Swap. Swap. Use the pick for an established player. Stand still.
The Knicks and President Leon Rose are full of options for Thursday night’s 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. There are a variety of directions they can go in, a myriad of options to take to update a list that is in desperate need of a jolt coming from a grim 37-win season.
Most popular would be to find a way to get into the top five to land Jaden Ivey, Purdue’s highly talented guard who could fill the franchise’s forever void as a point guard.
The Kings have been arguing over pick number 4 for weeks, Ivey reportedly prefers to play somewhere other than Sacramento and the Kings are loaded as point guard with De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell. On Monday, Ivey looked downright eager to find his way to the Knicks, saying he would be “honored” to play there and relieved them without stress when asked about potential adaptations for his skill set.
The 6-footer Ivey has made comparisons with Russell Westbrook, Ja Morant and Donovan Mitchell due to his electric first step and elite athleticism and could create a dynamic tandem with RJ Barrett.
“I don’t know exactly what the package is, what it would take. I assume that would be significant, “ESPN draft insider Jonathan Givony said in a Zoom call on Wednesday.” Jaden Ivey has as much star power as any player in this draft. The Knicks need a star, especially in the area. defence”.
Going to four, or even five by swapping with the Pistons, would clearly require a lot of future choices, probably more future ones and one of the young Knicks players between Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes. They’ve held talks with those teams, according to multiple reports, but the most likely scenario is that the Knicks remain at number 11. At that point, they’re likely to have a number of intriguing players to choose from between Westchester one and one-and-done. Duke protects AJ Griffin, centerpieces Jalen Duren and Mark Williams, and wings Johnny Davis, Ochai Agbaji and Malaki Branham.
The Knicks coached Griffin, Williams, Agbaji and Branham and met with Davis, Wisconsin’s Big Ten Player of the Year, in draft combine last month. They did a lot of background work on Griffin, the sources said, and his father, Adrian, an assistant coach of the Raptors, had previously worked with Tom Thibodeau with the Bulls.
They might choose to surround Barrett with a shooter like Griffin or Agbaji, or maybe the Knicks show their hand by enlisting one of the great men, a sign that future free agent Mitchell Robinson won’t be back. Then there’s the option to move the pick for an established player like Pacers blocking guard Malcolm Brogdon, although ESPN has reported that the Knicks have hesitated on that possible move.
Trading on the downside is also not out of the question. The Knicks have come up with a range of players expected to range from teens to the early 1920s, prospects such as Kentucky point guard Tyty Washington, Ignite G-League winger MarJon Beauchamp and LSU winger Tari Eason.
The 6-foot-3 Washington said Wednesday that they have had no further contact with the Knicks since they took him out for dinner and hosted him for a training session. That said, the Knicks have become known as the “Kentucky Knicks” and “Orange and Bluegrass”, employ William Wesley, John Calipari’s longtime confidant, and need a main guard.
“He’s a prototype NBA point guard,” Kentucky assistant Oliver Antigua told The Post. “He has large size, arm length, very creative with the ball. He is more athletic than people give him credit for. He is a guy who is a three level scorer. “
As the draft approaches, the Knicks could go a number of ways. They have been connected to a bevy of potential customers and have been involved in business talks with a number of teams.
On Thursday night, Leon Rose has a chance to bolster his roster. It remains to be seen how he will do it.