Now is about the time where the trade rumors begin swirling, but don’t expect the New York Knicks to be very active in the next month as the trade deadline approaches.
It’s not that the Knicks won’t want to go out and improve their team when the trade deadline approaches; it is that they won’t be able to.
Because the Knicks began the season as the oldest team in NBA history, they don’t exactly have the trade assets to use to entice another team to make a deal.
Currently the Knicks have only one player under the age of 27 and that is Iman Shumpert and he isn’t going anywhere in the near future.
Chris Copeland could be a guy that would interest teams, but his contract expires at the end of the season and only cost the Knicks $473k, meaning there would be no need to consider moving the 28-year old rookie. Even if another team wanted Copeland, the Knicks wouldn’t be able to improve thanks to being a luxury tax paying team, which is problem No. 2.
CBS Sports’ Ken Berger reported that the Knicks would love to deal Amar’e Stoudemire for cap relief purposes, but there won’t be any takers on STAT thanks to his contract and his health risks.
The only other trade option the Knicks have could be Marcus Camby as contending teams may want to add a defensive presence, but that is a stretch considering Camby signed a three-year deal in the offseason which no other team will likely want to touch and he has had health concerns of his own.
Because of the lack of tradeable players and the current salary cap situation of the franchise, it all but rules out a midseason improvement. With 15 guaranteed contracts, the Knicks can’t even sign a player (plenty of Kenyon Martin rumors), without releasing a player and eating his contract first.
That means what you see is what you get from the Knicks this season, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Sure they have slumped recently, going only 5-8 over their past 13 games, but after the end of January it looks like this team will be as close to 100 percent healthy for the first time all season.
That will give them plenty of time to continue to build chemistry as the playoffs approach. It also eliminates the potential of making a move just for the sake of making a move.
Sometimes it is a bummer when you don’t see your team out there trying to add the missing piece to what could be a championship team, but in the Knicks case that could be a good thing.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.