Knicks may look to trade market this summer; Darren Collison a target?

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Free agency is still more than two months away, so it’s very early to discuss the Knicks’ potential targets with any certainty.

But we know that the club will be looking to upgrade the backcourt this summer.

New York projects to have at least $18 million in cap space to use in free agency. That number could climb to around $30 million if Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams decline the player options on their contracts (worth $8 million and $4.6 million respectively).

But either way, Phil Jackson and the Knicks will have enough money to add talent in the backcourt.

Some available targets include Mike Conley, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings, Nic Batum and DeMar DeRozan. (It’s worth noting here that Memphis is confident that it can retain Conley.)

The Knicks, of course, aren’t limited to chasing players on the free-agent market. Their available cap space would allow them to absorb contracts via trade as well.

The trade route is an option that had been discussed among members of the front office late in the season, per sources with knowledge of the talks; one player some in the organization are fond of is Darren Collison, who backed up Rondo in Sacramento this year, sources say.

Do the Knicks have the pieces to deal for Collison, scheduled to make $5.2 million next season? That’s unclear. But if they can, such a transaction would probably leave the club with enough money to spend on another starting-caliber free agent.

It’s also worth noting that the Knicks showed interest in trading for Jeff Teague prior to the 2016 trade deadline; there was some internal chatter last month about trying to revisit that this summer, league sources say.

Would the Knicks have enough pieces to land Teague? Who knows? Would Atlanta have any interest? Based on what happened in February, probably not.

But the idea that the Knicks are considering the trade market this summer is worth remembering as you think about the coming offseason, which will be an important one in New York.