Houston Rockets and New York Knicks Trade #3
To land Victor Oladipo the Knicks will have to surrender one of their interesting young players and a first-round pick. While on the surface this appears to be a steep cost for a player on an expiring contract, the reality is the Knicks would have to outbid the field to land him.
RJ Barrett’s draft pedigree would lead one to assume that he is untouchable. Selected with the third overall pick in the 2019 draft Barrett was thought to be destined for stardom.
In the 18 months since Barrett was drafted his stock has taken a massive hit. His rookie campaign was an abject catastrophe and while he has improved in his second NBA season the chances that he becomes an All-Star caliber player look incredibly slim.
If the Knicks want to keep as many of their picks as possible then sending Barrett to Houston would be the best course of action. He could blossom into a great player but that would be the Rockets hitting the lottery.
Barrett has hit 30.5-percent of his 3-pointers over his career and has actually seen his shooting dip below 30-percent to 27.1-percent this season from behind the arc. There are precious few guards who can shoot that poorly from distance and still manage to be highly productive players.
In 2018 Barrett was the number one rated high school recruit ahead of Zion Williamson. His stock has taken a hit but he still has the talent to salvage his career, even if it is a long shot at this point.
In all likelihood, Barrett will end up as a serviceable and cost-controlled cog for Houston. However, his upside will allow the Knicks to send the Mavericks’ unprotected 2021 first-round pick instead of one of their own picks.
The Mavericks have gotten off to a poor start and if that continues then the Knicks would likely send one of their own picks out. The chances that the Mavericks will finish the season outside of the playoff picture is slim and by the trade deadline, the Knicks will have a very clear picture of the pick’s true value.
The Rockets have been great since Oladipo suited up for them but this is a franchise that is slyly angling for the future without blowing everything up right now. Barrett is the type of gamble a franchise in their position should take and an additional first-round pick will help them build for the future.
Next: Trade #2