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New York Knicks reportedly looking to move up in NBA Draft, 3 possible prospect targets

Jason Burgos
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Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

A new report claims the New York Knicks may try to move up from their spot at 11 in the June NBA Draft.

On Tuesday, SNY Knicks insider Ian Begley reported that there is a discussion within the Knicks organization to improve their place in next month’s annual selection event. “Several people in touch with the team last month say New York is open to a trade that would land the club a higher first-round pick,” Begley wrote.

If the organization wanted to make a notable move up in the draft, and for a “dynamic guard” as Begley suggests, they do have an assortment of assets that could prove valuable to other teams.

What are the New York Knicks’ various trade assets?

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Obviously, their top scorer from the last two seasons, Julius Randle, would likely be available after a down season in 2021-2022. Despite his regression, he still averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists for the 37-45 Knicks.

New York also has a great deal of young and talented players that would interest many NBA teams. Immanuel Quickly, Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish, and Obi Toppin could all be useful chips in a possible trade. There are also veterans like Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Derrick Rose. All of them could contribute to another team and have contracts that either end after next season, or have team options for 2023-2024.

Related: Sportsnaut 2022 NBA Mock Draft – Projections for Rounds 1 & 2

Fast-rising guard RJ Barrett is likely the one player closest to being untradeable after having a career year this past season.

Assuming the team packaged any of the aforementioned players with this year’s first-round pick, or any of the three opening-round picks they have in the next two years to trade up, here are three prospects they could be targeting on June 23.

Jaden Ivey, Purdue

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The player that is the consensus choice as the best guard in this year’s class is Purdue’s, Jaden Ivey. The Knicks landing the 19-year-old would be a best-case scenario situation and likely require a deal with the Sacramento Kings at fourth overall. However, the Kings are reportedly open to trading the pick and looking for a proven star to combine with De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. Randle could be that guy.

Ivey is a player with perennial All-Star potential because of his diverse skillset and explosiveness. We are talking Ja Morant-level talent at the high end of his projections. His shot still needs work, however, his ability to finish around the rim, downhill skills, and streakiness will make him a player that would be a contributor right away next season.

Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

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If Shaedon Sharpe had played a few games for Kentucky this season he might be ranked above Ivey among the guards in the 2022 class. However, due to the confusion around his eligibility this past season, he didn’t see any game action for the Wildcats.

With that said, based on his career in high school and from workouts, his talent gets a very high grade. Sharpe has the sort of tools you want in a future star swingman. He has a smooth shot and has plus creation skills.

Sharpe is a bit of a gamble because of the limited amount of elite amateur talent he has faced. But, considering the Knick’s admiration for Kentucky and Duke’s talent, matched with his immense upside, Sharpe may be a player the organization believes could be a game-changer and worth trading up in the top-10 for.

Dyson Daniels, G-League Ignite

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G-League talent Dyson Daniels feels like a perfect Tom Thibodeau player. While he doesn’t jump out as an elite athlete with spectacular upside, he is mature, has shown a high passing IQ, and plays serious defense. Furthermore, at 6-foot-8 he is a bit of a monster for the guard position. Which makes him a useful tool as a long defensive pest Thibodeau could sick on opponents’ top swingman.

Daniels’s shooting is his weak spot, but he has the ability to come in and do anything else needed on the court. As one scouting report puts it, he is a Swiss army knife talent that could be plug-and-play in various places in the rotation.

Plus, the Knicks may not need to trade too far up, nor give up too much to land Daniels near the back of the top-10.