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NBA trade rumors: Will Knicks add difference maker at deadline?

New York is in the thick of the playoff race.

Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks
O.G. Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors in action against Julius Randle of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 21, 2022 in New York City.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The New York Knicks have been able to put things together this season behind new point guard Jalen Brunson and All-Star Julius Randle, but they could still use one scorer or wing defender in their pursuit of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks have plenty of draft capital and some young talent available to deal.

Bulls guard Zach LaVine has been a popular name in Knicks trade rumors, although New York’s front office has been stanch about not dealing the farm for what they consider “second tier stars”. LaVine’s contract might not be something the Knicks want to take on, but they have the salaries to match with Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose and Isaiah Hartenstein. LaVine would create some defensive concerns if he and Brunson were the lead backcourt, but New York’s offensive potential would skyrocket.

A more logical target for New York is Raptors forward OG Anunoby, who projects as a two-way wing with some offensive upside. The problem would be Anunoby’s role as the fourth offensive option, which is what he seemingly grew frustrated with in Toronto.

Prediction: Knicks add Anunoby at deadline

The fit makes too much sense, and Anunoby won’t cost the Knicks as much as LaVine would. Jazz guard Mike Conley could also be an option but his fit next to Brunson might be odd. Anunoby would solidify the backcourt defensively while also providing some shooting from the perimeter. This is the deal New York should make.