Knicks Seek Backup Center, Insider Reveals Favorite Option

The New York Knicks are feeling optimistic about the 2024-25 NBA season. However, they need to tweak their roster after losing Isaiah Hartenstein to the Oklahoma City Thunder in free agency. With ten players under contract, they have $173.1 million in salaries, leaving them $5 million below the first tax apron.

Fred Katz from The Athletic suggests that the Knicks will modify their trade with Brooklyn for Mikal Bridges. This adjustment would create more financial flexibility for the team.

“If they execute the Mikal Bridges trade as currently constructed, sending Bojan Bogdanović and draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets for the 27-year-old wing, they will be hard-capped at the first apron, of which they are only $5 million short. Chances are the Knicks will find a way to revise the trade, which is not yet finalized, sending out more money than they take in and thus hard-capping themselves at the second apron, giving the team an extra $11 million of wiggle room.”

Backup Center Options:

The Knicks need a backup center for Mitchell Robinson since he tends to get injured often and plays better off the bench. Jericho Sims and Mamadi Diakite are on board but might not be enough.

Fans might think this news means big changes ahead!

If Day’Ron Sharpe could be included in the Bridges deal, it would solve a lot of problems by adding around $4 million in salary.

### Precious Achiuwa – Free Agent

Precious Achiuwa remains an unrestricted free agent after New York declined his qualifying offer. Katz believes bringing him back could be beneficial: “Achiuwa grew into a favorite of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s after arriving from Toronto Raptors in December.”

### Daniel Theis – Free Agent

Daniel Theis could be another affordable option coming off a decent season with Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds over 60 games.

### JaVale McGee – Free Agent

JaVale McGee is nearing retirement but might stay if Sacramento offers him a spot.

### Paul Reed – Philadelphia 76ers

Paul Reed has been great backing up Joel Embiid but may get waived or traded by Philadelphia due to Andre Drummond’s signing.

### Clint Capela – Atlanta Hawks

Clint Capela has been rumored on the trade market but acquiring him would require giving up key players like Julius Randle or Jalen Brunson.

Verdict: Pass

### Nikola Vucevic – Chicago Bulls

Nikola Vucevic may also be available but doesn’t fit well with New York’s defensive needs according to Katz.

Verdict: Pass

### Robert Williams – Portland Trail Blazers

Robert Williams could fit well but has injury concerns and played only six games last season.

Verdict: Pass

### Wendell Carter Jr. – Orlando Magic

Wendell Carter Jr.’s acquisition seems unlikely unless Robinson is included in a trade deal.

Verdict: Pass

### Isaiah Stewart – Detroit Pistons

Isaiah Stewart plays hard and physical but acquiring him would likely cost a rotational player.

The Pistons have said they’re open to trading Stewart.
Possible deal: DiVincenzo using NLE ($12,500 exception) for Stewart.

Verdict: Consider

Others like Richaun Holmes (Washington Wizards), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks), Duop Reath (Portland Trail Blazers), and Jaylin Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder) don’t seem viable either.

Verdict: Pass

### Nick Richards – Charlotte Hornets

Nick Richards had a career season recently; trading Miles McBride for him doesn’t seem fair according to Katz.

Verdict: Definitely consider

### Walker Kessler – Utah Jazz

Walker Kessler could replace Hartenstein effectively; however, getting him might require offering significant assets like McBride and future picks.

“Kessler has two years remaining on his rookie-scale contract,” said Katz.

If possible, working out this trade should be prioritized by New York.

What do you think? Should Knicks make these moves?

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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