It wasn’t a great night but it definitely wasn’t a bad night either. The Knicks landed the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft earlier tonight, putting their sights in the Ja Morant/RJ Barrett category.
Not Good, Not Bad
While missing out on the 1st pick and Zion Williamson hurts, the Knicks came away with an important asset and the ability to add a very talented player to their team. So where does the team go from here? Let’s try to make sense of the draft position and what tonight means moving forward.
Unless the Knicks move up in the draft (unlikely), they are looking at Ja Morant or RJ Barrett. Zion was seen as the ultimate prize but these two guys are stars in the making as well. This draft had elite talent at the top of the draft, with 3 main players. The Knicks managed to get lucky and stay in the top 3. It’s easy to see RJ Barrett heading to the Knicks at 3, with the Grizzlies at 2 and needing a point guard.
Before entering college, RJ Barrett was seen as the unanimous number 1 overall pick until Zion took off. In today’s NBA, he’s a perfect fit with his ability to play and defend numerous positions. Not to mention, he has the lefty game which gives defenses a different look. RJ Barrett would give the Knicks another talented wing player to go along with Kevin Knox. It’s never bad to have a chance to draft a kid who has Steve Nash as his godfather.
Will The Knicks Keep The Pick?
This is going to be a topic of conversation in the coming months, with the draft and free agency approaching. A top 3 pick gives the Knicks a very valuable asset for trades. If they are able to get the signatures of Kevin Durant and a second star, this pick will get shopped. With the draft taking place before free agency, a lot have wondered if there’s a timeline to trade the pick. The answer to this is no. The Knicks can take a player at 3, sign them, and trade them after 30 days. So after free agency has come and the big fish signed, the Knicks will be in a position to deal.
On the other hand, if the Knicks do not get any elite free agents, this pick provides an exciting young talent. Talented basketball players like Morant and Barrett don’t come around every year. Getting an opportunity to add their talent to the team is a huge positive.
Does Tonight Affect A Potential Anthony Davis Deal?
Tonight wasn’t ideal as far as an Anthony Davis trade goes. New Orleans winning the lottery gives them a lot of leverage when it comes to dealing Davis. However, not all hope is lost. Contrary to reports that them landing Zion could sway AD, it’s been said that he still wants out. The Knicks still have the 3rd overall pick to dangle as well as the Dallas picks. The Dallas picks will be coming to the Knicks starting in 2021 after tonight. Since Dallas didn’t land in the top 4, their pick this year goes to Atlanta. That means in 2021 the Knicks get a 1st round unprotected pick from Dallas.
Any Davis trade for the Knicks is going to involve this year’s pick, the Dallas unprotected pick and likely 1 more future Knicks 1st rounder. Along with some young core players, that will give the Knicks a well-rounded package.
The new lottery odds made it very difficult to anticipate what was going to happen. The Knicks should consider themselves very fortunate. 3 of the top 4 teams with the highest odds to pick 1st didn’t even make the top 4. The Cavs, Suns, and Bulls finished 5th, 6th, and 7th, respectively. The Knicks were the only team of the top 4 odds-wise that stayed in the top 3. The new odds make it completely unpredictable and make way for wild card teams to land the top spot like tonight.
This was simply the first piece of the puzzle in what should be a long, exciting summer for the Knicks. Tonight wasn’t the best of results, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. With another asset to add to the team, the Knicks are still in prime position to infuse some much-needed talent into this roster.
Photo: Elite Sports NY