The pingpong balls didn’t bounce the Knicks’ way, and now New York might move on to Plan B — which still is very much tied to a potentially explosive Plan A.
This could be one of the most transformative summers in Knicks history even after New York got the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft lottery, almost certainly missing out on the chance to draft Zion Williamson or Ja Morant. But as you’ve probably heard by now, the Knicks might try to hitch their offseason wagon to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, two legitimate superstars who can opt out of their contracts this summer.
Of course, if Irving and Durant both sign with the Knickerbockers, that will take up a sizable amount of salary cap room. Obviously, the Knicks will want to build around those two and complement them with good, young (and cheap) talent.
One way in which they might be able to do that is by trading the No. 3 pick for more draft capital, which is a strategy they’re reportedly considering, according to ESPN.com.
“New York has explored the possibility of trading back in the lottery, sources told ESPN, perhaps to acquire pieces that better complement potential high-volume All-Star free agents (such as Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving),” ESPN.com’s Jonathan Givony wrote Friday.
Givony notes the Knicks would consider trading the No. 3 pick to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the Nos. 8 and 10 picks. This certainly would make sense, especially if there’s no one at No. 3 the Knicks love, which is a possibility given the consensus there’s a pretty sharp drop-off in talent after the first two picks (although there’s a case to be made for Duke’s RJ Barrett as a franchise player).
New York also could turn around and trade the No. 3 pick — and a chunk of its current roster — to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis. The idea of a superteam featuring Irving, Durant and Davis has to be tantalizing, although that would leave the Knicks with plenty of roster-building questions, too. Mainly, how do they construct a full roster when they have three superstars eating up almost all of their cap room?
These all are questions New York will have to answer in the next few weeks ahead of the June 20 draft, and it’s clear the Knicks have no shortage of options to consider during that time.
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