The Knicks are in limbo.
While they’re no longer thinking about trading franchise cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis since president Phil Jackson was fired, they have continued maneuvering in free agency with aggression. New York signed shooter Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $71 million deal but to do so, renounced the rights to point guard Derrick Rose.
That leaves them without a starting point guard.
It also leaves them without much cap room to sign one — they didn’t even have enough space to offer Suns re-signed center Alan Williams — so the most obvious route would be to acquire one via trade.
Here’s where Phoenix comes in.
The Knicks, according to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, inquired about Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, who is quite familiar with New York head coach Jeff Hornacek from his first few seasons in the Valley.
For the Suns, the possibility of a deal appears unlikely.
Bledsoe, 27, is coming off his best season by averaging 21.1 points, 6.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. He remained healthy through 66 outings in 2016-17 before Phoenix shut him down in favor of playing its youngsters.
That Phoenix didn’t draft a point guard only added to the expectation that, despite his age, Bledsoe is a big part of the plan to develop the 25-and-under core.
As for potential deals, Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee’s $11.7 million deal would work as a straight swap for Bledsoe, who will be paid $14.5 million this coming season and $15 million in 2018-19. But then there’s this, as Berman points out.
The Knicks don’t have many trade chips except a future first-round pick and starting shooting guard Courtney Lee.
Otherwise, the options are far from enticing assuming New York isn’t going to trade Porzingis to the Suns as was rumored a possibility when Jackson was directing the ship.
When looking at a wider range of speculation, it’s possible the Suns remain in trade rumors involving New York.
The Knicks and Rockets have reportedly been trying to work out a trade to send Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets, and with his $27.9 million contract being involved, a complex three- or four-team trade appears the only route to finalize a deal.
Related to the Anthony trade or not, ESPN New York beat writer Ian Begley suggests that Brandon Knight could also be a player of interest for the Knicks, though he was not citing sources but speculating.
That would be a more viable option for a straight swap involving Lee, whose contract also runs through 2019-20 but is a few million cheaper. Still, the Knicks would be wary about such a move, and the Suns would likely be required to throw in an asset for the Knicks to take such a risk on a player coming off his worst season as a pro.
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