It was always going to be an uphill battle for the Knicks as the guard is young and under contract until 2027, so there’s not much of a reason for the Thunder to give him up.
What’s working in the Knicks’ favor is the fact they have so many future draft picks and some young talent on the roster that the Thunder could covet. Thunder general manager Sam Presti is known to love his draft picks, and the Knicks could put together an offer that could wow him.
Despite that, Presti seemingly shut down all hope for a trade of the Thunder star.
Presti Clears the Air
Speaking at a preseason media availability season, Presti cleared the air on a potential trade, taking a shot at news aggregators in the process.
“The only reason we’re talking about it is because another player on another team got traded. And the machine — the aggregation machine — is empty now, so we need a little more content,” he said according to USA Today’s Thunder Wire.
It doesn’t sound like he’s all too excited about moving his star player, nor is he happy about him being included in rumors at all.
“Like I said, that’s the price of admission,” he continued. “It’s not a penalty. No one is out to try to disrupt the Thunder or create problems for the Thunder. It’s just this is the business we work in. You shouldn’t be surprised by that because there needs to be content. It’s a business. We need attention. The attention drives advertisements. Advertisements drive salaries, and that’s how it works.”
Presti argues that if Mitchell hadn’t been traded, Gilgeous-Alexander’s name would’ve never come up in talks.
“We have to be able to perform irrespective of that,” he said. “So I just think I’m level setting that to say if Donovan Mitchell was not traded already, you wouldn’t ask me that question. So therefore, I don’t think they’re related. You know what I mean? I don’t think how we feel about Shai has anything to do with that. You’re doing your job. I totally respect it. I’ve got to do my job and point that out.”
Knicks Moving On
To be fair, there’s really been nothing to indicate the Knicks were actively trying to acquire the Thunder star, but most of the chatter has come from fans.
The Knicks would certainly love to have him, but there haven’t been any reported talks about bringing him on. As it stands, the Knicks will be going into the new season with Jalen Brunson as their big pickup.
He may not be enough on his own to get the Knicks into the playoffs, but he’s a big improvement over Kemba Walker and Alec Burks. Perhaps he’ll be able to help Julius Randle find his All-NBA form again and help RJ Barrett make an All-Star sized leap.