Knicks’ potential rotation if a Donovan Mitchell trade doesn’t happen

Despite the rumors regarding the New York Knicks potentially trading for superstar Donovan Mitchell, there is still a chance that the Knicks make no moves and remain with the roster they currently have.

If this happens, this question needs to be asked: What will the rotation look like? While it may look fairly similar to last season, the couple of changes made could make a difference in New York’s chances of success this year.

Some of the lineup may have a bit of awkwardness due to an overabundance of players at certain positions, which is why there’s a chance the Knicks will make a trade or two regardless of if they add Mitchell or not. There is a good chance that New York’s rotation will look somewhat similar to this.

Here is a look at the Knicks’ potential rotation if they don’t make any trades: 

Starting lineup:

PG: Jalen Brunson SG: Quentin Grimes SF: RJ Barrett PF: Julius Randle C: Mitchell Robinson

After the signing of Jalen Brunson, the Knicks are likely going to need to add more defense into the starting lineup. We saw what the effect of having two non-defensive guards in the backcourt was last season with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier.

Don’t get me wrong, Brunson is certainly not a defensive-oriented guard, but Grimes has a high upside on that side of the ball. While Grimes could show some inconsistencies on the offense as a second-year player, his defense could be enough to earn him a starting spot in the lineup.

As for the rest, it was pretty easy to fill it out. With no trades, that would mean Randle remains with the team and will likely keep his spot as a starter this year. If he can move into a more off-ball oriented style of play, he could become a positive once again.

If we continue to see improvements from both Barrett and Grimes, we could see immense success from this starting lineup. However, Randle’s style of play will be a huge factor in that. If he refuses to move into a role that involves the ball being in his hands a lot less, then he may have to go.


PG: Immanuel Quickley SG: Evan Fournier SF: Cam Reddish PF: Obi Toppin C: Isaiah Hartenstein 

While it is very unfortunate that Derrick Rose did not make the cut, I think that we have seen enough out of Quickley to upgrade him to backup PG with Fournier working as an off-ball shooter alongside Reddish as a secondary ball handler.

Assuming the Knicks make no trades before the season starts, I believe this is the best lineup they can run from not only an efficiency standpoint, but to also help develop Quickley, Reddish, and Toppin. If this is the scenario, the Knicks will likely look to move on from Rose via trade.

The addition of Isaiah Hartenstein has become very underrated since it happened. Hartenstein is a tremendous all-around backup center with the ability to space the floor, pass, and most importantly, be an elite defender.

However, if this defense is not enough for the Knicks, they can also sprinkle in second-year guard Miles McBride, who showed a ton of potential on defense during his rookie season.

This lineup has a ton of potential to mesh well together. As not many of these players require the ball in their hands to be successful, and there is a decent combination of offense and defense. Not to mention the team’s reserve players in McBride and Jericho Sims, who could be a big impact for New York.