With the 2017 NBA Draft a month away, one of the trades that is currently on the rumor mill is the New York Knicks acquiring D’Angelo Russell from the Los Angeles Lakers.
With Derrick Rose set to hit free agency and spending a good portion of the season battling injuries, the Knicks will likely be in need for a point guard. They could end up drafting one if they keep the eighth pick in the first round. Dennis Smith Jr. is mocked several times to the Knicks.
But with the latest trade rumors, the Knicks could use their pick to acquire Russell to be their next point guard. The rumored trade floating around:
The Knicks acquire D’Angelo Russell.
The Lakers acquire Lance Thomas, the number eight overall pick and a future first round pick.
After a 31-51 season, the Knicks are in total chaos. Carmelo Anthony might get traded this summer. Kristaps Porzingis is angry at the organization. The team doesn’t seem to have much direction and it’s not good.
Sure, D’Angelo Russell was once the former number two pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. At just 21 years old, Russell could be a potential fixture.
But here’s the thing, there;s a reason why the Lakers want to dump him off this offseason. D’Angelo Russell hasn’t exactly lit the NBA on fire in his first two seasons with the Lakers. D’Angelo Russell averaged 15.6 points and 4.8 assists in 63 games last season.
While they are decent numbers, they aren’t exactly the numbers you want from your point guard. The assist numbers should be higher, maybe in the six to seven range. Plus, there’s been some discussion of Russell’s work ethic and attitude. His character has been called into question. And there’s been talks that he’s not exactly the best teammate either.
So now with their chance to draft Lonzo Ball with the second pick, the Lakers won’t need Russell anymore. So shipping him off to a team in need of a point guard like the Knicks makes sense. At least, for the Lakers, it would.
Getting the eighth pick from the Knicks to go with the second pick would be tremendous for the Lakers. It would give Magic Johnson a lot of momentum to rebuild and revamp the Lakers.
But it wouldn’t help the Knicks cause. Why? D’Angelo Russell doesn’t exactly help their cause.
Russell wants to score first and pass second. Porzingis, and for the time being, Anthony, are the main scorers on the team. The Knicks need a pass first type point guard to feed them the ball. It’s why Rose didn’t fit with the team because he was the same way. Russell wouldn’t exactly be what the team needs.
Plus, when you’re a rebuilding team that has a lot of chaos involved, a player with character issues isn’t exactly a must need.
While D’Angelo Russell has a lot of potential to be a good player in the NBA, and he may get better in the future. The Knicks should avoid making a trade for him, especially if it costs them their first round pick.