Here are three possible trades the New York Knicks could make when the 2021 NBA Draft starts this Thursday.
The New York Knicks are dripping in trade rumors as the 2021 NBA Draft approaches. They own four picks in this draft, including two first-rounders (19 and 21). With the Knicks looking to contend in the playoffs, it’s unlikely that they have playing time for four new rookies.
Could they look to consolidate those picks by trading up into the lottery? Would Tom Thibodeau rather deal the picks for a proven veteran who can join the rotation?
Let’s take a look at three potential draft-day trades for the Knicks.
Knicks Receive: Eric Bledsoe, 2022 First-Rounder
Grizzlies Receive: Kevin Knox, 2022 Second-Rounder
The Grizzlies just added Eric Bledsoe to the roster, but reports indicate that they are looking to move off of that money as well. Memphis has three-first round picks in 2022 — their own plus one each from the Lakers and Jazz.
This trade depends on what the Knicks plan to do in free agency in the coming years. If they don’t plan on making a big splash this summer, taking on Bledsoe’s contract in exchange for a first-round pick isn’t a bad idea.
Bledsoe is due $18.1 million in 2021-22 and has another $19.4 million coming to him in 2022-23. However, that last year on the deal is only guaranteed for $3.9 million, giving the Knicks an out on that contract.
This trade has been updated in the wake of Memphis and New Orleans’ blockbuster deal involving Eric Bledsoe.
Knicks Send: Pick Nos. 19 + 21
Knicks Receive: Lottery Pick
For my money, this is the most likely draft-day trade on this list. There has been a ton of chatter about the Knicks packaging picks in an attempt to move into the lottery. This draft class is as deep as any in recent years and the Knicks could snag an immediate contributor in the lottery.
It’s unclear what teams might be open to trading down to add picks, but it would likely be in the 8-14 range for this package. However, let’s not forget that the Knicks have the No. 32 pick to sweeten any potential deal.
Knicks Receive: Cam Reddish
Hawks Receive: Pick No. 19
According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Hawks could look to trade away Cam Reddish, largely due to a salary-cap crunch. Atlanta is stocked on the wing and Reddish has a ton of value after his strong performance in the playoffs.
The Knicks have an abundance of cap space and an opening on the wing. Although Reddish is coming off of an Achilles injury, he flashed high-level shotmaking and defense in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s also worth mentioning that Reddish was teammates with RJ Barrett at Duke.