The New York Knicks are busy in the NBA Eastern Conference while the Boston Celtics continue their roster reorganization with the addition of All-Defensive First Team point guard Jrue Holiday.
The Portland Trail Blazers dealt Holiday to the Celtics in exchange for reigning Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III and two future draft picks, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski relayed to the NBA world today.
The Knicks triumphed over the strong play of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in a 3-1 win over the Celtics a season ago. The additions of Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis create a tougher challenge for New York, however.
Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein will be forced to go out to the perimeter often to respect Porzingis’ range. Jalen Brunson struggled against Holiday and the Bucks, shooting 41.9% from the floor, and has to deal with his pesky individual defense behind another elite team defense.
In the rest of the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers were the only other teams to see significant roster changes.
The Wizards traded for combo guard and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jordan Poole, but their trade of Porzingis and Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns leaves them in a rebuilding situation, while the Pacers added the All- Star Tyrese Haliburton bringing NBA champion Bruce Brown.
Neither team advanced to the 2023 NBA Playoffs and is likely still a couple years away from contention. The Knicks will be saddled with the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a battle for playoff positioning.
Just like last season, the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors also pose serious threats to the Knicks. Rising star Mikal Bridges had a successful run in the 2023 FIBA World Cup after exploding for 26.1 points and 4.5 rebounds at the Nets’ post-trade deadline.
The Raptors have championship DNA with Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet leading their offense, while the 76ers possess nuclear power but have yet to live up to expectations behind MVP Joel Embiid.