The Knicks are in full-on tank mode, which is working. Trading Tim Hardaway Jr. and/or Courtney Lee could help their quest to clear more cap space for the summer of 2019, but there might be an issue.
According to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, the Knicks "have been adamant about not attaching assets" to either Hardaway or Lee in order to help facilitate a trade.
Vorkunov notes, however, that the pressure of the trading deadline -- on Feb. 7 -- could potentially make an interested team blink.
Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry have been consistent since last year about the team's refusal to sacrifice the future for a short-term gain, whether it has to do with trading draft picks or other players the team has deemed essential to their future.
Hardaway is in the second year of a four-year deal that will pay him $18.15 million in 2019-20 and $18.975 million in 2020-21. Lee is in the third year of a four-year deal that will pay him $12.759 million next season.
In addition to Hardaway and Lee, the Knicks have also received interest in Frank Ntilikina. They could also deal pending free agent Enes Kanter, who is currently unhappy with his role.
The 10-35 Knicks have the second-worst record in the NBA, and are tied with the Cavaliers and Suns as having the highest odds to win the NBA Draft lottery and highest odds to secure a Top 3 pick.