NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 27: Donte DiVincenzo #0 of the New York Knicks celebrates with Isaiah Hartenstein #55 and Josh Hart #3 against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on January 27, 2024 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
You could argue the New York Knicks could’ve stood pat at the NBA trade deadline given that they already made a splashy move not long ago to acquire Toronto Raptors swingman OG Anunoby. Apparently, the Knicks weren’t done, and are serious about making a push for the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference.
Not my words! Well they are, but Magic Johnson agrees with me, so I feel vindicated.
With the Knicks acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic (averaging 20.2 points per game and 41.5% from 3-point range) and Alec Burks (averaging 12.7 points per game and 40.1% from 3-point range), I think they have a real shot of playing not just in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the NBA…
Sounds outlandish to say, right? These are the Knickerbockers we’re talking about here. However, with the acquisitions of Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to bolster their offense even more, combined with the defensive coaching prowess of Tom Thibodeau and the presences of All-Star Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, this looks like a formidable squad.
"Right now, they're deeper than the Pacific Ocean and everybody else in the Eastern Conference needs to get life jackets!"@KendrickPerkins is all in on the Knicks' trade deadline moves 📈 pic.twitter.com/KIbMlc3z1t
As a member of the Boston Celtics’ 2008 championship team, Perkins knows what a title contender looks like. So does Magic Johnson. I’ll take them at their word that the Knicks really did something here, because I can barely believe it myself.
Bogdanovic and Burks are such massive winners here. That’s putting it lightly. They were just playing for a Pistons team that only improved to 7-43 just last night. The 34-year-old vet Bogdanovic wasn’t even on the court for that one. Good for him, because why waste another second playing in Detroit when you can link up with an East contender? Bogdanovic has averaged over 20 points per game on almost 48% shooting this season. He should have fresh legs since he’s only played in 28 games, too.
Full trade, per ESPN Sources: Knicks: Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks Pistons: Quentin Grimes, Malachi Flynn, Evan Fournier, Ryan Arcidiacono and two second-round picks.
Burks was actually huge to Wednesday’s rare win for the Pistons, as he poured in 25 points and seized the opportunity to get buckets with Bojan and Cade Cunningham out of action. Burks actually played for the Knicks for two seasons before heading to Detroit prior to the 2022-23 campaign. You have to imagine Burks is bumping “Empire State of Mind” and absolutely feeling himself as he prepares for a grand return to the Big Apple.
There’s still about an hour and change left till the trade deadline expires, but it’s safe to say the Knicks got a huge couple of pieces from a totally tanking Pistons team who’d put these guys’ skill sets to poor use were they to remain in Detroit.
All-time alleged reverse psychology here by Knicks fan and actor Jerry Ferrara, by the way.
Feeling like the Knicks are gonna sit this trade deadline out.
Randle is dealing with a shoulder injury that’ll sideline him for weeks, so it was vital for New York to acquire more firepower to compensate for his 24 points per game.
Brunson will still be the primary catalyst for the offense, but to have a capable playmaker like Burks in the fold who can shoot from the outside, combined with a versatile sharpshooter in Bogdanovic, just makes the Knicks a much more versatile, multiple team.Meanwhile, Anunoby has been out since Jan. 27, but should be back pretty soon from an injured elbow.
It’ll be so awesome to see Madison Square Garden rocking with these new-look New York Knicks. They’re 10-1 in their last 11 and only look to improve from these pre-deadline moves. As for the other big-ish trades, Gordon Hayward to OKC is cool. Get back to me if and when he can stay healthy and contribute in a meaningful way. PJ Washington to the Mavs gives Luka and Kyrie something of a viable No. 3. Not sure that puts them over the top in the West. Buddy Hield to the Sixers…OK? Everything depends on Joel Embiid, who’s injured yet again.
Unless LeBron James gets traded at the 11th hour, I’m naming the Knicks as the top NBA trade deadline winners.
Safe to say Knicks fans are pretty jazzed about all this. So many offseasons of whiffing on the highest-end free agents, and so many reaches, overpays and failed trades for supposed stars in the past. All will be forgiven if this team can come together and make a championship run in the next year or two. The reaction from the greater NBA community is quite favorable.