At 11-29, the New York Knicks are far from playoff contention. That’s why reports they will be buyers at the trade deadline makes little sense.
The New York Knicks weren’t expected to make much noise this season, but a big improvement was. Their roster was bolstered by a somewhat sizable amount with veteran, NBA rotation-caliber players. That hasn’t been the case, as the Knicks currently own an 11-29 record.
Usually, when teams are in this predicament ahead of the trade deadline, they sell off their productive veterans for younger players and draft picks. There’s no reason to keep veterans on a losing team if they aren’t part of the long-term future. But according to Ian Begley of SNY, the Knicks are interested in acquiring “starter-level players who can help the team in the short-term and in future seasons” at the February 6th trade deadline.
A very unorthodox approach when there is a shortage of top talent available in next year’s draft class. It makes no sense for the New York Knicks to want to get better in the short-term. This team is nowhere near the playoffs, currently sitting seven games out of the eighth seed with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
The only case that could possibly be made for immediate upgrades is to reference the 2016-17 Miami Heat. Like the Knicks, Miami had no true star that season but they had a strong mix of young players and veterans.
That Heat team started their season with an 11-30 record. They rallied and managed to finish the regular season 41-41. But this is extremely unlikely to happen with the 2019-20 New York Knicks. First, Maimi was coached by Erik Spoelstra, one of the better coaches in recent history, while the Knicks have a rookie interim coach, Mike Miller. Additionally, the Heat had more talented veterans and young players, such as Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, and a peak Dion Waiters.