With the New York Knicks in position to throw the bag at two major free agents this summer, and an increasing confidence within the organization that their wooing will be successful, reports are tickling out that the team might be looking to move back in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Per ESPN, the Knicks have considered trading the No. 3 overall pick, potentially to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the Hawks’ Nos. 8 and 10 picks, as they attempt to surround guys like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, should they secure their services in free agency, with more complementary players. From the report:
New York has explored the possibility of trading back in the lottery, sources told ESPN, perhaps to acquire pieces that better complement potential high-volume All-Star free agents (such as Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving). Trading the No. 3 pick for the Atlanta Hawks’ two first-rounders (Nos. 8 and 10) is under consideration by the Knicks, one source said. This is a similar package to the one Dallas used to move up in last year’s draft — trading the No. 5 pick and a top-five protected pick (which ended up being No. 10) to select Luka Doncic at No. 3. A move like this likely wouldn’t happen until the draft was actually underway, as both teams would want to know which players are actually available with the No. 8 pick before consummating a trade.
In addition, the Knicks are looking closely at other draft prospects who might be in play at No. 3 but could also very well fall later in the top 10, including Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Coby White and Nassir Little.
The Knicks have been tied to Duke’s R.J. Barrett since landing the pick, with the Memphis Grizzlies putting out strong signals that they’ll take Murray State’s Ja Morant at No. 2. SNY’s Ian Begley reports that a potential deal between the Knicks and Hawks is “not currently under serious consideration,” but that the Knicks do have interest in players like Jarrett Culver and Cam Reddish, who would most likely be available later in the draft. There’s also the possibility that the Knicks would stay and use the player the select in a potential trade package for Anthony Davis.
Whatever the Knicks choose to do, it’s becoming clear that they strongly believe at least one big name will be arriving in the Big Apple this summer.