Many Knicks fans in recent days have been enamored with the idea of Brandon Jennings joining the team. Although the Pistons’ star point guard would certainly enhance the struggling Knicks’ lineup, what would be the cost of such an impressive addition. While it is obvious that the Knicks’ super star combo of Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis would be off limits in any trade scenario, key starters such as Arron Afflalo or Robin Lopez could conceivably be made available.
At first glance it may look like a no brainer to trade Jennings for Afflalo and/ or Lopez but it’s important to examine the potential tradeoff through the numbers. Points per game, rebounds per game, turnovers per game and field goal percentage are all crucial elements towards determining a players’ overall value to an NBA franchise.
Looking at Jennings on paper a few of the previously stated statistics standout as particularly impressive. Throughout his career Jennings has averaged approximately 16.1 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, 6 rebounds per game and impressively only 2.4 turnovers per game. It should also be noted that Jennings’ field goal percentage is a modest 39.1%. Although Jennings’ numbers have been below his career averages since making his season debut in late December, Jennings in all likelihood will return to full form in the not so distant future.
While Afflalo has many similarities in style of play to Jennings, Lopez has a physical style that is incredibly difficult to compare to an averaged sized point guard such as Jennings. Per game Afflalo’s key stats are 11.5 points alongside an above-average field goal percentage of 45.3%. Lopez’ strengths are averaging of only 1 turnover per game alongside an impressive 1.2 blocks per game. Being a physical in the paint player is certainly the main appeal Lopez offers to the 2015-16 Knicks and their potential trading partner, the Detroit Pistons.
After examining the key players involved in discussions regarding Jennings’ potential trade to New York, the key question is whether or not a potential trade would be beneficial or detrimental to the Knicks. The answer to this question depends upon which player or players are given up by the Knicks. If the Knicks were to trade Afflalo they would be trading a consistent veteran shooter for a young player returning from an injury that sidelined him for the first two months of the season. As one might imagine, due to this above all else, it would not be in the Knicks’ best interest to give up Afflalo for Jennings in spite of the potential value Jennings offers going forward.
With that said, there is certainly a value in giving up Lopez for Jennings. This is due to the fact that Lopez’ blocks per game and overall physicality can be supplemented by players such as Porzingis or Kevin Seraphin. The key to Seraphin would be the Knicks demonstrating a willingness to offer Seraphin a potential starting role with the team to replace Lopez.
In any event, the Knicks’ current play is certainly below the “playoff quality” many in the organization saw as their primary goal for the 2015-16 season. Depending upon the pieces given up a Brandon Jennings quality player could certainly enable the Knicks to set a more assertive tone for the remaining two trimesters of the relatively young season. In the coming weeks, Knicks fans should keep their eyes and ears open because a serious shakeup could be in the mix for the New York Knicks.