Portland finally appears ready to trade Damian Lillard. How might his landing spot impact the Knicks?
Great newsletter! The fact that the majority of our fanbase is saying “Nah” on Dame to NYK is a huge graduation for us and it’s worth noting. Our days of salivating over “any star” willing to entertain a conversation are behind us. The media has not caught up to this because it’s still too clickworthy to push “ ____ to Gotham” narratives, but we’re not that desperate. We’ve got a good core and a fun team to watch and that might just be enough for a bit. We’re not one piece away and should operate as such. I’m not too worried about where Dame goes as we have no control over that. If it loosens up a follow-on deal for us...all the better, but I’m super interested to see our team as is compete this season.
Send Dame to Miami, we'll beat they asses anyway
Hola Jonathan ! Super amazingly awesome newsletter as usual! I think I don’t tell you that enough. One Knicks Film School is worth a dozen ESPNs. Seriously dude, this newsletter is amazing. Just had to let you know that. Ok, on to the question.
All this talk about Dame got me thinking: which position do the Ks need to upgrade the most in order to vault to the category of “contender”? Like, if we could keep the whole roster - or at least the major players - intact but swap out one position, which swap would give us the best ROI? Mitch, cuz unclogging the lane would make JR & RJ SOOOO much better, so that one swap actually improves three positions? RJ/SG/SF cuz wouldn’t it be nice to have an SG / SF who could actually shoot? IQ cuz his shooting goes so hot and cold that it can’t really be relied upon in the playoffs, as he, like Julius, has shown twice now? Just curious, & have no idea how to even go about tackling such a question. Just a thought. Keep up the great work - and thanks!!!!
I have to be honest, I was a little surprised at how much time was spent on considering the pros of going after Lillard for NYK. I'm glad Jon put it out there, even as the larger point is why the team SHOULD NOT pursue him.
As a Knicks fan living in Portland, I think everyone has grown a little wary of the Lillard saga...and forgotten what an incredible player he is. Whoever gets him will have a fighter's chance.
More than anything I like the drama of a new great team - and a well balanced one at that. Dame, Jimmy, and Bam would be awesome to watch, and fun to go against as a NYK fan. Having him land in the East in general would be good for my eyes.
I wonder how much the law suit MSG initiated against Toronto will affect the ability of these teams to do business even if OG is part of a three team deal and OG technically comes from Portland instead of Toronto?
Also, I’m surprised that Fournier is still on the team (I assume there were no doable offers); but mostly surprised that the Knicks are going to ride with Hart as the back-up four. Even if you believe Hart will be a serviceable back-up four, I think the the gamble the Knicks are that Randle stays healthy all season is a poor one.
Raptors get: Dame
Knicks get: OG Anunoby
Blazers get: Gary Trent Jr., Evan Fournier, 2026/2028/2030 FRPs from TOR, 2024/2026 FRPs from NYK
You can of course play around with the specific draft compensation and if Portland actually views RJ as an asset (questionable), he’d likely have to be involved. The framework more or less checks out though, IMO.
I wish for Mitch to be healthy and play a lot of games because the team is better when he plays. Wishing for him to play 80 so that he will have played more games than anyone since 2000 other than Carmelo seems a little strange though, when, even if he does that, he will have barely played more games than RJ and Randle (assuming they are also healthy) and they will have done it in one less season. For example, RJ has played 271 games since 2019 to 223 for Mitch, while Randle has played 284 games.
If Mitch plays 80 games this season, he will have played 303 games as a Knick during those 4 year and a total of 369 in his Knicks career. If RJ plays 80 games, he will have played 351 and if Randle plays 80, he will have played 364 (Randle). So, he will have only played 5 more games than Randle and 18 more games than RJ in one more season.
Will his playing barely more games in one more year make him more important and significant than those 2? Or does it really highlight that both RJ and Randle will have played the equivalent of almost a full season more than Mitch during the time they have been on the team?