Around 11 am on Thursday, the Knicks pulled off one of the biggest moves at this year's trade deadline by acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from the Pistons in exchange for Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn, Ryan Arcidiacono and two future second round picks.
This move came a bit out of nowhere, as although it seemed likely that New York would facilitate a bench upgrade with Fournier's contract, getting two rotation pieces was a bit unexpected. This may be a result of some of the injuries that have piled up for the Knicks as of late, but even when the team gets fully healthy, Bogdanovic and Burks should still expect to have important roles in this New York lineup.
Knicks Get An Enormous Scoring Punch
Ever since losing Immanuel Quickley in the OG Anunoby trade, the Knicks have been looking for some more scoring off the bench. This trade will do that and more than almost anyone could expect New York to pull off at the deadline this year.
Although the Pistons as a team have struggled, Bogdanovic has been quietly playing the best basketball of his career since joining them last year. In his two seasons with them, he averaged 21.1 points on a highly efficient 48.1 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three. Bogdanovic can really fill any position between the two through four with his 6'7 stature, and his three-point shooting will be an enormous addition to this Knicks lineup.
Former Knick Alec Burks has also been playing some of his better basketball this season since joining the Pistons. Over his past two seasons, he is averaging 12.7 points on 40.7 percent shooting from three. Just as he did in New York, he still has the ability to create his own shot. And now that he has much less offensive responsibility, he should fit a lot better with this current New York roster than he did in his previous stint.
Leon Rose deserves a lot of credit for jumping at the opportunity to get a deal done like this one. Sending out only one rotation piece in Grimes and no first round picks to acquire players like Bogdanovic and Burks is an impressive feat. Combine this move with the Anunoby trade, New York has not traded a single first round pick, which leaves them a great amount of flexibility to make moves in the future.
How Will These Pieces Fit?
Immediately, Bogdanovic and Burks will most likely play a huge role while Anunoby, Brunson, and Randle are injured. Bogdanovic has the ability to lead a team in scoring and will probably be in the starting lineup while these injuries remain. Burks will probably come off the bench regardless, but he should play an important role regardless.
When healthy, it is likely that Bogdanovic will move to the bench, as Donte DiVincenzo has proven to be a great fit in the starting lineup next to Brunson. Off the bench, Bogdanovic should get some more opportunities to have the ball in his hands, but he should also play off the ball incredibly well with his catch and shoot ability.
The Knicks also now roster one of the deepest teams in the league at this point. With Brunson, DiVincenzo, Anunoby, Randle, Robinson, Burks, Hart, Bogdanovic, Achiuwa, Hartenstein, and McBride, the Knicks have 11 players that could be deserving of rotation minutes at full health. It will be interesting to see how Tom Thibodeau manages this lineup, as he has liked the nine man rotation over the past two years, but this much talent could force his hand to run at least a 10 man.
Regardless of what Thibodeau does, the Knicks became a much better team with today's move and have given themselves an even better chance to make it out of the East. This team is already third place in the conference, and if they can continue to hold on without Brunson and Randle, the Knicks with Bogdanovic and Burks can easily get a top three seed and make a serious run in the playoffs this year.
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