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Who Will Be The Next Superstar To Play For The New York Knicks: Devin Booker Is Realistic, Damian Lillard Is Unrealistic

Who Will Be The Next Superstar To Play For The New York Knicks: Devin Booker Is Realistic, Damian Lillard Is Unrealistic

The New York Knicks have made massive improvements this season. They have an All-Star player in Julius Randle, an excellent coach in Tom Thibodeau, and some nice young players including Emmanual Quickley and RJ Barrett among others. The franchise is no longer an afterthought in the East, and are looking more like a destination that players want to play for.

But the Knicks still need a superstar player to take them to the next level. The Eastern Conference, other than the first 2 seeds, is wide open. The Knicks can easily become one of the top-3 or top-4 teams in the conference if they manage to deal for a superstar player, via blockbuster trade or free agency.

With assets to offer such as Randle, Barrett, and Kevin Knox; they have enough talent to make a deal. But the Knicks will only part ways with Randle or Barrett, meaning dealing both is off the table. Here are the players the Knicks can acquire to find their next superstar player.

Damian Lillard

5 Reasons Why Damian Lillard Must Leave The Portland Trail Blazers

Unfortunately for Knicks fans, Damian Lillard is most likely off the table. Lillard is averaging 29.8 PPG this season, guiding the Portland Trail Blazers to the 5th seed in the Western Conference. Lillard is one of the best point guards in the NBA, having made his 6th All-Star Team this season.

But Lillard is a very loyal player and most likely won't consider leaving Portland anytime soon. The Trail Blazers are happy with Lillard as their franchise star, and he is only two years removed from making the Western Conference Finals. The Knicks can offer a massive package to Portland for Lillard, but even if Lillard requests a trade, it will be to an immediate contender and not a rebuilding team like New York.

Probability: Unrealistic

Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal

Every team wants Bradley Beal. As one of the best shooting guards in the NBA and the game's best scorer right now, he is arguably the hottest commodity on the market. The Washington Wizards have been a disappointing team and that is why many feel Beal should leave. After all, he is averaging 32.9 PPG on 48.2% shooting from the field and 33.5% shooting from three.

But similar to Damian Lillard, Beal would prefer to play with a contender. Beal is nearing 28 years old and wants the next 4 years of his career to be competing for championships, and that is why the likes of the Miami Heat are in the mix. If Beal gets traded, it will most likely be Miami which leaves New York out of the mix.

Probability: Unrealistic

Kawhi Leonard

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Kawhi Leonard is a RFA (restricted free agent) but he will probably sign a lucrative contract this summer and stay in Los Angeles. Kawhi Leonard is a California native and made a massive fuss a few years ago when he forced his way out of San Antonio to play in Los Angeles. After all, the Clippers are one of the top-5 teams in the league and Leonard is at the core of that.

Leonard is having another great year, averaging 26.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG, and made his 5th All-Star Team this season. With the likes of Paul George (also made his 7th All-Star Team this season) beside him, the Clippers are most likely the better contender than the Knicks will be even with Kawhi. There is little to no chance that The Claw ends up in New York.

Probability: Unrealistic

Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine

The Knicks can create a much better team than the Bulls right now if they trade for first-time All-Star Zach LaVine. LaVine is a special young player, averaging 28.7 PPG this season on 43.5% shooting from three. LaVine has proven he can lead a franchise in scoring and even be a franchise player, and the Knicks desperately need that.

By parting ways with Knox and Barrett, as the Bulls want a shooting guard replacement, the Knicks can be a factor in the East with Quickley, Randle, and LaVine forming a solid trio. The idea is that the Knicks get their star in LaVine and start building for a top-4 team in the East every year. This could happen if LaVine forces his way out of Chicago.

Probability: Realistic

Devin Booker

Devin Booker

All-Star Devin Booker has a long-term contract with Phoenix, but if he doesn't win with the Suns this season or at least play in the Western Conference Finals, he will probably want a chance to play in a big market. Booker is averaging 24.9 PPG this season on 36.2% shooting from three, and the Suns are currently second place in the Western Conference.

But the Suns are not expected to come out the West, especially with the likes of the Lakers and Clippers in the mix. Booker is one of the best scorers in the league and he deserves a chance to play for a big market and become a household name across the league. The Knicks can realistically acquire Booker in their biggest blockbuster deal since Carmelo Anthony.

Probability: Realistic

Karl-Anthony Towns

(via Sports Illustrated)

(via Sports Illustrated)

There is no doubt that Karl-Anthony Towns is a special player. Towns is having a "down year" but is still averaging a double-double with 22.0 PPG and 10.9 RPG. Towns does it all on the floor and has no weakness when he is playing at his best. Not to mention, Towns deserves a bigger market to play in and a change of scenery.

Having played under head coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota, there is chemistry in New York. The Timberwolves are one of the worst teams in the league, holding a 7-29 record and ranking last in the West. If the Knicks can part ways with their young talents and offer picks, they could have a legitimate shot at acquiring Towns before the trade deadline.

Probability: Realistic

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