He is coming: Knicks agree deal with a 2-times formal champ

Insider: Knicks looking at 21-year-old star for ‘big center move’.
After losing Isaiah Hartenstein to free agency, the New York Knicks are searching the trade market for a replacement. The Houston Rockets’ Alperen Sengun is one player they’re keeping an eye on.

According to veteran insider Marc Berman (previously of the New York Post), the organization is trying to add another center to its roster.
“Leon Rose was in the first row of the press conference yesterday with Mikal’s mother,” tweeted Berman on July 10. “We didn’t communicate, but he’s still cooking and wants to make a huge center move following Philly’s two arrivals. Sengun from Houston, as well as Jalen Duren from Detroit, have been mentioned. “And that was before the Pistons signed Paul Reed.”


Sengun recently completed his third NBA season, all of which took place in Houston. He averaged 21.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.2 steals in 63 regular-season games with the Rockets last year.

Kelly Iko: Sengun Extension is ‘Unlikely’
It’s unclear whether Houston is considering trade offers for Sengun. However, because he is eligible for a contract extension, other teams will keep an eye on his position with the Rockets this summer.

As of July 2, Kelly Iko of The Athletic says that an agreement is “unlikely.”

“At this stage, it’s unlikely either Şengün or [Jalen] Green receive max rookie extensions — both are eligible for a five-year deal worth up to $224.2 million, per The Athletic’s salary cap expert Danny LeRoux,” Iko said on July 2.

Sengun finished last season as a Most Improved Player finalist. According to Stathead, he is one of just four players to have 20 or more points, 9 or more rebounds, and 5 or more assists in at least 60 games played.

The remaining three are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, and Nikola Jokic.

But he did suffer a season-ending injury, albeit with 18 games remaining. Adrian Wojnarowski, of ESPN, detailed the injury in a tweet on March 11.
Perhaps the Rockets’ front office is taking a break while they await Sengun’s return to action. Perhaps he simply does not fit the model of what they want to accomplish.

In any case, if he’s available, New York appears to be an excellent choice.

What Would a Knicks Trade For Sengun Look Like?
Sengun is approaching the final year of his rookie deal, which will pay $5.3 million in 2024-2025.

Miles McBride is expected to earn $4.7 million next season, so it is not a difficult goal for New York to meet.

Combining his compensation with that of fourth-year big Jericho Sims, who will earn $2 million in 2024-2025, means they will outperform Sengun’s salary and actually relent more.

Is that a deal that would appeal to the Rockets? They have a full guard rotation that includes Jalen Green, Aaron Holiday, Reed Sheppard, and Fred VanVleet.

There isn’t much room for McBride, who might be the focal point of a deal.

No, a deal for Sengun is more likely to be a blockbuster, with Julius Randle joining the Rockets.
It’s a rising star for someone in his prime who may be leaving the Big Apple. Randle’s injury occurred prior to the Knicks’ consecutive postseason runs.

Trading him for Sengun creates the prospect of a five-man starting lineup that includes Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Mikal Bridges, OG Anunoby, and Sengun.

Brunson’s game improved dramatically last season as a result of the extra spacing he received. New York’s starting lineup included three above-average three-point shooters.

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