Knicks predicted to trade 2024 first-round NBA Draft picks in recent projection

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau talks to forward OG Anunoby (8) during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks own the No. 24 and No. 25 picks in the 2024 NBA Draft and are expected to trade both first-round selections by one NBA writer.

Knicks predicted to trade first-round draft picks

New York Knicks, James Dolan, New York Rangers
Dec 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks executive chairman James Dolan watches during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Per The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, the Knicks may find better use in packaging both late-round selections in a deal for a proven championship-quality piece, rather than developing them on their roster which is currently established as a true threat in the Eastern Conference (h/t Bleacher Report’s Andrew Peters):

“New York has a pair of first-round picks at No. 24 and No. 25, but Vecenie noted that head coach Tom Thibodeau might not want two first-round rookies on his squad and would rather have future assets,” Peters synthesized of Vecenie’s projection.

Knicks: Head coach Tom Thibodeau thrives with veteran rosters

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau with guard Jalen Brunson (11) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center
Nov 20, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau with guard Jalen Brunson (11) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Thibodeau, known for his hard-nosed coaching style, has typically seen his greatest success with rosters led by veteran talents. He won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2011 with the Chicago Bulls and in 2021 with the Knicks. That Bulls team did not have a single rookie on its roster and they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals that year.

The 2021 Knicks only had two rookies in Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin and made the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13 that season. Generally speaking though, Thibodeau’s style is more conducive with veterans who know their way around the league.

Knicks won’t trade draft picks based on coaching but could leverage first-rounders for All-Star talents

Apr 9, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  (New York Knicks) LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) handles the ball against Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first quarter at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) handles the ball against Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first quarter at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks won’t make roster decisions solely predicated on who mans their sidelines. Additionally, gems come at all stages of the first round, as history has shown.

Nevertheless, the Knicks have a proven core with eleven members of the active roster who have been key contributors in the rotation. Knicks president Leon Rose will need to deduce whether offering up picks No. 24 and No. 25 along with a coveted star (or coveted stars) on the team will yield more interest in the trade market than unloading a swath of players currently on the roster.

The Knicks are heavily linked to several potential All-Stars including Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, both of whom have player options for next season, along with a host of other star talents they could trade for outright, like Cleveland Cavaliers lead man Donovan Mitchell.

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