Ever since the NBA Draft lottery order was reveled and the Knicks lost out on the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, falling to the No. 3 overall pick, there’s been a general assumption that the Knicks would either keep the pick and select Duke’s R.J. Barrett or use it in a trade for Anthony Davis.
Both options are still on the table, but a third option has emerged too — trading back in the first round to collect more draft picks, with an eye toward better building a roster around potential marquee free agent signings.
Per ESPN’s Jonathon Givony, New York “has explored the possibility of trading back in the lottery.”
Here’s what Givony wrote ...
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). Trading the No. 3 pick for the Atlanta Hawks’ two first-rounders (Nos. 8 and 10) is under consideration by the Knicks, one source said. This is a similar package to the one Dallas used to move up in last year’s draft -- trading the No. 5 pick and a top-five protected pick (which ended up being No. 10) to select Luka Doncic at No. 3. A move like this likely wouldn’t happen until the draft was actually underway, as both teams would want to know which players are actually available with the No. 8 pick before consummating a trade.
In addition, the Knicks are looking closely at other draft prospects who might be in play at No. 3 but could also very well fall later in the top 10, including Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, Coby White and Nassir Little.