The New York Knicks look to be standing pat as the 2018 NBA Draft approaches.
Just hours before the start of the selection process at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, ESPN’s Adam Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks are unlikely to trade up from their spot at No. 9 in the first round.
As their rebuilding continues, there was an opportunity for New York to move up at least a couple of spots in order to select a more highly-rated talent. Multiple reports indicated that the Memphis Grizzlies are open to trading the No. 4 selection with the Knicks being one of the interested parties alongside the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers.
Moving up five spots could have helped the Knicks attain the likes of Michael Porter Jr. out of Missouri of Texas’ Mohamed Bamba. Porter disclosed to reporters that the Knicks were thinking about trading up to get him (h/t Mike Vorkunov, the Athletic).
New Knicks coach David Fizdale also met with Bamba on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Ian Begley, which further fueled the idea of New York moving up. The seven-foot big man is expected to go within the top five.
But Wojnarowski put it all to rest on ESPN’s “Get Up!”:
“I was told late [Wednesday] night [the Knicks] have not yet asked Bamba’s people to get his medical information. That’s a steep price to move up that high in the draft to No. 4. You’re going to have to give up a lot. You’re probably going to have to give up a future first-round pick… I think the Knicks are very comfortable at No. 9… They feel like they can get the player they want without mortgaging something forward. I think it’s more likely the Knicks stay where they are.”
Even with the draft this closer, there is no overwhelming favorite as to who the Knicks will take. They could go with a small forward, which is their largest need, like Villanova’s Mikal Bridges or Kentucky’s Kevin Knox. But there is also a chance they go smaller and take a guard like Oklahoma’s Trae Young or Alabama’s Collin Sexton.