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Are Knicks a Finals threat after adding Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks at trade deadline?

New York’s title odds have shifted after making two big additions at the deadline.

Washington Wizards v Detroit Pistons
Bojan Bogdanovic of the Detroit Pistons plays against Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena on January 27, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The New York Knicks are the early winners of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, adding two veterans from the Detroit Pistons in the form of Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks at the cost of Quentin Grimes, Malachi Flynn, Evan Fournier and two second-round picks. The Knicks are dealing with some injuries right now but this move signals their intent to make a deep playoff run after winning their first playoff series in a decade last year.

This deal has already pushed New York’s title odds up at DraftKings Sportsbook significantly. New York was priced at +2800 to win the NBA title Monday, and that number has already gone to +2000 with the news of these additions.

Bogdanovic is a proven scorer at 20.2 points per game this season. He’s over his calf injury from earlier in the year and provides much-needed floor spacing for a Knicks team that has struggled to hit the triple at important times. Most importantly, he fills in for Julius Randle while the power forward recovers from a shoulder injury and offers versatility in the lineup. The playoff experience isn’t bad either. Burks doesn’t quite have the same credentials, although he does provide elite marksmanship and is a good depth piece. The real coup here is what New York didn’t have to give up.

Grimes and Flynn are decent prospects but neither are going to be moving the needle when it comes to contention any time soon. Losing Grimes does sting because he is a capable 3-and-D guard but the Knicks have shown they’re done with the prospect development when they dealt RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley for OG Anunoby. Fournier wasn’t getting minutes anyway and is a nice salary filler.

The Knicks are currently fourth in the East standings, although they could quickly bounce between second and fifth given how tight that group is. Adding these two players gives New York a lineup capable of going toe-to-toe with Boston and Milwaukee for four quarters, assuming Anunoby and Randle are back on the court.

New York should probably still look into deals for a big man, even though Isaiah Hartenstein is a fine player. Mitchell Robinson’s season-ending injury has left the Knicks thin in the frontcourt, and they don’t have a true rim protector at the moment. They likely have to explore the buyout market for that type of player but there’s still some time for that move to be made.

If the Knicks can make that move, they’ll be an even more serious Finals threat. After adding Bogdanovic and Burks, they’re squarely in the contender’s circle.