Knicks looking to trade veterans, make room for younger players: Report

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SNY’s Ian Begley reported Thursday morning that the Knicks could be willing to trade Julius Randle for the right asking price, and now, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is reporting that New York could be setting the table for a veteran fire sale.

Windhorst appeared on NBA Today on Thursday afternoon and reported that the Knicks could be looking to ship out some of its veteran contributors, in the hopes that it will free up more playing time for the team’s younger pieces.

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“In conversations with teams this week, the Knicks have expressed willingness to trade some of their veteran players, that includes Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, guys like this,” Windhorst said.

“There’s a reason for this. They traded for Cam Reddish two weeks ago, and he is not getting minutes in the rotation form Tom Thibodeau, and derrick rose is expected to come back from injury very soon. It’s just too crowded. They’re not playing well with what they have, so they’re willing to change that mix, and they’ve relayed that.”

Many Knicks fans have clamored for the likes of Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Jericho Sims and Cam Reddish to see more playing time, but Thibodeau has seemed set on his current rotation, even reaffirming that he has a rotation in place, and that the newly acquired Reddish would have to earn a spot. The former top-10 draft pick, brought in via trade with the Hawks, has played just 15 minutes so far as a Knick, the bulk coming in garbage time during Wednesday night’s blowout loss to the Heat.

Toppin has come alive of late and has been a consistent sparkplug off the bench for New York, particularly in transition. But minutes have been scarce, while veterans like Randle have dominated playing time, while the Knicks have lost five of their last six in the process.

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The Knicks’ second unit, dominated by youth, has been the far superior group compared to the starters, who currently hold the worst collective plus/minus in the NBA this season. Fournier endured a dreadful shooting slump and has still struggled to find consistent offense after signing a $78 million deal over the offseason, while Burks has had an up-and-down season of his own after signing a new deal this past summer.

Walker has been back in the fold after being exiled to the bench by Thibodeau, and Randle has been the face of New York’s disappointing season, regressing badly from last year’s Most Improved award season. These developments could be leading towards the Knicks seeking to go all-in on their youth movement.

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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