Even though the majority of the players and the younger generation of fans might disagree, the New York Knicks are a storied franchise. The amount of publicity and Showtime that the Knicks can bring to NBA basketball is truly extraordinary because they are based under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. New York City is one of the most renowned cities in the United States, and it is an honor for any player to play there.
Unfortunately, the Knicks have been a laughing stock as an organization because they are incapable of putting together a winning team. Due to lack of proper ownership and just plain bad luck, the Knicks can’t seem to catch a break. That will all change if they can snag James Harden, the game’s flashiest and most dominant scorer. To bring the New York swagger back in town, here is the trade package that will convince Houston to pull the trigger on their wantaway superstar.
Trade Package: RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina for James Harden
The Knicks Are Back With James Harden, Dennis Smith, Obi Toppin, and Mitchell Robinson
James Harden will do for New York what he did for the Houston Rockets. After years of mediocrity, Harden can make the Knicks a playoff contender. His scoring and playmaking is something unbelievable to watch because he is simply unstoppable in all areas of offense. He commands double and triple teams more so than any other player in the league right now, and the Knicks can have a top-5 player in the NBA on their squad.
The reason Harden will be particularly special in New York is because of Obi Toppin and Mitchell Robinson. Both big men are extremely athletic and can jump out the roof, making them consistent lob targets for when Harden penetrates. A large part of Houston’s success as a team was Harden’s lobs to Clint Capela, but Robinson and Toppin are much more athletic. At the very least, Harden’s arrival will make the Knicks one of the most exciting teams in the East. Even Dennis Smith Jr, a speedy point guard, has exceptional athleticism and is a high-flyer in his own right.
The Eastern Conference is always there for the taking even though there are a few very good teams right now. The Celtics found their big man in Tristan Thompson while the Bucks added Jrue Holiday to join MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Eastern Conference champions Miami Heat lost Jae Crowder but added Avery Bradley, and are still a threat. But there is no reason why the Knicks can’t challenge those teams with James Harden. He averaged 34.3 PPG this season and is the single most unstoppable force in the NBA. Harden and Toppin could be a dominant duo very soon and the New York Knicks can finally rediscover their swag after so long.
The Houston Rockets Rebuild With New Franchise Cornerstones
James Harden is arguably the second-greatest player in Houston Rockets history. He has single-handedly placed Houston on the map as a title contender and his scoring ability is currently unmatched right now. But Harden rejected his $50 million player option, which only makes sense if he wants out of Houston immediately. Houston needs to find the best possible return for him because an unhappy star leads to an unhappy organization. The Knicks might have the most attractive package for James Harden.
Julius Randle isn’t an All-Star, but he is close to it. He averaged 19.5 PPG and 9.7 RPG this season as the Knicks’ best player, and he will be a nice addition inside the paint for now and in the future. Kevin Knox, a promising all-around forward, is very raw but can be the perfect player for Houston in the long-term. Knox isn’t developing the way he should be in New York, and perhaps a change of scenery will do him good because the Knicks might have given up on his progress so far. Ntilikina also has the potential to be a dominant perimeter defender and a player who can come in and provide energy at any moment.
Barrett is the key here because if he develops into an All-Star, the trade with the Knicks can be looked back on as a positive one. It is impossible to get an equal return for a player like James Harden, but Barrett can become a very effective scorer and bonafide star for the Rockets. He averaged 14.3 PPG in his rookie season despite still looking very raw and playing for a very messy franchise like the Knicks. Barrett, Randle, and Knox are building blocks for a new-look Rockets which also features the new signing of Chris Wood.