You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Knicks.
I’m surprised no one mentions Bradley Beal as a potential future “disgruntled star” that the Knicks could trade for. I feel like he could be perfect for the Knicks and actually worth giving up the future 1sts and some players. — Kevin M.
What about pursuing [Damian] Lillard? — John K Marescot
My initial exclusive Christmas story about the Knicks’ “disgruntled star’’ design mentioned Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard — along with Karl-Anthony Towns.
Despite a recent contract extension, Beal is contemplating not joining the Wizards for the Orlando restart — which could be a bad sign, though he cited concerns about potential injuries.
Lillard said during the pandemic, “I thought I was headed [to the Knicks] a few years ago. I was hearing trade rumors. The Garden is my favorite place to play.”
If scoring point guard Lillard asks for a trade, it’s believed the Knicks or Lakers would be his choices.
However, since Leon Rose was hired as president, the player to watch out for most is Suns combo guard Devin Booker, according to league sources. If Rose hires Tom Thibodeau, Towns — a former Rose client — no longer makes sense because of their history.
Booker and Towns were Rose clients who played at Kentucky, which means Knicks adviser William Wesley is close to each. Rose has done well with Kentucky standouts because of Wesley.
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Booker, 23, made his first All-Star Game in February. Recent rumblings are Booker could get tired of the perennial losing in Phoenix, which is run by a spendthrift owner in Robert Sarver.
“I think he’ll do unbelievable,’’ Booker said of Rose. “One of the most genuine guys I know. One of the most honest guys I know. So I’m happy for him in his new position. I think the Knicks are in really good hands.’’
Last week, Rose said he’s prepared to beef up the offensively challenged Knicks through “the draft, trades and free agency.’’
The last three Knicks top draft picks, [Frank] Ntilikina, [Kevin] Knox and [RJ] Barrett, all can’t shoot. Since the game has become basically a 3-point shooting contest, are they going to finally draft a shooter? — Jim P.
The Knicks have three picks in the top 38. Count on at least one of those picks to be a deft outside shooter. Ironically, their top priority at point guard, LaMelo Ball, is a poor 3-point shooter at the moment but does so many other things to ignite an offense. The hope is Ball — like his brother Lonzo — will develop into a decent perimeter shooter with diligent work. The Knicks’ priority this offseason is to add deep threats after shooting a mediocre 33 percent from 3-point land this past season.
How is [Tyrese] Haliburton considered the No. 2 point guard when many mock drafts consider him a secondary ball-handler? Kira Lewis is much better. — Alwyn Lerone Foy
Rose said it best last week that after a couple of standouts, “a lot of equality” exists in the draft with varying opinions by scouts on more players than usual.
Rose was likely referring to the point-guard slot where beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some scouts love Haliburton’s basketball IQ, outside shooting, playmaking and defense. But he’s not the kind of ball-handler who can race to the hole. That’s not his strength. Kira Lewis of Alabama, also a sophomore, is a sleeper with terrific speed and a great finisher who may find his way into the late lottery. Indeed, Haliburton and Lewis possess different strengths.
What can the fans expect from the new regime? — Leroy
Rose will talk about “relationships’’ all day long, citing that as key to recruiting free agents and making trades for players who want to be here. The best part of Rose is he realizes this is a new job after being a career agent and he listens to the basketball people around him.