5. New York Knicks
The New York Knicks entered the season with fairly low expectations, as they are still just one year removed from the offseason in which they struck out on Kevin Durant in free agency, while also missing out on Zion Williamson, due to their draft pick being too low. The Knicks acquired former Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers via sign-and-trade and find themselves with the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
Despite being just 13-15, the Knicks are just three games back of the third seed, which is currently occupied by the James Harden-led Brooklyn Nets. What’s carried the Knicks has been stellar play from Julius Randle, who is averaging 22.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists.
In addition, the Knicks have gotten great play from rookie Immanuel Quickley, who is averaging 12.4 points on 37 percent from deep. But in spite of the productivity from Randle and others, the Knicks have had one of the best defenses in the league, as they currently rank third in defensive rating, which means they could overcome the lack of defense from McLemore.
The Knicks rank just 22nd in 3-point percentage and 24th in offensive rating, which would drastically change with the 28-year-old McLemore, who is shooting 37.1 percent from long-range. Acquiring McLemore would be a wise move on the part of Knicks GM Scott Perry, who has been faced with turning around the misfortunes of the front office of late.
The Knicks could likely acquire McLemore by giving up their second-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Next: No. 4