ousmane dieng knicks
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors and reports of the New York Knicks trading up are no more. In fact, Knicks president Leon Rose is actually punting on the 11th pick. For procedural purposes, the Knicks took Ousmane Dieng, a Frenchman playing for the New Zealand Breakers. But he won’t be putting on the orange and blue at Madison Square Garden anytime soon.

New York made multiple efforts to jump up and grab Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, but the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. After failing to jump up, the front office is maintaining flexibility by trading out. The Knicks and Thunder break the ice by making the first trade of the night.

The good news for Knicks fans? This 11th pick is turning into three conditional picks from Oklahoma City. They have plenty to spare over the next few years.


The bad news? It sounds as if one of those picks is being used to facilitate the Kemba Walker salary dump.

That means the Knicks are flipping this year’s 11th pick for two conditional first-rounders. Depending on the protections, that’s not a terrible deal in a vacuum. But it’s still hard to look at this deal in a vacuum.

Instead of taking a young player who could develop into a homegrown talent, the Knicks are going all-in on free agency. Perhaps this move pays off dividends in the long-term, but for now, Knicks fans have to feel deflated.

Instead of diving into YouTube highlights and scouting reports, fans will have to wait a week to see if this move pays off with a big fish in free agency. Whether it’s Scott Layden, Isiah Thomas, Donnie Walsh, Glen Grunwald, Steve Mills, Phil Jackson, or Leon Rose — the song remains the same.

Time will tell if Leon Rose’s draft maneuvering pays off, but it’s hard to be optimistic.

Knicks, Nets, NY/NJ college hoops, and sports betting reporter. Mostly basketball, but a little bit of everything when it comes to NY sports. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.