- Here are the biggest New York Knicks trades in franchise history.
- Earl Monroe leads the list of players New York received through trade.
- Other notable players the Knicks acquired were Latrell Sprewell, Charles Oakley, and Carmelo Anthony.
New York is one of the largest NBA cities by population, and the demand for the team to be competitive in the league is enormous. This is why the Knicks’ front office always works to improve their basketball odds of delivering another title to the “Big Apple.” These moves include drafting new talents in the NBA Draft and working with other teams on trades
Because of these new talents and trade acquisitions, the Knicks were able to contend and ultimately capture two NBA championships. Speaking of player movement, we’ve witnessed New York splurge on the trade market to maximize the opportunity to acquire a superstar and suit up for the decorated franchise. But, among the team’s trade history, who is considered the biggest? Here’s a top-four list.
In November 1971, New York made one of their first major trades in team history by acquiring Earl “The Pearl” Monroe from the Baltimore Bullets for Mike Riordan, Dave Stallworth, and cash. The team doubled down on their title aspirations by pairing Monroe with superstar Walt Frazier. New York was still fresh from their 1970 championship victory when the trade occurred.
Monroe instantly became a key contributor and was vital to the team’s consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 1972 and 1973; however, they came up short in ’72 and secured revenge in ’73 to win their second title in franchise history. Aside from a championship, Monroe’s nine-year stay with the Knicks also produced an average of 16.2 points and was selected to two All-Star Games.
Another big trade that resulted in an NBA Finals appearance for New York happened in January 1999, when they gave up John Starks, Terry Cummings, and Chris Mills for Latrell Sprewell. The 6-foot-5 forward catapulted the Knicks’ to the NBA Finals, as they faced the San Antonio Spurs, led by the duo of David Robinson and Tim Duncan.
The Warriors traded Latrell Sprewell to the Knicks for John Starks, Chris Mills & Terry Cummings.
Best games with NYK:
48 PTS, 9 3PT
38 PTS, 9-9 3PT
28 PTS, 11 REB, 11 AST, 5 STL
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 8, 2020
Unfortunately, the duo was too much to handle, and they ended up with a 4-1 series loss. It was the team’s last NBA Finals appearance in franchise history. Following that Eastern Conference win, Sprewell was able to help them qualify for two more postseason campaigns in 2000 and 2001 but could only go as far as the conference finals. “Spree” finished his New York stint with 17.9 points and an NBA All-Star Game appearance.
The Knicks experienced a three-year playoff drought from 1985 to 1987, so they needed to make a big move in the transfer market. New York worked with Chicago, as they received Charles Oakley for Bill Cartwright in June 1988. It was a big gamble for the Knicks because Cartwright was already a very reliable player, but Oakley proved it was a great move.
“Oak Tree” played 10 seasons with the Knicks and was able to help them make the playoffs during his tenure there. The highlight of Oakley’s stay with New York was an NBA Finals appearance and an NBA All-Star selection in 1994. In his decade-long campaign with the team, Oakley accumulated a double-double average of 10.4 points and 10 rebounds.
The most recent superstar New York acquired via trade was Carmelo Anthony, as the team sent Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a first-round pick, and a pick swap. This trade rejuvenated the city’s fanbase, as their wish to see a bona fide NBA superstar play inside Madison Square Garden was granted.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 22, 2021
Anthony immediately brought his scoring prowess to the team, as he became the focal point of the offense. In 412 games, he produced 24.7 points, 7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists to lead New York to three straight playoff appearances. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get past the conference semifinals, and they failed to qualify in the last four seasons of Anthony on the team.
New York Knicks Biggest Trades
|Player Acquired||Trade Details||Year|
|Earl Monroe||Knicks received: Earl Monroe / Bullets received: Mike Riordan, Dave Stallworth, and cash||1971|
|Latrell Sprewell||Knick received: Latrell Sprewell / Warriors received: John Starks, Terry Cummings, and Chris Mills||1999|
|Charles Oakley||Knicks received: Charles Oakley / Bulls received: Bill Cartwright||1988|
|Carmelo Anthony||Knicks received: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Anthony Carter, and Renaldo Balkman / Nuggets received: Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a first-round pick, and a pick swap||2011|
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