There haven’t been any major developments reported on the Knicks trade front this week. As SNY noted last week, Alec Burks and Bruce Brown have been squarely on New York’s radar. The price for Utah’s Jordan Clarkson would be significant.
There have been one or two regurgitated reports presented as new information this week. But nothing earth-shattering.
As noted earlier, I'd be somewhat surprised if New York pursued DeRozan aggressively. I’d be even more surprised if the Knicks pursued LaVine aggressively. There are people with the Knicks who see Murray as a strong fit next to Jalen Brunson. But as of last week, it was unlikely that the Knicks would pay Atlanta’s asking price. The Hawks are seeking at least two first-round picks in a package for Murray, per Marc Stein.
Murray is under contract through 2026-27. The Hawks do not have to trade Murray by the Feb. 8 deadline. They can revisit discussions in the offseason. As of last week, teams in touch with the Hawks believed they were going to stick to a certain price point on a Murray trade and were prepared to keep the 27-year-old after the deadline if that price point wasn’t met.
The Knicks can meet that price point if they want to. But they seemed lukewarm about the idea earlier this month.
Things change quickly in the NBA, especially at this point in the season. A deal that looks dead on Jan. 23 can be revived later in the week. So let’s say the Hawks decide to lower their price on Murray or the Knicks decide to meet Atlanta’s demands.
With an assist from capsheets.com’s Yossi Gozlan, Here are a few Knicks packages for Murray that satisfy NBA trade rules:
Murray has a trade kicker. So his incoming salary for trade purposes is $21.6 million.
Grimes and Evan Fournier give the Knicks enough outgoing salary to acquire Murray.
Mitchell Robinson on his own also gives New York enough outgoing salary to obtain Murray.
Obviously, the deciding factor here would be draft compensation. New York owns eight first-round picks in the next four drafts. In any trade they make at the deadline, the Knicks want to have enough draft capital left over to pursue a top player via trade in the offseason or during 2024-25. Trading Fournier or Grimes removes one trade chip.
Given that, the Knicks probably would be hesitant to give Atlanta their own first-round picks in a trade. The Detroit first-round pick is valuable. The Bucks’ 2025 first-round pick has value as well. Would those picks be enough to satisfy Atlanta? Would the Hawks demand one of the Knicks’ unprotected first-round picks? We should find out the answers to those questions over the next two-plus weeks.