 million each years. That does sound like a lot for a 32 year old SG, who’s the fourth option on a team (maybe third between him and Kanter?), but he has shown how valuable he can be as a player. I would say keep him, unless we are offered a first or a “proven” young prospect. IN
This is the toughest one in opinion. Kanter has shown so much heart and grit and nastiness from the Center position that Knick fans love. He’s embraced NY culture so well, probably only second to KP. He takes shots to his body all the time but he’s a warrior and he goes out there night in and night out. The guy is a rebounding BEAST. Just an absolute animal. He’s had multiple games this year with 20 or more rebounds and has shown that when he’s one the floor he’s coming down with that ball. He’s also shown his ability to score with his bullyball mentality down low, where he barrels his way into the defender’s chest and scored the easy lay up. He’s right around the top of the charts in FG% averaging just under 61% from the field. But what I love most about this guy is how he doesn’t back down from a single person (Especially the King). He is unapologetic when it comes to clowning people on and off the court and you better believe he stand up for his teammates as well.
So why is this even a question? He sounds like the perfect NY center for years to come. But the two major issues with this guy are fit and defence. In today’s NBA where players are becoming more and more “positionless” there isn’t much room for the slower, heavier Center. Teams are looking for centers that can expand the floor and most likely shoot at least a 16-18 footer. Kanter doesn’t fit any of that. Kanter is more like the Centers that we grew up watching. Guys who you can throw it down in the post to and watch them work. But in today’s NBA it’s more about can you either shoot the 3 or defend it and Kanter can’t do either. Which leads me to his other flaw. His defense as a center is below average. It is not for a lack of trying though. That is absolutely clear. He has never lacked the effort, but as I stated before, with today’s NBA being to fast and so much shooting from all positions, he has become a defencive liability. This has even forced Jeff Hornacek to sit him during many fourth quarters and moving Porzingis to the Center spot, because teams will exploit him. Because of this he’s only averaging about 25 minutes per game this year.
He’s 25 years old and entering his prime. I would hate for the Knicks to allow him to walk this year and have him become a star on another team like seems most players do when they leave NY teams (At least the ones I root for). He is also going to be looking for a nice sized contract and the Knicks have to start thinking about Porzingis’ contract, which expires at the end of next season. So as hard as it will be for me say it but Kanter should also be traded. OUT.