Knicks fans, this is what smart management looks like.
(Sorry for feeling the need to point that out, but after the past couple of decades and handful of Knicks front-office regimes, I'm just not sure you would recognize it.)
New York is pushing for a championship this season with a couple of trade deadline upgrades, acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from the Detroit Pistons for a package of Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn and two second-round picks, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and since made official by the teams.
This adds shooting and two quality rotation players to Tom Thibodeau's bench, and that matters in the short term with Julius Randle out a few more weeks with a dislocated shoulder, defensive anchor Mitchell Robinson out with a stress fracture in his ankle, and OG Anunoby missing time with a bone spur irritation in his elbow. Bogdanovic steps in right now as the starting four until Randle returns, while Burkes instantly adds depth.
Bogdanovic is averaging 20.2 points per game and shooting 41.5% from 3 this season, he can drive and create against closeouts and knows how to keep the ball moving with his passing. He just knows how to play the game. Burks also brings shooting to the table, hitting 40.1% from 3 this season and averaging 12.6 points a game in Detroit.
Beyond the short term, this adds quality depth to the Knicks' rotation — and gives Thibodeau matchup options — as New York heads toward what it believes will be a deep playoff run. New York surveys the East and sees a Philadelphia team with Joel Embiid injury question marks, a Milwaukee team that has changed coaches and is searching for defense, and a Celtics team that can be too dependent on the 3-pointer and struggles in the clutch. There's a path deep into this postseason for New York.
New York did all that without giving up a first-round pick and by adding players on reasonable contracts who could be trade assets if — or really, when — the Knicks go big game hunting for another star this offseason.
Detroit should have pushed harder to land a first-round pick in this trade, the Knicks have some heavily protected ones they could surrender. That said, New York refused to put any firsts on the table in this or any other trade, according to The Athletic’s James Edwards III, and other teams were not putting a first on the table for Bogdanovic either, league sources told NBC Sports. That left the Pistons thinking it was this offer or nothing, so they took it. However, if GM Troy Weaver had traded Bogdanovic a year ago, when many around the league expected him to, he would have gotten a first.
With Grimes, the Pistons get a quality 3&D wing on a reasonable contract for next season and fits nicely into their plans next to Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. Those second-round picks are nice, but not thrilling.