The NBA trade deadline can be just as important as your offseason. This is where teams make their last adjustments. The adjustment can propel them or set up their teams for future moves. Just 6 weeks ago we ranked the Knicks assets 1-20. Since then players have made themselves either more desirable or less to other teams.
Here are my updated rankings 1-20 on the New York Knicks roster. How would you rank the New York Knick’s current assets? You can view the Knicks assets and salary here
Julius Randle (Previously #3)
Julius Randle has pushed himself to the Knick’s #1 asset by maintaining his star play. He has proved his improvement is not a fluke. He is giving all-star production for less than an all-star salary. It seems unlikely his opt-out clause will be used this summer unless it’s being exercised for a contract extension. It is hard to see the Knicks dealing him in a trade anytime soon.
RJ Barrett (Previously #1)
I had RJ Barret ranked previously as the Knick’s top asset. He has fallen once spot, but he has not regressed. He has really improved the quality of shots he is taking. His 3 point shooting has improved dramatically. The lowering of his ranking is because Julius Randle has maintained his all-star dominance. RJ is only 20 years old and is just scratching the surface of his potential. What makes him so valuable? He has 3 years until a qualifying offer is needed for him. That low-cost runway until his extension makes him extremely attractive to potential teams. His relatively low salary and the potential ceiling have him as one of the top assets for the Knicks.
He has had dominating 2-way performances and that all-star potential is there. At 20 years old is one of the youngest players in the NBA. The New York Knicks are not actively shopping RJ Barrett, but if the Knicks are looking at star players, his name would be the top asset other teams would ask for in return.
Immanuel Quickley (Previously #2)
Immanuel Quickley is a fan favorite. It may be odd that a backup player is the 3rd most valuable asset on a team. He has proven he can score in bunches. His veteran skill of drawing fouls is underrated. The only question now is if his future is at the PG position or some other role.
Quickley has finally notched his first start at point guard for the Knicks. He may be untouchable unless they are chasing a star player. Around the league, he’s a very desirable asset that many would covet.
Mitchell Robinson (Previously #5)
Mitchell Robinson has been nothing short of an enigma in his early career. This season he has taken some serious strides in his game. He is much improved at staying on the floor by being less foul prone. He’s averaging 6 more minutes per game due to less fouling. His points and blocks are slightly down this season, but he is a much better player. His improved impact can’t be measured on the stat sheet. He is learning to impact the game without hunting blocks. Mitchell Robinson is on his rookie contract but is extension eligible this summer. His absence after his hand injury has shown the Knicks he’s a lot more valuable to the franchise than previously thought.
Obi Toppin ( Previously #4)
Obi Toppin is probably the Knick’s 3rd most untouchable asset, but he ranks as the 5th best asset on the Knicks roster. Assets are not always highly valued for their production, but for potential. In the case of Obi Toppin, there is still a lot of mystery when it comes to his potential. His play hasn’t put him high on the asset ranking. His draft position will keep his value high this season. The Knicks picked him at #8 which is considered a slip from where he was expected to be drafted. He has missed time to a strained right calf. With the emergence of Julius Randle, he may not be a focus at all this season.
2021 Knicks Own 1st Rd Pick (Same)
Undoubtedly the Knick’s top draft asset is their own pick this year. The Knicks heading into the year were not expected to make the playoffs. This is a highly anticipated draft due to the depth of talent. The Knicks currently have 2 first-round picks this season since they own Dallas’ pick thanks to the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
2022, 2023, and 2024 Knicks 1st Rd Picks (Same)
These picks have roughly the same value. The Knicks are an ascending team that is expected to make the playoffs for the next few seasons. Many teams receiving any of these picks in a trade would not expect them to land in the lottery.
2021 Dallas 1st Rd Pick (Previously #9)
The 2021 unrestricted 1st round pick from Dallas is an intriguing prospect. The Dallas Mavericks are expected to make the playoffs. Barring an unexpected injury to Porzingis or Doncic, this pick should be in the 20s. With a deep draft class, even this pick has more weight in trades more than most years. If the Knicks do decide to upgrade for a star this asset most likely will be included. The Knicks received this pick as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade. The pick does not have ANY protections. That means wherever it lands the Knicks will have rights to the draft pick.
Derrick Rose (New)
Derrick Rose is a new addition since our last ranking of assets. He is coming back from a bout with COVID. His absence was felt by the team. He is not being shopped by the Knicks. I think there is a strong chance he signs a multi-year deal extension this summer.
