As the New York Knicks continue to get ready to sell at the NBA’s Feb. 7 trade deadline, more and more names continue to populate trade talks.
Over the weekend, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that the Knicks are putting backup point guard Trey Burke on the trade block as they look for a second-round draft pick in return. The return for Burke can’t be much more than that considering he will be an unrestricted free agent by season’s end.
A move could alleviate some of the pressure created by a logjam in the Knicks’ backcourt as first-year head coach David Fizdale has had to divvy up time between Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Frank Ntilikina. All three are younger point guards who are in the midst of pivotal developments.
Burke, along with Mudiay, has experienced a resurgence whilst with the Knicks. After being written off by the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards, the 26-year-old has proven that he is more than capable of creating a niche as a backup point guard, if not a spot starter. In 67 games with New York since last season, Burke is averaging 12.3 points and 3.9 assists per game in just 21.1 minutes of playing time.
Upon his initial report, Berman lited the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Lakers as three possible candidates for the Knicks to consider. All three have needs in the backcourt that Burke could immediately address. Los Angeles’ Lonzo Ball and Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie are sidelined due to injury and the Warriors could use some more depth at the back-up point guard role to provide another option besides Quinn Cook.
There have been some reports that suggest that the Knicks could be looking for a bit more than just a second-round pick, however.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson added that the Knicks have mentioned Burke’s name in negotiations for a trade that would involve Dallas Mavericks second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr. However, there has been no further confirmation on such reports.
The Knicks and Mavericks have reportedly been in talks about a possible Smith deal throughout the final weeks of January, according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania, along with the Lakers and Orlando Magic.
Smith has fallen out of favor with the Mavericks after the emergence of star rookie Luka Doncic, which has taken over the starting point guard role while the NC State product has made the move to the 2. He’s seen a regression in his numbers in the process as he’s averaging 12.9 points and four assists per game this season.
With Burke seemingly on his way out, Ntilikina now also the subject of trade rumors, and Mudiay a free agent at the end of this season, Smith could be seen by the Knicks as a fixture in the backcourt for years to come. He’s under team control through the 2021-22 season and was a draft target of the Knicks two years ago. However, they opted to draft Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick while the Mavericks took Smith at No. 9.