Williamson on Wall Street? According to the NBA Analysis Network, it’ll take one heck of a trade.
In an attempt to fulfill Williamson’s maybe New York destiny, a trade conjured by NBA Analysis Network would send Obi Toppin, Alec Burks, and five first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the No. 1 pick’s services.
The Duke alum could be looking for a change in scenery after his third season was wiped out entirely by a foot injury. Many believed he was on his way to New York after the Knicks had the top odds at the 2019 draft lottery, but they were leapfrogged by the Pelicans in seventh place.
While this potential deal is enticing for the Knicks, particularly because it doesn’t involve Williamson’s Durham teammate and 2019 third overall pick RJ Barrett, it does offer its share of unique risks. Williamson’s health would undoubtedly be the largest factor, as injuries have limited him to 85 games over his first three NBA seasons. Would it be worth it for the Knicks to mortgage their draft day future (which includes the final yield of the Kristaps Porzingis deal with Dallas in 2019) for a chance at Williamson?
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Additionally, one has to wonder if Williamson would be the true difference between continued irrelevancy and contention in the crowded Eastern Conference. While the Knicks have laid down a solid foundation in Barrett and Mitchell Robinson (who is slated to hit free agency on July 1 barring a long-term agreement), the team doesn’t appear to be the proverbial “one move away” from breaking into the conference penthouse currently occupied by Miami and defending champion Milwaukee.
Re-signing Robinson and taking steps forward with Barrett would put the Knicks in a more desirable position to make such a move. For the time being, however, bringing Williamson at this point in time would only subject him to similar mediocrity he’s had down south … only it’d cost the Knicks their future to make it happen.