As the NBA trade market opens later this week, the Knicks clearly will look to alleviate the roster glut that has forced several regulars out of their rotation in recent weeks.
The Lakers have emerged as a potential taker for displaced former starter Evan Fournier, according to multiple reports. The sides have “discussed concepts” involving both Fournier and Cam Reddish, The Athletic reported Monday.
The 30-year-old Fournier, earning $18 million this season, hasn’t played since Nov. 13, a healthy scratch for the Knicks’ past 14 games entering consecutive games Wednesday and Friday in Chicago.
The 23-year-old Reddish also was benched throughout the Knicks’ four-game winning streak after making 20 appearances with eight starts in the team’s first 23 games. Reddish or Derrick Rose, another veteran recently removed from the rotation, could get back on the court Wednesday if starting point guard Jalen Brunson is unable to play with a sprained ankle suffered Sunday night against Sacramento.
The trade market should heat up beginning Thursday (Dec. 15), the date when players who signed contracts in the offseason are eligible to be traded, through the Feb. 9 deadline.
With Obi Toppin (fractured fibula) sidelined, Brunson out of the game and Julius Randle ejected, RJ Barrett matched his season-high of 44 minutes against the Kings, finishing with 26 points. He’d also logged 44 minutes in an overtime loss to Portland on Nov. 25.
Barrett, Randle and Brunson have started every game this season, though that streak could end if Brunson is unavailable against the Bulls.
“I think it says a lot about them. And those guys have put a lot of work in over the course of the summer,” Tom Thibodeau said. “It used to be a big deal to play 82, and when you talk to the guys that have done it, they always say that you condition your body to do what you want it to do.
“When you talk to the [Michael] Jordans and the [Patrick] Ewings and those guys, that’s what they did, and I think we have a lot of those type of guys.”