3 potential trade destinations and packages for Knicks PG Elfrid Payton

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David Vertsberger
·3 min read
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Elfrid Payton running point in Knicks alternate jersey TREATED IMAGE
Elfrid Payton running point in Knicks alternate jersey TREATED IMAGE

Upon the arrival (and return) of point guard Derrick Rose via trade this week, the Knicks now face a dilemma with their guard situation.

They only have so many minutes and ball-handling opportunities to hand out to Rose, starter Elfrid Payton, and electric rookie Immanuel Quickley, with postseason implications and future seasons to weigh into account.

With Payton’s non-shooting lowering New York’s offensive ceiling, his replacement impressing in his debut, and his contract and level of play looking attractive for a team seeking an upgrade, he’s a prime candidate for a trade. And Per SNY’s Ian Begley, the Knicks aren’t done making moves.

Here are three destinations they can ship Payton to, and what they might get in return...

Orlando Magic

New York may not love the idea of helping out a fellow Eastern Conference team fighting for the playoffs, but they’re in a great spot to squeeze the Magic, who are desperate for some assistance at the point guard spot.

At the moment, lead handling duties go to rookie Cole Anthony, then journeyman Frank Mason III. This won’t suffice down the stretch of the season and into the postseason. And though Orlando once went through and ditched the Payton experience, he’d easily be a starter on their current squad.

What can the Knicks get in return? Depends on their preference -- added rotation depth or flexibility. Terrence Ross is having an up-and-down year but could give the Knicks' offense life with Austin Rivers’ minutes having been sliced. New York could also make up the second-round pick they lost in the Rose trade, or take a flier on one of the Magic’s young guys.

Boston Celtics

Another Eastern Conference team in need of point guard depth, the Celtics are running Kemba Walker and rookie Payton Pritchard at the one. The former is returning from injury and looks that way on the court, and Boston is heavily relying on the latter early in his NBA career. Having Elf on board as insurance come playoffs time as an upgrade over Jeff Teague could look good to Danny Ainge right about now.

Boston also has an array of intriguing young talent, raw as it is. It’s unlikely the Celtics would part with any of them just for Payton, at least without attaching Tristan Thompson’s contract, which runs through 2022. This could be a package that allows the Knicks to turn Payton and salary space into a prospect or draft compensation, which New York should consider.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have been in the trade market for a point guard for years now, it seems. These two teams made deadline magic happen last year when Marcus Morris went out west in return for the pick that became Quickley.

New York isn’t getting another first for one of their useful player dumps, but Payton could net them some smaller draft compensation from Los Angeles. His salary snugly fits with Luke Kennard’s, who would be a hell of a coup for the Knicks. But the Clippers aren’t going to move that easily.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Detroit
+225+7.5O 210.5
New York
-286-7.5U 210.5