For the first time in years, New York Knicks fans can calmly watch as other teams agonize over their draft position. The 2021 NBA draft is tonight as numerous teams look to get back on track with a solid pick. Fortunately and unfortunately for the Knicks, they have their picks already known. The 19th and 21st pick (DAL) belong to the Knickerbockers in the first round while they hold the 32nd pick (DET) and the 58th in the second round. There’s potential to significantly upgrade this squad if the Knicks make the right moves. Here are three to look out for in the coming weeks.
1. Lay Low and Draft from the Current Position
Obviously, drafting from the current position New York is in is the least risky. The picks aren’t too bad and some solid role players can be picked up. Last year, Leon Rose picked up Immanuel Quickley with the 25th pick and while many were skeptical of his talents at first, he panned out to be one of the steals of the draft. The front office can try once again to pick up some diamonds in the rough with these picks. However, it could turn out to be some pretty lousy business if none of the drafted players shine for the Knicks.
2. Trade up and pick up a big name in the draft
The Knicks have something special as it is. They have a solid group of young guys and limitless potential for the future. However, they’re clearly missing a facilitating point guard. Elfrid Payton has been poor this season and while Quickly has clear potential, he may not be the answer in finding a starter just yet.
Leon Rose may look to trade up in the draft for a guard like Jalen Suggs, Cade Cunningham, or Davion Mitchell. A potential package involving the two FRP, Obi Toppin, and a future swap pick could seal the New York Knicks a top 7 or 8 pick. While Obi Toppin is still young, he hasn’t shown much and the front office could opt for a younger player with a higher ceiling. However, in the end, it will undoubtedly come down to who has the pick that New York wants that will be looking to trade it away. Teams like the Warriors or Pelicans aren’t currently in a rebuilding phase and could deal with the Knicks.
3. Get Rid of the Picks and Hunt a Disgruntled Star
The Knicks are in a prime position to make a move for a big name. As they come off a more-than-successful season, they’ve surely drawn interest from some stars. They could see this draft as an opportunity to trade for a big name like De’Aaron Fox, Karl Anthony-Towns, or, dare I say… Damian Lillard. A package involving the picks, Mitchell Robinson, Obi Toppin, and possibly one of the Knicks’ fallouts this season like Frank Ntilikina or Kevin Knox could likely be enough to create a menacing team to the rest of the NBA.