The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and with it, the New York Knicks are no better than they were a day before the deadline. With the trade of Marcus Morris, the Knicks not only got worse but may have damaged their brand even more.
With Morris’s name being one of the hot topics for the past month or so, it was believed that the Knicks could get a nice return for one of their most consistent players. Instead, they managed to snag only Moe Harkless and a draft pick.
What also makes matters worse is that they sent him to a team that will be in contention for a shot at the NBA Finals.
Harkless is not a bad player. He had a promising future while with the Portland Trail Blazers but was lost in the shuffle on the West Coast. Now, back out East, Harkless can make some strides as he should move into the starting unit. But is that enough for Knicks’ fans to get over the sting of losing on of their most consistent players this year?
Now, the future looks bright for the Knicks as they have pulled a 76ers move adding draft picks. But then comes the question of what they will do with them? Over the last few years, the Knicks have missed badly on their choices. The reason we can say that is, well, look at their record. What have those picks done? Has one turned into an All-Star? The only one that did was Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks shipped him out of town. Do you see where we’re going with this?
These are the moves the Knicks must stop making and with the Brooklyn Nets making strides, one would like to think that the Knicks have learned their lesson or even jotted down notes as their crosstown rival has built a playoff team and surely a contender when Kevin Durant comes back next season.
Not saying that trading Morris was wrong, but not getting back something of equal value was a slap in the face to fans of the Knicks. Marcus Morris was on a one-year deal while Mo Harkless has the same and is four years younger, there is still a deeper issue here. Morris has stated that he wanted to stay with the Knicks and that’s despite the losing.
Please remember, this is the same player who was set to sign with the San Antonio Spurs this past offseason but elected to join the Knicks instead. He wanted to be there for the rebuild and be a part of that and just like every other good player before him in the last four years, they shipped him out.
Armed with two future picks, the front office may feel they got a steal here. Contract-wise, it was a fair swap. Talent-wise, Morris was a better player. But if we’re looking toward the future that’s where the deal gets a bit messy. The Clippers handed the Knicks a first-rounder this year and a second for next with the ability to swap. That’s all well and good on paper, but the Clippers will be serious contenders which means that first-rounder is like a second-rounder because it will be in the very late 20’s. So, what was the point?
How many relevant players are taken with the 28th pick in any draft? Mind you, this is still the Knicks we’re talking about here when they can’t even get the 4th pick right.
Marcus Morris wanted to stay. The New York Knicks wanted picks. Now, Morris has a chance to play in the NBA Finals while the Knicks are praying they can find a diamond in the rough with throw-away picks they received for 19 points per game.