The NBA Draft is now three weeks away. The New York Knicks have a number of areas that need improvement. Last year was looked upon as a year they should have taken that next step. Phil Jackson made, what looked at that time, the right moves to make this team a true contender in the East. However, things did not go according to plan.
Entering the 2017 off-season, this team needs a total makeover. The best way to rebuild is through the draft. This is the year the Knicks need to find a way to acquire another first-round pick.
New York Knicks 2017 NBA Draft Strategy: Acquire Another Pick
Dealing for A Top Pick
The first potential deal would be with the Boston Celtics for the number one overall pick. In order to get this pick, the Knicks would have to deal Kristaps Porzingis. In this scenario, this would signal a complete breakdown of the roster and resetting this franchise back to ground zero. All the plans about rebuilding and letting Porzingis develop into a star would be out the window. The Knicks would go back to where they were a few years ago: bringing in a high pick and putting all the franchise’s future success on the young man’s shoulders.
Such a deal seems highly unlikely. As much as Porzingis has been “rebelling” against Phil Jackson, the Knicks will probably keep the young unicorn. He is a special talent and trading him to reset the franchise again does not make sense. One can revamp the roster without resetting everything. And from we’ve seen from Jackson in his tenure here, he loves to turn over the roster while keeping a few pieces (see Carmelo Anthony) the same.
Other Teams to Target
The second potential trade partner appears to be the Portland Trailblazers. There are other teams, such as the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings, who have multiple first round picks. However, Portland appears to be a strong target. The Trailblazers need to dump salary and could pick up a valuable piece to bring them closer to contention in the Western Conference.
Ideally, the Knicks would trade Anthony to Portland for one of those picks. However, that seems highly unlikely. This would defeat the purpose of the Blazers gaining cap flexibility. There is speculation that the Blazers would take back Courtney Lee or Willy Hernangomez. If that’s all it takes to get another first round pick, the Knicks should jump on that opportunity instantly.
This year’s draft is a very deep draft. It is the perfect year for a team that has many holes to have multiple picks in round one. Going forward, you can have a foundation built around Porzingis, and two first-round draft picks from this year.
The Knicks also cannot draft any “projects.” In the past, the Knicks have drafter players from overseas that they did not bring over right away, like Hernangomez. The Knicks need to draft players that are as close to NBA-ready as possible. They need immediate help. Another first-round pick would go a long way for this franchise’s future success.