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NBA Trade Rumors: 5 players unlikely to be back with the New York Knicks for the 2020-21 season 

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
Evan Tiwari

After failing to secure a notable free agent during the last off-season, the New York Knicks finished in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings. With NBA Trade Rumors linking some of their current players with other teams, the Knicks could have a much different roster next season.

On that note, here are five players who are not likely to play for the New York Knicks in the 2020-21 NBA season.

NBA Trade Rumors: 5 players unlikely to return for the New York Knicks in the 2020-21 season

#1- Maurice Harkless

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Clippers
Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Clippers

A versatile defender, Maurice Harkless signed with the New York Knicks to get paid top dollar. The former Portland Trail Blazers star had an underwhelming 2019-2020 season as he finished with per-game averages of 5.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1 assist.

Harkless is known for his strong defense and his scoring punch and is set to be a target for many title contenders this off-season. NBA trade rumors have already linked him with various teams, and an exit from the New York Knicks could follow soon for the forward.

Harkless didn't fit in the New York Knicks system, and with new head coach Tom Thibodeau expected to play youngsters next season, Harkless will be better off at a new franchise.

#2- Dennis Smith Jr.

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks
Boston Celtics v New York Knicks

Acquired in a one-sided NBA trade for Kristaps Porzingis from Dallas Mavericks, the explosive guard had a torrid first year with the franchise. Despite playing the point guard position, Smith Jr. was the third-choice ball-handler for the New York Knicks behind rookie RJ Barrett and Frank Ntikilina.

Smith Jr. averaged 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game and was also poor defensively as he got outplayed by opposition guards all season.

A move away will be the best option for the youngster to revive his career as he has fallen behind 2 players in the pecking order for his position. He is a ball-dominant player, so it is likely that he will be looking for a new destination this off-season. According to NBA trade rumors, Smith Jr. might be off to eastern conference rivals Orlando Magic.


Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: Taking a look at the LA Lakers roster and options available to the management ahead of a busy offseason

#3- Bobby Portis

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
New York Knicks v Washington Wizards

A promising youngster, Bobby Portis struggled in the 2019-2020 season due to the New York Knicks' front office's poor planning. His statistics took a sharp dip as he only managed to average 10 points per game as compared to 14 last season. His rebounding also got affected, going down to 5 rebounds per game from 8 as he had to share the floor with Julius Randle and Taj Gibson.

With so much competition for the power forward spot, there is a good possibility that Portis won't continue with New York Knicks next year, as NBA trade rumors indicate that he has various suitors in the market.

#4- Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
New York Knicks v Washington Wizards

Despite getting picked at the 8th spot in the 2017 NBA draft and showing a lot of promise in college, Frank Ntilikina's career hasn't picked up. He had a poor outing for the New York Knicks in the 2019-20 NBA season as he ended up with averages of 6 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists.

He also struggled defensively, averaging 0.9 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. Despite being trusted as the secondary ball-handler, Ntilikina struggled to elevate his playmaking skills. There is a likelihood that he will get moved this off-season, with NBA trade rumors suggesting that he could be a part of the Russell Westbrook/ Chris Paul deal.

#5- Kevin Knox

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
New York Knicks v Washington Wizards

The Kentucky product was slated to do great things in the league but has proved to be a bust since his debut for the New York Knicks. Kevin Knox had a poor 2019-20 season as he only managed to muster a paltry stat line of 6 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist per game.

A constant part of NBA trade rumors, Kevin Knox's journey with the New York Knicks could finally end next season, with Julius Randle set to get major minutes at the small forward position. Knox is a talented player, and there is a possibility of him clicking at another franchise.


Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: 5 players unlikely to be back with the Miami Heat for the 2020-21 season

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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