As the February 20 NBA trade deadline quickly approaches rumors are beginning to circulate about various players on the New York Knicks. One popular trade target for other teams is backup point guard Beno Udrih. The two most frequently mentioned teams looking to acquire Udrih are the San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards.
Beno Udrih was a coveted backup point guard in free agency this past off-season. The Knicks were very pleased and excited when they were able to sign him. However, things haven't worked out very well. At some points Udrih has played very well and at other points he's fallen out of the rotation. The inconsistency has driven him mad and caused a rift between he and head coach Mike Woodson. It even led to him requesting a trade out of New York. Who could be a landing spot for Udrih?
The defending Western Conference champion Spurs offered point guard Beno Udrih a chance to return to San Antonio this summer, but he declined, signing a free-agent deal instead with the Knicks.
Now that Mike Woodson has banished Udrih and he has asked for a trade, the Spurs might be a candidate for the Slovenian point guard who has two rings from his time in San Antonio.
The most likely scenario of the Spurs acquiring Udrih would be in exchange for a second-round draft pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. While that isn't much, it's something. You have to remember that Udrih is a backup who is out of the rotation. If the Knicks could turn him into a draft pick in the upcoming draft they need to take advantage of that opportunity.
One (reasonably) definite move you'll see before trade deadline: Wiz trading for a new backup PG. Beno Udrih said to be high on Wiz list— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 11, 2014
Murry, who has a future in the organization, is ahead of Udrih, who appears to have none. Murry saw some rotation minutes vs. Portland last week, and Woodson is committed to playing him in garbage time over the veteran Slovenian.
The Wizards reportedly have interest in Udrih. The Knicks would love to stockpile a second-round pick or Wizards rookie Glen Rice Jr., whom the Knicks had as one of the candidates to draft last year at No. 24 if Tim Hardaway Jr. was off the board, according to multiple sources.
This is the more intriguing of the two trade scenarios for Udrih. In this case, the Knicks would still be able to get a draft pick for Udrih. It would still be a second-round pick but it would be a higher one since Washington isn't nearly as good as San Antonio.
However, Washington could offer New York the rights to rookie Glen Rice Jr. instead of a draft pick. That's very interesting. The Knicks had a lot of interest in Rice Jr. before drafting Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Rice Jr. was dismissed from Georgia Tech after having problems off the court. However, he played very well during the 2013 season in the D-League and that allowed him to get drafted by the Wizards in the second round of the draft.
He hasn’t been overly impressive in his minimal amount of playing time but the potential is there. He can shoot, much like his father, despite struggling with his shot in the brief opportunities he's had thus far during his rookie season in the NBA.
That being said, the Knicks thought highly of him heading into the draft and wouldn't mind adding him to their roster moving forward. However, would the Wizards trade a young player like Rice to rent Udrih for the rest of the season? That's unknown but if the answer is yes the Knicks should jump all over the chance.
Beno Udrih is a free agent after the season and it's painfully obvious he won't be returning to the court as a member of the New York Knicks next season. With Toure Murry proving his worth and having a future with the franchise there's little reason for the Knicks to hold onto Udrih when they could potentially get some cheap, young talent in exchange for him.
Where should the Knicks trade him? To whomever will give up the most for him. He doesn't have an insane amount of value but a seasoned veteran backup point guard is something teams need. It's also something a lot of teams are looking for right now.
The Knicks have a lot of point guards on their roster so they can afford to trade Udrih for the right offer. They aren't asking much. Second-round picks aren't exactly the most valuable thing in the NBA world. However, with such a strong upcoming draft class and with the Knicks lacking draft picks stockpiling second-round picks isn't the worst idea.
If that means re-uniting Udrih with the Spurs, fine. If that means sending him to the Wizards, that's fine too. If the Knicks can somehow steal Rice Jr. away from Washington in the process, even better. The point is, Udrih's days are probably limited in New York so keep your eyes open and your ears to the floor. He isn't likely to be donning orange and blue much longer. And, of course, Knicks 101 will have the details for you whenever he finds out his new address.
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