Kevin Knox (Previously #8)
The 2019-2020 season was a disaster for Kevin Knox. He came into that season expecting to be a big contributor. He had a year where he looked lost. This year he had minutes early, but now is buried outside of Coach Thibodeau’s 10 man rotation. He still is shooting 40% from 3 on the season. He probably should be getting some of the minutes going to Obi Toppin. His young age and height are desirable to other NBA teams. Someone looking for a prospect with upside may give him a serious look.
Nerlens Noel (Previously #16)
The veteran defender still has value around the league. He has been a good compliment as a backup to Mitchell Robinson. Will the Knicks look to secure him to a long-term deal this summer? Nerlens Noel is currently on a 1-year deal worth $5M. One of the NBA’s top shot blockers while only playing backup minutes. He really showed a lot of value during Mitchell Robinson’s absence.
Alec Burks (Previously #13)
Alec Burks may have been the Knicks’ best bargain free-agent acquisition this season. He has shown his last season was not a fluke. His health has been a question mark, but his shooting has been remarkable. When he isn’t in the lineup there is a noticeable difference. He can be a big boost for any contender closer to the trade deadline looking for shooting. It will be interesting to see if the Knicks flip Alec Burks like they did Marcus Morris last season.
2021 2nd Rd Pick – via Detroit (Previously #12)
Many will be surprised I have ranked a second-round pick so high. The Detroit Pistons are expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. This pick should be between 31 – 35 overall. The 2nd round draft order is not subject to the lottery order, it’s based on the team record. The Detroit Pistons currently have one of the worst records in the NBA.
2023 Dallas 1st Rd Pick – Top 10 protected (Same)
One of the two first-round picks the Knicks own in the 2023 NBA Draft. The Dallas pick is top 10 protected. If the pick lands in the top 10, then the following year’s pick will be awarded to the Knicks (also top 10 protected). This can happen for up to 3 years. If the pick hasn’t fallen out of the top 10 by 2025, the 2025 2nd round pick will be awarded.
Elfrid Payton (Previously #19)
Elfrid Payton has increased his stock a lot since our last ranking. Unfortunately, his one-year deal still has a no-trade clause. That means he must agree to be traded. He is a good defender which could be an asset for a contending team. His salary is a modest $5M. When Elfird Payton is scoring the Knicks have been a better team.
Frank Ntilikina (Previously #18)
No Knick draftee has signed a contract extension after their rookie deal. Charlie Ward was the last rookie to be extended, that was in 1998. It’s uncertain if that streak will continue. There were rumors that the Knicks were interested in dealing Frank Ntilikina earlier in the season. He is being used as a defender when needed. He has not been able to take advantage of injuries to the other guards because he has been injured as well. In the last few weeks, he has worked his way back into the coach’s rotation. The big question is if he’s found his niche with this rotation long term.
Austin Rivers (Previously #12)
Austin Rivers was one of Coach Thibodeau’s favorite players off the bench early in the season. He found his way out of the rotation not to crack it again, even when the team was short-handed. It seems a trade or buyout is inevitable. The Knicks signed Austin Rivers to a team-friendly 3 year / $10M deal which is desirable in a trade. However, it seems the Knicks are looking to trade him somewhere he would approve. If the Knicks cannot find a suitable trade you can expect him to be cut.
Reggie Bullock (Previously #16)
The Knicks took a calculated gamble signing Reggie Bullock last season. They allowed him to get fully healthy knowing he would miss a significant part of the 2019-2020 season. This year Tom Thibadeau has entrusted him as being part of the starting unit. He would be a good low-cost pickup for a contender as we move closer to the trade deadline. He has done well as a defender and his quick shooting keeps defenses honest. He is in the 2nd year of a 2 year contract. He is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Cap Space (Previously #15)
Knicks management was creative using cap space to acquire picks during the draft and free agency. The Knicks still have substantial cap space they can use. The Knicks won’t be the only teams trying such a strategy. The Oklahoma City Thunder still have $13.5M in cap space
2023 2nd Rd Picks (Previously #17)
The Knicks currently are scheduled to pick five picks between the two rounds of the 2023 NBA Draft. Three of those picks are 2nd rounders. What makes the 2023 draft special? It is expected to included players making the jump from high school. It is being called the “double draft” because it essentially is 2 classes of players looking to enter the NBA. These lower picks will have added value that year.
Do you agree with these rankings?