By: Justin Girshon
Photo via startribute.com
After completely striking out on all elite players during 2019 Free Agency, the Knicks will finally have an All Star to build around for the first time since… Kristaps Porzingis was traded. Russell would be a great addition for the Knicks because they have the second worst offense in the entire NBA. Russell would immediately become the Knicks’ go to scorer as he is currently averaging 23.8 PPG, 6.3 APG, 3.7 RPG while shooting 43.3% from the field and 38.3% from three while shooting 9.2 two pointers and 3.8 three pointers per game. Russell would definitely help rookie slasher RJ Barrett grow as a player because the paint won’t be as crowded due to Russell drawing the most defensive attention on the perimeter. The Knicks should be content with the package they’re giving up because although they’re giving up young talent in Ntilikina, Robinson, and Knox; it’s unlikely any of them become All Stars. The Knicks would have to include Portis for salary reason and the Dallas first round pick because this is probably the second best asset in the trade behind Mitchell Robinson.
Another benefit of trading for Russell is that the Knicks become a team that players will want to play for. The Knicks will have an All Star in Russell, a rising star in RJ Barrett, and another (hopefully) promising player with their 2020 first round pick OR they can trade that pick and gain another All Star caliber player. Russell would help the Knicks organization deflate the narrative that nobody wants to play for them. Russell’s presence in New York would possibly lure Karl-Anthony Towns to leave Minnesota and play for New York and/or lure Devin Booker from Phoenix. Russell, Booker and Towns have been friends since they were in High School and their friendship has only grown since entering the NBA. At a Slam photoshoot with all three players in 2019, Russell said:
“We gotta do this again, when we’re all on the same team. “Nah, don’t cut it,” (Russell) says to (Slam’s) rolling cameras. “Y’all got it on footage. When we’re all on the same team—I ain’t gonna tell you which team because I don’t know—we’re gonna do this again.”