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Knicks' Biggest Needs at 2024 NBA Trade Deadline

Zach Buckley

The New York Knicks nailed their first move of NBA trade season.

OG Anunoby was an ideal need-filler for this club. He wasn't cheap to acquire and won't be cheap to re-sign this summer, but this roster was begging for a lanky, all-purpose defender with a fiery jump shot, and he checked those boxes better than anyone on the market.

Adding him to this team gives this front office some flexibility. The 'Bockers don't necessarily need to make another move now. They should, however, be paying attention to what's still out there, as this roster still has other holes to fill.

Star Power

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While the Knicks may have been overly focused on chasing stars in the past, it's OK for them to be laser-locked on adding an elite now. If New York nabbed a difference-maker, that might be the proverbial missing piece of its championship puzzle.

Jalen Brunson has elevated to the point of perhaps being the first option on a contender, or at least being 1B to a slightly more potent 1A. The Knicks might still have questions of whether Julius Randle could be the second-best player on that caliber of club, though.

When New York goes about measuring itself against the rest of the basketball world's best and brightest, this Brunson-Randle-Anunoby trio comes up a little short. There really isn't a certified superstar in the mix, and there are nits to pick with Randle's defense and Anunoby's self-created offense.

Now, it's more than possible that the kind of player the Knicks need simply won't materialize on the market—and that's fine. Assuming they re-sign Anunoby this summer, they should have several cracks at it with this core. Should a high-end player surprisingly shake loose, though, this front office better be prepared to pounce.

Frontcourt Depth

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On the surface, the Knicks perhaps haven't missed the injured Mitchell Robinson as much as expected.

They can thank Isaiah Hartenstein for that. The 25-year-old has been caps-lock AWESOME since stepping into Robinson's old starting spot. Hartenstein's contributions over his first 11 starts include 10.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.3 combined steals and blocks and a 61.8 field-goal percentage.

Clearly, the issue here isn't Hartenstein, but rather the trickle-down behind him. During these 11 starts, the Knicks have won his minutes by a whopping 13.7 points per 100 possessions, per But when he's taken a seat, they've lost those minutes by 10.5 points per 100 possessions.

New York needs stability behind him, and it may not be able to squeeze that out of Jericho Sims or Precious Achiuwa. This isn't a glaring enough need for the Knicks to fork over significant assets, but a bargain-priced backup big might help prevent these steep declines.

Bench Scoring

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The Knicks recognized and acted upon two things during the Anunoby deal. First, that he was a hand-in-glove fit for what they needed. Second, that Immanuel Quickley had outgrown the reserve role they had available to him and would cost too much to keep in free agency.

Both of those were spot-on assessments. However, Quickley's subtraction still left this team with a noticeable lack of second-team scoring punch.

Josh Hart does a lot of things well, but point-production often isn't one of them. Quentin Grimes has had an up-and-down year and isn't capable of consistently creating his own shots. The backup bigs aren't out there for offense, and neither is the recently extended Miles McBride.

Since the Anunoby trade, the Knicks' reserves are just 26th in scoring (27.7 points per game) and 28th in field-goal shooting (39.3). Adding a quick-strike scorer would help them maintain momentum when the starters need a breather.


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