Grade the trade: Knicks solve their center problem with Daniel Gafford in this proposed deal


Daniel Gafford has been one of the bright spots for the Washington Wizards this season. His rim protection and finishing have been valuable for the Wizards, especially considering how limited they are in frontcourt depth. Gafford is the only true center on the roster and has been on the court every time the Wizards looked competitive this season. As good as Gafford has been, no player except for Bilal Coulibaly should be untouchable in Washington during the rebuild. Therefore, the Wizards should consider selling high on Gafford and trading him if the right package is out there. One team that could show interest in Gafford's services is the New York Knicks.

The Knicks received devastating news last week, announcing that their starting center Mitchell Robinson is likely to miss the rest of the 2023-24 season. For a team hoping to make a deep playoff run, that is a major blow. Robinson wasn't only having a career season, but he was arguably New York's third most important player. His rim protection and rebounding are very crucial elements for the brand of basketball coach Tom Thibodeau likes to play.

Thibodeau likes to have a traditional center on the court at all times. Prior to the injury, Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein shared the 48 minutes at center, with Robinson playing almost 30 minutes per game. Now, the Knicks have to fill that role.

Jericho Sims had moved into the starting lineup before getting injured. He is going to miss around 2 weeks, making the Knicks' center rotation even more limited. 38-year-old Taj Gibson started getting minutes in the last few games but he is not capable of playing extended minutes at this stage of his career.

The Knicks clearly need another center if they want to make any noise in the postseason. Trading for Daniel Gafford would allow New York to play the same way for 48 minutes, providing shot blocking and rim running.

knicks gafford

This trade scenario makes some sense for both sides. In addition to Gafford, the Knicks land another guard in Delon Wright, the type of defensive-minded player Thibodeau loves. They also get rid of Evan Fournier and his $18.8 million salary for this year.

The Wizards add Immanuel Quickley, a dynamic, exciting young guard, to their core. Quickley has been one of the best sixth-man in the NBA for the past two seasons as a three-level scorer who can also handle the ball and make plays for his teammates. He is only 24 years old and has plenty of room to grow.

The only reason the Knicks would think about parting ways with Quickley is the fact that he is on an expiring contract. He will require a big, long-term contract, and the Knicks, who have an abundance of backcourt talent, might see Quickley as superfluous with the rest of the roster. The Wizards, who will have plenty of cap space, can easily give Quickley the contract he desires.

The only problem for Washington is the fit. Quickley and Jordan Poole are similar offensive players, even though Quickley is a much better defender. If the Wizards see Poole as a core piece of their team going forward, giving Quickley a big contract next summer might not be the best use of resources.

They would also need to add another center after trading Gafford since they don't have any alternative. This potential roster imbalance might prevent the Wizards from pulling the trigger on such a trade.

Final trade grade: B

Grade the trade idea: Wizards add more center depth. dark. Next. grizzlies trade gafford