New York Knicks: Could Rebuilding Through The Draft Be Overrated?

New York Knicks
May 15, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Knicks General Manager Scott Perry during the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery at the Palmer House Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Rebuilding the New York Knicks through the NBA Draft with the use of acquired draft picks was a foreign thought process until General Manager Scott Perry joined former President Steve Mills in the front office. An unfortunate situation occurred for the Knicks in the hiring of former coach David Fizdale. Steve Mills lied to the Knick fan base by giving the impression of building through the draft if the Knicks whiff on the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sweepstakes. Instead of Steve Mills following through with his word, he went on to sign Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Marcus Morris, Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington, and Reggie Bullock. The roster was a poor fit and the New York Knicks went on to have another disastrous season in which some of the young talent (Kevin Knox & Dennis Smith Jr.) actually regressed. Steve Mills believed he built a playoff team. David Fizdale got fired early December 2019 during the midst of a losing streak. Steve Mills got fired two days before the NBA Trade Deadline.

James Dolan hired a well connected former NBA Agent Leon Rose as President of the New York Knicks. Leon Rose made multiple hires in order to round out the Knick front office. One significant hire, Leon Rose made was that of Wesley Williams, also known as “World Wide Wes”. Wesley Williams is known as the most connected man in basketball period. With the new-look front office taking shape, many believe building through the draft would once again become a foreign thought process.

There are teams in the NBA that patiently built through the draft successfully. There are also teams who built their roster with a combination of great drafting, free agency, and great international scouting. Therefore, some are starting to believe that building through the draft is overrated due to the unlimited avenues of finding legit basketball talent.

However, trading draft picks at the drop of a dime is something the Knicks will hopefully stop doing. Give young talent time to blossom instead of trading picks for old veterans who will retire very soon.

Overall, a rebuild must be well balanced in terms of drafting talent, signing strong veterans in free agency, overall scouting, and good trades. The Knicks seem to have put specialized personnel within their front office positions respectively. Cohesion in the front office and thorough scouting with a balanced rebuild through drafting, free agency, international scouting, and G-League would be a major step in the right direction internally. Basketball minds making decisions is a plus for any organization.