The Knicks enter this offseason riding Brunson’s coat, but exceeding expectations only raises the bar in New York. And despite last season’s success, the end proved just how much more energy the Knicks need.
Damian Lillard is a tricky fit, particularly on defense, with Brunson, but the Portland star could be on the move if the Trailblazers don’t trade picks for veterans during this week’s NBA Draft. And if you’re looking for offense, Lillard has scored at least 24 points a game on at least 55% true shooting for eight straight seasons.
What about Zion Williamson? The Athletic reported Tuesday that it’s “pretty unlikely” Williamson will be traded before Thursday’s draft, but what about after? Williamson played varsity prom with Barrett and has spoken glowing lights about Madison Square Garden in the past. He played just 28.5 games a season during his four-year career but made two all-star teams despite that distinction.
Trading for Williamson would be a risky health gamble, but it would fit perfectly with New York’s bully ball ethos. He thinks of Randle but stronger, more efficient, and more selfless.
The roster can evolve significantly between now and boot camp. NBA stars seem less happy than ever to stay home. Given New York’s assets and brand of repaired rims, he deserves a mention whenever a top player expresses displeasure at his organization.