Today is the NBA draft, folks! And it has the looks to be an exciting one too. So many rumors have been floating around for the past week.
We’ve seen the Knicks workout Darius Garland and Coby White at the last minute. Is New Orleans really trying to trade up to number 2 and leapfrog New York for RJ Barrett? Who knows, and that’s why the draft is so exciting. What are the options the Knicks are looking at tonight?
RJ Barrett No Brainer At 3
If there’s one problem with the NBA draft, it’s that by the time we get to it, every prospect has been overanalyzed. There is a reason RJ Barrett was ranked the top player coming into college. He’s also arguably the most skilled player in this draft. If it wasn’t for a dire need for a point guard with Memphis picking 2nd, he could be the 2nd pick.
Barrett is absolutely the player the Knicks should pick at 3. He’s a potential franchise changer and wants to be in New York. Standing at 6’7″ and has the ability to score, facilitate and play defense. He’s the type of player you can build around moving forward. While he has holes in his game (who doesn’t?) like shooting, they’re all things he will undoubtedly improve on.
Known for his open-court prowess, Barrett has also shown the ability to be efficient in the half court as well. While his outside shot needs work as almost every player needs, he is a scoring threat in the half court. One of the most impressive things about him is his ability to pass out of isolation to the open man. He isn’t a guy who forces shots but has a great feel for where his teammates are on the court. He’s also an excellent rebounder and his ability to push the ball off a rebound should help the Knicks improve in transition. He’s the easy pick at number 3.
Pelicans Trade To 2
There have been rumors of New Orleans offering Memphis a deal to move up to the 2nd spot. They have interest in pairing Zion Williamson with RJ Barrett. In this case, the Knicks are at 3 with a choice in Ja Morant, Darius Garland, or Jarrett Culver. The Knicks are rumored to have Morant ranked higher than Barrett on their draft board so this could still work out in New York’s favor. Memphis would still get a point guard at 4 depending what the Knicks do. This is a scenario to watch out for potentially.
Knicks Trade Back
This scenario is pretty unlikely. But in the event that New Orleans does trade up to number 2, the Knicks could explore moving back for the right offer. Many teams have explored an interest in Garland and if the Knicks get the right offer, it might not be a bad idea. It would all depend on how far back the Knicks trade. The team is still in a talent acquiring stage and it’s important to get a top player in this draft. Trading back without nabbing a top prospect is a mistake even with extra assets.
Now if the Knicks trade with say, the Suns at number 6, that could make sense. Phoenix moves up and nabs Garland while the Knicks are in play for Jarrett Culver at number 6 and draft a 2-way player that Fizdale loves.
What Do These Late Workouts Mean?
It’s hard to say what these last-minute workouts mean exactly. But there’s certainly due diligence being done with Garland and White. It’s a good sign that the front office is taking into account all the possibilities of this draft and preparing for any scenario presented.
One angle is the Knicks showing increased interest in players that other teams behind them in the lottery are very high on. This could force a team to give the Knicks an offer they simply couldn’t refuse and trade back for. There’s a lot of angles here but the Knicks doing their homework is a positive thing.
Frank Ntilikina Draft Night Trade?
It’s very conceivable that Frank is dealt tonight. There have been many rumors of swaps with other teams like OKC for Roberson’s expiring deal, or to the Cavs for the 26th pick. The Knicks are open to moving Ntilikina and it seems unlikely he plays for the Knicks next season. The Knicks would be smart to find a partner to get back into the late 1st round/early 2nd round.
If the Knicks stay at 3rd, expect them to take RJ Barrett. This draft does have some potential to be completely different than we expect, so be prepared. Last year we saw a swap of Luka Doncic and Trae Young, will we see something similar this year?
Good luck to the Knicks tonight, in Scott Perry we trust!
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