3 ways the New York Knicks can utilize their draft selections to ‘improve’

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
Jan 13, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts as he coaches against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA draft is going to present many different options for the New York Knicks as they look to upgrade their point guard position and add more depth at key spots. While free agency should provide the majority of their solutions, given the team as $50+ million and has become an attractive destination for star players, the draft can still be utilized as a catalyst for improvement.

In fact, the Knicks will have an opportunity to land a developmental PG in the draft, potentially someone like Jared Butler or Tre Mann, who host vastly different qualities but have the potential to develop nicely in their own right.

Nonetheless, the Knicks don’t have enough roster spots to feature three new rookies, especially after adding Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley this past draft.

With multiple veterans set to hit the market — Elfrid Payton, Alec Burks, Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel, Taj Gibson, and Reggie Bullock, the team is going to have to make a few tough decisions, and spending all of their draft picks might set the team back further than hoped for the 2021-22 season.

According to Ian Begley of SNY:

That’s a question some agents with players in New York’s range are asking. They don’t see the Knicks keeping all of their early picks (**No. 19, No. 21, No. 32).

Several opposing teams with picks near New York’s feel the same way.

“I can’t see them carrying three rookies on the roster (next year),” a member of an opposing organization said this week.

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Three ways the New York Knicks can use their draft picks to improve:

1.) Pair picks together and move up for the best available point guard

With three selections in the draft, the 19th, 21st, and 32nd overall picks, the Knicks will undoubtedly have the opportunity to pair some of those selections together and either move up or take an alternative route.

In this scenario, the Knicks might be able to pair their two first-round picks and move up as high as possible in the draft to land a point guard. The 2nd best point guard on the board will likely be Davion Mitchell out of Baylor, who offers an elite defensive player right out of the gate with solid offensive prowess. He is projected as a franchise point guard and the seventh overall pick, per ESPN.

The problem is, trading the 19th and 21st overall pick might not even be enough to move up to seven, and in all likelihood, it won’t be. The Knicks might be able to settle at 9 or 10, meaning they might have to part ways with even more capital if they want Mitchell as their future point guard.

This would be the ideal scenario, in my opinion, as they would add a potentially elite floor general and avoid having too many developmental rookies on the roster this upcoming season.

2.) Trade picks for an established veteran

Alternatively, there is the possibility that President Leon Rose looks to part ways with all of his draft capital to acquire a true and tried veteran. Of course, the rumors that Damian Lillard could force his way out of Portland are intriguing, and the Knicks could enter the fold with their youth pieces and draft picks. There are other trade opportunities as well, including Indiana Pacers center, Myles Turner, who could offer a long-term solution alongside Mitchell Robinson, who is in the final year of his rookie deal. Having two quality big men would benefit the team tremendously.

Turner finished last season averaging 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and recorded a career-high 3.4 blocks. Turner is a solid player who can offer some scoring production with elite defense, exactly what head coach Tom Thibodeau is was looking for.

3.) Use both 1st rounders and trade away 2nd rounders

As stated above, there is no way the Knicks can add three new rookies this off-season, so we should anticipate a trade in some form. One possibility is they spend their first-round picks on fresh faces and trade away the 32nd overall pick for a future selection. There are always teams looking to take advantage of lesser-known names in the draft, so they can likely find a trade partner later on.

Which option would you pick if you are in charge of the Knicks? Comment below!