The Knicks landed five spots outside of the lottery this year, having made the postseason and earned the 4th overall seed in the Eastern Conference. For the first time in years, the Knicks wonâ€™t be picking in the top 10, which is a major positive aside from the fact that theyâ€™re desperately trying to move up to land a top player.
Packaging their selections together should allow them to move up into the 8-14 range, where a bevy of quality talents will be available for the taking.
According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, the Knicks are putting in calls to gauge trade interest and move into the late lottery, but the question is, how far high can they go?
REPORT: @NBADraftWass of @BleacherReport tells @JCMacriNBA that he can confirm the #Knicks are "trying to trade up… into the late lottery"???
(Check out the rest of this interview on the KFS pod dropping TONIGHT at midnight!) pic.twitter.com/4dySfS6FnG
— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSkool) July 22, 2021
Unless the front office is willing to give up selections and a potential player, they will have to settle for the late lottery, which will open up potential options like James Bouknight, Jalen Johnson, and, if theyâ€™re lucky, Davion Mitchell. I wouldnâ€™t rule out Sharife Cooper or Trey Murphy III from being potential targets as well, as the Knicks have been looking into Cooper recently.
All of these prospects have different qualities, but the Knicks would have to pair their three first-round selections together, 19, 21, and 32. Moving up as high as possible would give them a bit of comfort knowing one of their top prospects on the board will fall, but it entirely depends on what Tom Thibodeau envisions next season with a rookie.
The team simply doesnâ€™t have three roster spots to offer developing players, as the team is looking to win now and spend in free agency to supplement the loss of multiple free agents, including Derrick Rose, Reggie Bullock, Taj Gibson, Nerlens Noel, and Elfrid Payton.
Another report has indicated that the Knicks could wait until the 2022 off-season to spend the majority of their funds, which will likely amount to over $40 million after expenditures this off-season. Nonetheless, that might open up the potential return of Derrick Rose, who could sign a one-year deal allowing the team to move on from his cap hit after this season.
Pairing him with a young PG he can mentor would be ideal, so options like Mitchell, Cooper, and even Tre Mann stand out. If Thibs was is for a more defensively stout youngster, Mitchell would fit the bill, but Cooper is an elite facilitator with insane vision in transition, being compared to players like Chris Paul and Trae Young. Mann is a smooth scorer who creates shots for himself and opens up the floor for his teammates.
What lottery players do you have your eye on for the Knicks? Comment below!