2. Knicks boost backcourt with Malcolm Brogdon trade
The New York Knicks are eager to add another ball-handler after dealing Immanuel Quickley in the OG Anunoby trade. Thankfully, Evan Fournier's expiring contract is a near-perfect salary match for Brogdon. The 31-year-old has reportedly lobbied Portland to keep him past the trade deadline, but joining a hard-nosed contender like New York has to appeal to Brogdon on some level.
Watching New York is pure basketball bliss these days. The Knicks are the happy medium between new-school ideology and old-school physicality. New York plays defense with the blunt force of a jack hammer. Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle get to their spots on offense with strength and craft. Tom Thibodeau loves to keep scores low and the pace slow. And yet, the Knicks are top-15 in 3s made and 3-point percentage. There's enough modernity to project New York and its ninth-ranked offense as a legitimate contender.
Brogdon would elevate the second unit, presumably splitting backcourt minutes with Quentin Grimes and Donte DiVincenzo. The Knicks' supporting cast is one of the strongest in basketball. Brogdon is a good-not-great defender, but his shot-making and facilitation skills are sorely absent from the Knicks' current rotation. The Anunoby trade has been a resounding success, but New York would benefit from another guard to replace Quickley's advantage creation and 3-point volume.
The Knicks can help Portland clear the books with Fournier's expiring contract while offering a similar pick package as the aforementioned Houston trade. The Blazers probably don't want to absorb any long-term money, which gives New York a slight edge here. Additional draft assets also tilt the scales in New York's favor in the event of a bidding war, but the Knicks shouldn't overpay.