3 early predictions for the Knicks at the NBA Trade Deadline

The trade season is just around the corner and several big stars could be available. How much will the Knicks be willing to risk for an upgrade?

Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Two
Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages
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The trade season is right around the corner in the NBA, which means some news will be happening on players joining new teams. This is a point where certain teams become buyers or sellers. Teams that have talent but are bad are sellers and teams that are just a piece away from being true contenders become buyers.

The New York Knicks are one of those teams that have the potential to be a contender but there have a few missing pieces. Because of that, the Knicks have been in a lot of rumors of trading for a star when one becomes available.

In the current state of the league, there are simply not enough star players available right now that would put the Knicks over the top. That doesn't mean that the Knicks won't try to improve their roster. Here are three early predictions for the Knicks at the trade deadline.

3. Knicks trade RJ Barrett for a star

RJ Barrett is one of the longest-tenured Knicks and is only 23 years old. As a former third-overall pick, the Knicks have been expecting him to become an All-Star. To start the season, it looked like he was, and he averaged 22.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists on .487/.500/.848 shooting splits in his first seven games. Since then, he's been averaging 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists on .351/.250/.857 shooting splits.

Barrett could just be in a slump but the only area he has really seemed to improve in, is his free throw shooting. If the Knicks want to be a true championship contender, Barrett needs his efficiency to go up and stay consistent with that level of efficiency. He's currently averaging 18.6 points per game, which is great for a third option, but only if it’s efficient.

Since Barrett's game hasn't drastically improved since his third season, the Knicks need to move on from him. The only thing that makes sense for the Knicks to trade Barrett is to get an All-Star caliber player in return.

There are a few possible stars they could get. The two biggest stars that have been in trade talks are Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine. Since the Timberwolves currently have the best record in the NBA, Zach LaVine would make more sense for both sides. A trade like that could potentially look like RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Evan Fournier, and a minimum of three unprotected first-round picks for Zach Lavine and Julian Phillips. Depending on how desperate the Knicks are, they could easily throw in more picks, Quentin Grimes, Josh Hart, or Donte DiVincenzo as well.

The Knicks are in a very peculiar spot. They're a team that dominates bad teams but is just barely competitive against good teams. They have just a 2-9 record against teams that are .500 or better because they don't have a player that separates them from the competition.

If the Knicks truly want to compete for a championship, they must get their separator. To do that, they will have to get rid of one of their few home-grown stars. It only makes sense for Barrett to be traded if the Knicks are getting someone much better in return.