New York Knicks: Could Jaren Jackson Jr. emerge as a prime trade target?

NBA Memphis Grizzlies Jaren Jackson Jr. (Ashley Landis/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Memphis Grizzlies Jaren Jackson Jr. (Ashley Landis/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports) /

Could Jaren Jackson Jr. emerge as a prime trade target for the New York Knicks? 

The New York Knicks are enjoying one of their best seasons in recent memory. They have officially clinched a return to the postseason (and have secured a top 6 seed), Julius Randle has emerged as an all-star talent, RJ Barrett has looked promising as he’s blossomed as a player during his second season, and they’ll have money to spend heading into the offseason.

New York is trending up and this franchise might be in the best position to build than they’ve been in quite some time. However, no matter how this season ends for the team, they will have some big questions during the offseason.

Does this team spend big money on top talent in free agency? Do they explore the trade market and try to make a splash there? Or does this team simply continue to be patient in their rebuild and continue to build through the draft?

The New York Knicks will have some options heading into the offseason

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It’s not an easy decision to make. After all, this team has seen many promising builds quickly end due to trying to skip steps via free agency or a trade. And making the wrong swing is exactly what has plagued this franchise over the last few decades.

While there will be plenty of players that the Knicks will circle as potential targets during the offseason in free agency, one potential trade target that could emerge is Jaren Jackson Jr., a young versatile forward whose future in Memphis may not be as certain as originally thought.

"[via New York Post]Whispers in Memphis are the Grizzlies aren’t yet sold on their 2018 lottery pick, 6-foot-11 power forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr.They’re concerned about his durability.…Jackson has started just two of the nine games he has played this season and he has taken periodic games off for “injury management.’’ Jackson is averaging 14.6 points in 23 minutes per game.The Knicks recently hired Jackson’s father, Jaren Sr., to be an assistant coach with the G-League Westchester Knicks.…Sources also said Knicks general manager Scott Perry loved Jackson’s athleticism coming out of Michigan State as the draft’s youngest player when Memphis selected him fourth overall."

That’s a lot to take in but essentially the takeaway here is that the Knicks would absolutely be interested in the event that Jackson would be available on the trade market – if he doesn’t sign an extension this offseason, then this situation bears watching.

Nevertheless, the connections to New York can’t be overstated. If Memphis is willing to part ways from Jackson and will be looking to add some assets, New York should emerge as a potential landing spot.

The big question, then, becomes how prime of a trade candidate should Jackson be? Should he be the type of talent and target that you are willing to go all-in on? Would he fit next to Randle, who the Knicks likely now view as a long-term building block?

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These are the types of questions that the Knicks will need to answer heading into the offseason. The good news is that New York now has options. That’s the luxury that good teams are given. And, yes, the Knicks are now considered a good team. As weird as that sounds.