The New York Knicks have an interesting decision to make during the 2021 NBA draft. Luckily, they won’t be partaking in the lottery, which could be seen as a negative, but it does indicate one major positive, the Knicks have finally dragged themselves out of the dungeon they’ve been living in the past decade or so.
New York is as attractive a destination as any in the NBA, and with the team capable of making the postseason and putting forth quality performances, drawing the attention of star players will be easier than ever. However, the Knicks have to figure out what they want to do with their draft selections, as walking into the 2021-22 season with three new rookies doesn’t exactly indicate a desire to win now.
The Knicks have the number 19, 21, and 32 overall picks, which provides them two first-rounders and a second-round selection. Considering they added two players last year in Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, the organization should be looking to allocate their draft picks toward acquiring one established player instead of multiple developmental projects that likely won’t make an impact in their first year.
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.
Clearly, there’s a belief around the NBA the Knicks won’t be sticking with their draft selections, based on Tom Thibodeau’s desire to put together a winning team rather than develop youngsters.
Of course, there is the possibility President Leon Rose decides to package the picks together and move up in the first round, adding just a singular player instead of looking to allocate their draft assets in a trade.
However, there are multiple players worthy of being acquired via trade, including Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, and more. The more beneficial route might be spending their $60+ million in free agency and packaging their selections to move up as high as possible to acquire a high-upside first-round pick.
What would you prefer the New York Knicks do? Trade their draft picks for a player or package them to move up in the first round?