Knicks score big hours before the NBA trade deadline, acquiring NBA veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from the Detroit Pistons.
Thursday morning, the New York Knicks acquired Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from the Detroit Pistons. In exchange, New York sent Quentin Grimes, Malachi Flynn, Evan Fournier, Ryan Arcidiacono, and two second-round picks to Detroit.
Overall, the Knicks have successfully improved their roster without giving up any first-round picks. It reflects astute decision-making and strategic planning by the team's front office, led by Leon Rose. This approach allows the Knicks to enhance their competitiveness in the short term while maintaining flexibility and assets for the future.
Making the playoffs just two times in 11 seasons, Leon Rose and the Knicks mean business. It started with the signing of Jalen Brunson in 2022, who is arguably their best point guard since Clyde Frazier.
The move comes less than a month after the Knicks acquired two-way forward OG Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors, in exchange for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. Since the acquisition, the Knicks are 12-2 with Anunoby in the lineup. With Bogdanovic on the roster, he will be able to fill on for Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, who are dealing with ailments.
The Knicks instantly upgrade their bench
Bogdanovic, 34, is a veteran sharpshooter, who's really blossomed into his own over the past six seasons or so. He's averaging 20.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, on 41.5 percent three-point shooting. A true sharpshooter, Bogdanovic will provide an excellent veteran presence in the Knicks locker room. He has proven to be a valuable asset for teams seeking scoring and shooting prowess on the wing.
34 for 44 pic.twitter.com/Isugo4TZ3A— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) January 25, 2024
The former Piston, known for his scoring ability and three-point shooting, could indeed provide a significant offensive boost coming off the bench for the Knicks. His outside shooting threat would force opposing defenses to stretch out, creating more room in the paint for players like Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle to drive to the basket or operate in the post.
With the move, the Knicks bolster their bench, which has struggled since the departure of Quickley. In fact, they are one of the least efficient teams in terms of their second unit, who put up 30.6 points per game.
In 87 games with Detroit, the 6'7 forward has started 86 of them. Arguably one of the best players on the Pistons roster, he's been limited to 28 games with a calf injury.
11 seasons in the NBA, the wing was drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft. A member of the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz, and Detroit Pistons, he now joins a Knicks team that is making a serious playoff push. At 33-18 on the year, New York is now tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 3 seed in the eastern conference. 9-1 in their last ten games, Bogdanovic gives New York the offensive boost they've demanded.
Alec Burks isn't a stranger to New York
The Knicks remain a top defensive squad, limiting opponents to just 109.4 points per game. On the offensive end, they haven't been as dominant, putting up just 115.2 points per game, on 37 percent three-point shooting. Adding a prolific three-pointer shooter is just another example how this organization is in the midst of a structural renovation.
At 34 years old, Alec Burks is a seasoned NBA veteran, that will bring a wealth of experience and skills that can benefit the team in several ways. Providing depth and bench production, Burks is a reliable scorer, who's capable of putting up points in various ways.
Averaging 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists on the year, Burks is playing nearly 20 minutes per game. Appearing in 43 games for the Pistons, Burks is shooting an efficient 40.1 percent from deep. A familiar face, he returns to the Knicks after a member through the 2020-2022 seasons. Having played 130 games under Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is monumental for the Knicks. Having some familiarity with the franchise can never hurt. This move may impact Miles McBride, who saw an increasing role after Quickley was shipped to Toronto. Although his role will be narrowed, I don't see him falling out of rotation.
After all, the Knicks are extremely deep, and we all know how coach Thibodeau will have plenty of players to utilize before the playoffs.
The Knicks are serious playoff contenders
With the trade, the Knicks fortify themselves as a legitimate contender in the eastern conference. Grimes became disgruntled and unhappy with his decreased role on the team. There was a time New York made Grimes untouchable in trade talks for Donovan Mitchell, and perhaps saw more initial value in him. Evan Fournier, who's on a $19 million expiring contract, got lost in the Knicks rotation. In 2.5 seasons with New York, the guard played just 110 games.
Throughout his career, Fournier was a solid player for the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics. He made an impact in his first season with New York, and unfortunately fell off after that. Flynn, who was shipped to New York in the Anunoby trade, averaged just 4.3 minutes for Thibodeau.
The New York Knicks will aim for their second straight win when they host the Dallas Mavericks Thursday evening. The Detroit Piston, who secured a rare victory over Sacramento Wednesday, will face the Portland Trail Blazers on the road.
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Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter, Content Creator and Social Media Manager for Ballislife Bets. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut/NYC area with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.Tweets by Ballislife