Updated: Feb 29
Let's first start off by saying that there is a laundry list of the 1 year vets and some youth that can and should be moved by the deadline but in terms on highest return on a trade the Knicks need to move Marcus Morris.
With a lackluster performance against a VERY depleted Washington Wizards squad the Knicks really missed Morris, his scoring and his toughness. Don't forget what he did in the preseason to Justin Anderson.
Morris is leading the team in scoring and let's face it... he is just flat out leading this team. Without him there is very little fire and desire (as Clyde would put it), swagger or quite frankly, pride.
Some rumors and buzz have been floating around lately about the trade value and what The Knicks could get in return.
The most notable and noisiest rumor thus far has been the Clippers creating a package that includes a first round pick, Moe Harkless and Patrick Patterson. The salaries add up and the fact that the Clips are all in on this season with Kawhi and PG, the pick will certainly be closer to a second rounder than a lottery pick. As far as fit goes, Harkless and Patterson are not doing much to decongest the logjam the Knicks have at the Forward position and more than likely won't get Kevin Knox any additional playing time which could be a detriment to his development in the long run unless the Knicks waive Patterson since his salary is only about $1.5M (a bargain by today's standards).
You could also see Morris shipped to Sacramento with one of our younger guards (DSJ or Trier) for Bogdan Bogdanovic. An upgrade in the shooting department since the Knicks aren't really shooting the lights out of the gym consistently enough (although Damyean Dotson is looking better and better with more playing time... so I'm happy about that) especially from 3.
The last move that I see Morris being involved in is the centerpiece of the D'Angelo Russell trade from Golden State.
This trade would be a very big haul for The Warriors and would require the likes of at least* Kevin Knox and a draft pick as well. Russell will likely be an East All-Star but would be a steep uphill battle to make this Knicks team a playoff contender especially if the Warriors ask for Frank or Dennis Smith Jr in the trade as well.
It should be noted that Morris has gone on record saying that he does not want to be traded and wants to help right the ship in NY and bring this team back to prominence. Should the Knicks feel he has more long term value that a potential First Round pick there is no doubt that the Knicks should keep and extend him.
All that depends on the Steve Mills and Scott Perry contingent and their thought process on the direction of a team that they will likely not be a part of next year.
I say keep him!