The Knicks have remained quiet this offseason, but a Celtics’ role player is on their radar.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the New York Knicks are interested in acquiring Marcus Smart from the Celtics.
Boston is currently looking to open up cap space for the signing of Gordon Hayward. A trade getting rid of a contract like Smart’s would do the trick. The 2014 first-round pick is set to make $4.5 million during the 2017-18 season and six million for the 2018-19 season.
He will become a restricted free agent in 2018. The Knicks have cap space open, so the talented defender could be a good fit in New York. They will have $15 million open after the cap hold on Derrick Rose is renounced.
Smart has been steadily improving since arriving in the NBA. This past season, he scored a career high 10.6 points and a career high 4.6 assists. Additionally, he grabbed 3.9 rebounds each outing.
The Oklahoma State product would fit very well in New York. He isn’t a ball hog, but can still contribute on both sides of the ball. He could be slotted very well next to Frank Ntilikina, who is expected to be a great perimeter defender, like Smart. Ntilikina was drafted No. 8 overall in this year’s NBA Draft.
The Knicks seem likely to stay away from Derrick Rose at this point and would likely have the cap space to absorb Smart. Sending back a non-guaranteed contract like Chasson Randle or Marshall Plumlee and perhaps some future pick would allow the Celtics to make the deal without adding any more salary to their books and keeping the requisite space open for Gordon Hayward.