The trade precedent has been set
Now, admittedly, this is a pretty steep trade. A lot of people may think this is overkill, but it should be stressed beyond stressed how little value I have for anyone on the Knicks not named Julius Randle. R.J. Barrett is getting a lot of hype, but it’s really undeserved. He was awful as a rookie and was only mediocre as a sophomore. The only reason people have such expectations for him is due to that dreaded curse word, “potential”.
Keep in mind the Lakers gave up Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the 4th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and two other first-round picks. Ingram on his own is more valuable than Barrett and Immanuel Quickley combined. Now, Collin Sexton isn’t better than Anthony Davis by a long shot, but the Knicks also don’t have anyone at the caliber of Ingram. So you need to send over quantity since you don’t have quality.
Which is the new normal in NBA trades.
The Nets gave up talent comparable to the players the Knicks are sending over in Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert to get James Harden, but the Nets also gave up seven first-round draft picks (three picks, four pick swaps). We’re just asking for three, one of which is basically a second-round pick. The Nets also sent four first-round draft picks over to the Celtics for over-the-hill Paul Pierce and way-over-the-hill Kevin Garnett. Sexton is in his prime.
The Nuggets got back Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and two first-round draft picks, one of which became Jamal Murray for Carmelo Anthony. The Clippers traded Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari for seven first-round draft picks (two swaps) all for Paul George.
So to get a 22-year-old, 24-points-a-game scorer, for a few late-first-round draft picks, Barrett, Quikley, and two NBA busts? Yeah, that’s a fair trade.
Sexton is already a much better player offensively than Barrett, and if you put him next to Derrick Rose and Randle, Sexton should impress. This trade won’t happen but if you want the Cavs to give up Sexton, this is the bare minimum of what the team should demand back.