Kyle Kuzma pegged as a potential Knicks trade target

NBA Analytics Network

Since Tom Thibodeau cut his rotation to nine players and added Deuce McBride to the mix, the New York Knicks have gone 8-0. They are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now, with the Memphis Grizzlies being the only team to have a longer winning streak at even games.

Despite that success, there could be some changes on the horizon. The Knicks have been one of the most active teams in the trade market so far this season as they are in the market to consolidate their roster. But given how well they play, they could also be looking for a significant rotation upgrade.

If this team has one weakness, it’s on the wing, especially the small forward. Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish are out of rotation, leaving virtually all wing minutes to RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes, the starting small forward and shooting guard. Off the bench, the Knicks use McBride, Immanuel Quickley, Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims to fill in for Obi Toppin, who is injured.

The Knicks have the resources to pull off a sizable trade if the opportunity arises. They have loads of seed capital and enough contracts to match should the need arise to match the salary.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards & New York Knicks Updates

One player reportedly to be watched when it comes to the Knicks is Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards. Kuzma is having a career season averaging 21.4 points per game and could be squarely on the radar according to the Knicks. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

“Another team to watch closely with Kuzma is the New York Knicks. Kuzma is represented by CAA’s Austin Brown, who worked closely with colleague Leon Rose before Rose left the agency to join the Knicks as president. New York has several CAA clients, including Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Isaiah Hartenstein and Obi Toppin.”

The CAA roots are deep within the Knicks organization and have been for a long time. This is the first time such a connection has given the franchise a strong foundation and continuity, which should help them acquire some talent upgrades.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards & New York Knicks Updates

Kuzma is certainly a good player, but how realistic he is as a target for the Knicks is up for debate. His fit in the rotation would be tricky as power forward is his best position, but Julius Randle is locked in there.

If Randle is asked to do it every night, Kuzma wouldn’t be an upgrade. His presence could move Barrett to the shooting guard spot, giving Thibodeau the size he likes in his lineup, but the team’s defense could suffer, which is why Grimes is in the starting five and McBride is now part of the rotation.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards & New York Knicks Updates

Kuzma is also eligible for a contract that will pay him more than $20 million a year should he forego his $13 million player option for the 2023-24 season. He’s only 27, but the Knicks might be better served by saving that kind of money for their young core, which will be more expensive each of the next two offseasons.

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