Two things are hard to argue about the upcoming NBA draft, with regards to the New York Knicks — who hold the eighth overall pick.
The draft is loaded, and the Knicks are not.
After a dreadful 2016-17 campaign that wound up with them getting a less-than desirable draft slot after the NBA Draft Lottery, the Knicks appear to be looking to add through quantity and not by trading up for a better pick. According to ESPN’s Ian Begley via The Sporting News, the Knicks have started talking to the Trailblazers, holders of three first rounders, about acquiring either their 15th, 20th or 26th picks in the June 22 draft.
With so many high-quality talents available this year, there could be very good value at the middle and tail end of the first round — with players of a higher caliber than usual expected to be on the board due to the depth of this draft class.
The Knicks have worked out several mid-round prospects, such as UNC’s Justin Jackson, French prospect Frank Ntilikina, Kentucky’s Malik Monk and NC State’s Dennis Smith Jr. They have also worked out players that would fall in the Blazers’ draft slot in Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo and Colorado’s Derrick White.
Phil Jackson, the team president, has said repeatedly the Knicks will not be trading away any future first round picks, so just what might be on the table is still anyone’s guess.
Rumors are also swirling on the Carmelo Anthony front, with reports suggesting the forward actually intends to stay in New York. How that works into Jackson’s and the team’s future plans is another unknown.