2016 NBA Draft: Knicks reportedly want to trade back into the first round
Knicks are hoping to get back into the first round of the draft by acquiring a late first-round pick via trade
The NBA Draft is time for potential and hope. The excitement of drafting a young, promising player to add to your franchise's makeup is huge, and you hope your team is either drafting the best player available or ending up with the steal of the draft once you get into the later parts of the first round and even the second round. The New York Knicks are one of the several teams without a pick in this year's draft.
That doesn't mean they aren't interested in acquiring a pick though. While you assume Carmelo Anthony isn't going to be traded (his no-trade clause is unlikely to be waived) and Kristaps Porzingis is off the table (not sure even dangling the top overall pick in the draft would get the Knicks to part with him), really anybody else or any other asset the Knicks have could become available to a trade partner. According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the Knicks would like to find their way into the late first round, but the second round of the draft appears more likely.
The Knicks plan to acquire a pick in June's draft. The best-case scenario would probably be a late first-round pick but second-round is more likely. The club has shown interest in several players in recent weeks, including Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell, who has a workout scheduled with the club next month. New York also interviewed Kansas guard Wayne Selden at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and has expressed interest in him as the draft approaches, according to league sources. Selden, a 6-6 guard, would fit the mold of the big guards Phil Jackson used in his Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Laker teams. Ferrell, a 6-0 guard, has impressed in workouts, according to sources, and was the only point guard last season to average 17 PPG, 5.5 assists and shoot at least 40% from 3. The Knicks have also expressed interest in St. Bonaventure guard Marcus Posley and will likely be one of many teams at the agency-hosted workouts for Seton Hall's Isaiah Whitehead and Syracuse's Malachi Richardson. They also attended the agency-hosted workout for Kansas' Cheik Diallo, according to SNY.tv.
The Knicks have a need for both guys who can contribute now to round out their relatively thin depth chart and guys who can grow with the program and provide ample talent for the future, as well. Obviously, the higher they trade into the draft, the more they'll have to part with in terms of trade value. Phil Jackson moving a future first-round pick would probably require a higher pick than "late first-round," so the safety net of just getting into the second-round like they did when they acquired Cleanthony Early is definitely on the table.
Back in 2014, Jackson acquired Early, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin, and the pick that became Thanasis Antetokounmpo for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. Moving a veteran would be a great way to acquire some depth and the pick the Knicks need to target one of the players Begley mentions as potential targets. However, perhaps the only player good enough to grab a haul similar to that is Robin Lopez, and there's no indication the Knicks are looking to move the center they signed last summer.
The Knicks sent away their draft picks for this June on separate deals. The Knicks had a pick swap with the Denver Nuggets this year for the Carmelo Anthony trade back in 2011. But they lost the lesser of those two picks in their move to acquire Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors in 2013. The Raptors ended up with the Knicks' pick (No. 7) and the Raptors ended up with the Nuggets' pick (No. 9). They sent away their second-round pick in 2012 when they acquired Felton and Kurt Thomas. That pick is now in the possession of the Houston Rockets at No. 37 in the draft.
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