The New York Knicks appear to be trending in a positive direction as they aim for their third straight win when they battle the host Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
Yet they’re far from satisfied.
The Knicks reportedly acquired Josh Hart from the Portland Trail Blazers for Cam Reddish and a lottery protected first-round draft pick in 2023. Svi Mykhailiuk and Ryan Arcidiacono are also headed to the Trail Blazers in the deal that was made ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Hart and Jalen Brunson were teammates at Villanova.
It’s unclear if Hart will be available to play against the Sixers.
The Knicks defeated the Orlando Magic 102-98 on Tuesday behind Brunson’s 25 points and Julius Randle’s 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Brunson, who arguably could have been named as a reserve for the All-Star team, has proven to be one of the top free-agent acquisitions in the league.
Brunson and Randle, who was named as an All-Star reserve, have carried the Knicks all season.
The Sixers will look to rebound following a disappointing 106-99 loss to the short-handed Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
Joel Embiid scored 28 points and James Harden added 26 points and 11 assists, but the Sixers lost their second straight.
The Sixers did not make a major move before the trade deadline, but they dealt role player Matisse Thybulle to the Portland Trail Blazers in a three-team deal and received Charlotte Hornets wing Jalen McDaniels in return.
McDaniels, 25, was averaging career highs of 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 56 games (21 starts) this season before the trade.
The Sixers had been playing at a much higher level before these past two losses to the Knicks and Celtics.
Now that the trade deadline has passed, they’ll simply have to refocus and work on getting to at least the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001.