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New York Knicks draft results: Breaking down the trades and 3 possible moves using all those extra 1st round picks

Jason Burgos
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Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks were very busy during the 2022 NBA Draft. Yet they did not end the night with a haul of potential rich players from this year’s draft class. Instead, they left with three future first-round picks, and Duke guard Trevor Keels.

It was a whirlwind night that revealed a possible grand strategy to punt on draft night and look to make major moves when free agency opens on June 30.

What did the New York Knicks give up and get in three 2022 NBA Draft trades?

The Knicks entered Thursday night with the 11th pick overall. In the lead-up to the event, reports suggested the team wanted to move up into the top five to take either Purdue’s Jaden Ivey or Duke’s Shaedon Sharpe. Other rumors suggested they might trade down in the draft because of interest in their pick from other teams.

In the end, the organization didn’t get Ivey or Sharpe, but they still made a bunch of deals. First, they drafted French prospect Ousmane Dieng and quickly sent him to Oklahoma City for three conditional first-round picks. Then, after Charlotte selected Jalen Duren with pick 13, New York acquired the Memphis center for one of the conditional picks they received from the Thunder. After that, the team sent Duren and disgruntled point guard Kemba Walker in a package to Detroit for a 2025 first-round pick.

To recap, the Knicks made three trades in the first round and got back three first-round picks. Two conditional picks next year, and another in 2025. Meaning the Knicks now have four opening-round selections in the 2023 NBA Draft. Whew.

Beyond all those extra picks, the team drafted Duke guard Trevor Keels in the second round. Keels is a one-and-done player who was the third leading scoring on a Final Four Duke squad, and projects as a solid bench player in the near future.

But are the Knicks really going to punt on this year’s draft after they missed the playoffs, and look ahead to next year’s four picks? Probably not. Here are some possible moves they may look to make using that extra draft capital.

3 moves the Knicks could make with extra first-round picks

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Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks try to land Kyrie Irving from Brooklyn Nets

Let’s go big swing first. Unless you have been under an NBA news rock over the last week, Kyrie Irving’s future with the Nets is completely up in the air. He has until June 29 to decide if he will opt into the $36 million in the final year of his contract. However, that is unlikely unless he and Brooklyn can come to terms for a new long-term deal.

Over the last few days, various reports claim that the two sides are at an impasse, and on Thursday, rumors suggested that Irving has a list of teams he would be interested in taking his services to and the Knicks are one of them.

Irving’s options in free agency are limited. Heading to rebuilding teams that have max deal cap space like the Pistons or Magic seems unlikely. Meaning a sign-and-trade may be best for both sides. The Knicks being able to offer four first-round picks next season, plus a few good players and prospects now would be a very enticing haul for Brooklyn.

Knicks use first-round picks as sweeteners to free up cap space

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Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

New York has a few players that other teams would be interested in, but just not for the money they are making. Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel, and Alec Burks are all solid NBA rotation talents with pricey contracts. In an attempt to free up cap space and make some moves in the free-agent market, the Knicks could do just like they did on Thursday in moving Walker’s contract, and try to get some of those contracts off the books by tying a first-round pick to them.

It is a solid offer many teams will have to consider since all of those players, except Fournier, have contracts with team options after next season.

With the extra cap space it would not be unreasonable to think the Knicks then pursue Deandre Ayton, Miles Bridges, Collin Sexton or the man in our next section.

Knicks swing trade with Dallas Mavericks for Jalen Brunson

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Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that the Knicks have been hot for Jalen Brunson for months. They wanted him at the trade deadline in February, and despite reports that the Mavericks plan on re-signing the restricted free agent, the organization is trying to free up cap space to make a hard run at him on June 30.

Brunson can make more by staying in Dallas. However, the Knicks would offer more of a featured role and still for pretty good money. The four-year veteran could inform Dallas he would prefer they not match a New York offer sheet, and that a sign-and-trade would be best for all involved.

  • Jalen Brunson stats (2021-2022): 16.3 PPG, 3.9 REB, 4.8 AST, .373 3PT %

In that case, if the Knicks can send two first-round picks, and solid prospects like Cam Reddish or Immanuel Quickley back in a deal, the Mavericks may see some major positives in getting a solid return for a player ready to move on.