The New York Knicks, to some extent, kicked the can down the 2021 NBA Draft.
New York came in with two first round picks — Nos. 19 and 21 — and didn’t use either. No. 19 was sent to the Charlotte Hornets so the Hornets could nab Texas big man Kai Jones. For their trouble, the Knicks picked up a heavily protected future first-round pick. They then traded down to No. 25 with the Houston Rockets, picking up a 2024 second round pick via the Detroit Pistons. And with the pick, they nabbed guard Quentin Grimes from the University of Houston.
Clippers will send No. 25 to New York and a future second, per source. Clippers are targeting Keon Johnson at No. 21. https://t.co/FRWvThyVpM
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 30, 2021
There’s a lot to unpack here. The Knicks’ roster isn’t complete by any means, so it might be fair to question them not taking whomever was the highest-ranked prospect on their board with either pick (unless of course, that prospect *was* Grimes). They need more creation on the perimeter, so why not take a stab at someone earlier in the first round right now to maybe solve that need? But at the same time, they’ve added a future pick from the Hornets to add to their own picks and the 2023 first-round pick they still have coming from the Dallas Mavericks via the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
It may not be right now or even this offseason, but adding all of these picks could give the Knicks some assets to play with when seeking out a trade. It’s not really clear who a target for them might be yet, or even how valuable these picks are. But with these trades, New York seems to be picking the possibility of something bigger via trade vs. taking multiple players now.