The NBA trade deadline has been as active as a summer day at Rucker Park. The New York Knicks made a blockbuster trade that saw Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee dealt to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and 2021 & 2023 first-round picks.
A roster spot opened following the trade and New York may have a couple more within the next week. There are several teams like the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors that are interested in acquiring Wesley Matthews, per Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the Knicks and Enes Kanter will be in discussions on a contract buyout following today’s trade deadline. Like Kanter, Matthews is likely to be bought out if he isn't traded, per Marc Berman of the New York Post.
With potentially three open roster spots, how could the trade deadline affect the Westchester Knicks?
Two-way players Isaiah Hicks and Kadeem Allen have been with New York recently. Allen has seen quality playing time (20.5 minutes per game) upon arriving with the big club due to injuries. He earned positive comments from Knicks head coach David Fizdale on his Knicks’ debut.
After continuing to improve in his game in Westchester, Hicks will push to earn minutes with New York. He showed to be a solid defender in the G League, while showcasing his improved offensive game. His ability to put the ball on the floor, along with having a few games where he shot the ball well from deep, shows how much he has improved on the offensive end in his two years in the organization.
The second-year forward displayed his improvements with his perimeter shot against the Delaware Blue Coats where he shot 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
After being traded to Westchester, Jameel Warney has been on a tear. He continues to show that he is one of the top post players in the G League. He had an overall solid game against the Greensboro Swarm where he dished some nifty passes and tied his G League high with eight assists. In 11 games with Westchester, he is averaging 18.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game on 53.7 percent shooting from the field.
John Jenkins signed a 10-day contract with the Washington Wizards on Jan. 30. Depending if Washington plans to keep him, the Knicks should be interested in Jenkins if he is not retained by the Wizards. His ability as a shooter, along with becoming more efficient with his shot and ability to move well without the ball, would add value to New York. He’s shown in several games where he has worked well as a facilitator, including in the pick-and-roll.
Since Westchester has seen their roster shake up, players have seen an increased opportunity to showcase their abilities. Billy Garrett has continued to excel in his role whether it is as the primary facilitator in the starting rotation or off the bench. He has had a recent stretch of games where he has been an efficient scorer and shot 40 percent (10-of-25) from deep in the past four games.
Garrett’s ability to run the offense, along with the energy he brings to the team, has made him a valuable commodity to Westchester. If the second-year guard can keep his production rolling, he will be putting himself on NBA radars.