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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Draymond Green Is Not Sold On The New-Look Knicks As A Legitimate Finals Contender

In a segment on his podcast, Warriors veteran Draymond Green shared his thoughts on the deadline and the various trades that took place across the NBA. Speaking specifically on the Knicks, Green applauded their moves but held off on calling them a legitimate championship contender.

“The New York Knicks, they made out extremely well,” said Green. “They got Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks and OG Anunoby without giving up a single first-round pick. That’s insane. The New York Knicks got better. Does that ultimately put them in the conference finals, like Stephen A. (Smith) been talking? I see a lot of people like, ‘Oh they’re going to the Finals.’ They got better, but I don’t know if I want to get that far ahead of myself just yet. I need to see more.”

The Knicks were the big winners of the 2024 trade deadline and they managed to get better without giving up any of their major assets. The first move was for former Raptors swingman OG Anuboby. After hours of negotiations, the Knicks and Raptors finally agreed to a deal that involved Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickly, and a 2024 second-round pick. The OG trade was still fresh when they made a deal with the Pistons for Bojan Bogdanovic.  As one of the best long-distance snipers in the game, Bojan has the potential to play a massive role in New York assuming that his shooting holds up after the trade and into the playoffs. With these additions, there is no question that the Knicks got measurably better this season and they could pose a serious threat in the East bracket. But without a true superstar, there is still doubt that this team can go all the way and make a run deep into the postseason.

Are The New York Knicks A Championship In The East?

With a roster that includes Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, OG Anunoby, Josh Hart, and Bojan Bogdanovic off the bench, the Knicks have a strong case for being the deepest team in basketball. This season, at 33-19, New York ranks 4th in the East and they sit just two games back from a top two seed. In last year’s playoffs, we saw the formula hold true for the Knicks and it worked it great effect against their first-round opponent. But after getting bounced against the Heat, the Knicks came into this campaign with higher expectations and team President Leon Rose is sparing no expense to take steps forward in the East.

As it stands, Jalen Brunson is the best player on the Knicks but his capacity to be the leader of a championship team has already been highly debated by experts and fans alike. While some, like Becky Hammon, believe that Brunson is simply “too small” to be the guy, the Knicks clearly believe they have enough to compete for a title right now and they could be proven right if they maintain their recent string of dominance. But after decades of irrelevancy as a franchise, it’s going to take time before anyone gives the Knicks the benefit of the doubt. The Knicks will have to prove themselves as legitimate and prove the doubters wrong by winning when it matters most.

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