Shop up. Shop below. Use the selection of an established player. Stand still.
Knicks and President Leon Rose have a chance to be the NBA draftsman at the Barclays Center by 2022 on Thursday night. They have many different directions, countless opportunities to update the list, which needs the push of a season of 37 victories.
The most popular would be to find a way to get into the top five to land Jaden Ivey, Purdue’s mega-guard, who could fill the franchise forever in a gap guard.
Kings have been debating Option 4 for weeks, with Ivey preferring to play somewhere other than Sacramento, and Kings has defenders with De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell. On Monday, Ivey seemed outright longing to find a way for the Knicks, saying he would have the “honor” of playing there, and picked them up when asked what his skills were.
The 6-foot-long Ivey has made comparisons with Russell Westbrook, Ja Moranti and Donovan Mitchell for his electric first step and elite athleticism, and may create a dynamic tandem building block with RJ Barrett.
“I don’t know exactly what package it would need. I expect that to be remarkable, “said Jonathan Givony, an insider at Draft on ESPN, in a Zoom speech on Wednesday.” Jaden Ivey has as much power as any player in this draft. The Knicks need a star, especially in the backyard.
Moving to four or even five while trading in the Pistons clearly requires a lot, probably several future choices, and one of Knicks’ young players, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes. According to several reports, they have negotiated with these teams, but the more likely scenario is that the Knicks will remain in 11th place. They are likely to have several intriguing players to choose from in Westchester. made by Duke guard AJ Griffin, centers Jalen Duren and Mark Williams, and edges Johnny Davis, Ochai Agbaji and Malaki Branham.
The Knicks trained Griffin, Williams, Agbaji and Branham and met Davis, the top ten player of the year in the Wisconsin last month. According to sources, they have done a lot of background work on Griffin, and his father, Adrian, an assistant coach at Raptors, previously worked for the Bulls team with Tom Thibodeau.
They could choose to surround Barrett with a shooter, such as Griffin or Agbaji, or perhaps the Knicks show their hand in one of the great men’s drafts, a sign that the future free agent, Mitchell Robinson, will not return. There is then an option to choose an established player, such as Pacers block defender Malcolm Brogdon, although ESPN has announced that the Knicks have ruled out a possible move.
Trafficking is not ruled out either. The Knicks have developed a number of players who are expected to grow up as teenagers in their early 20s, including Kentucky defender Tyty Washington, G-League Ignite wing MarJon Beauchamp and LSU wing Tari Eason.
Washington, 6 feet long, said on Wednesday that he had no contact with the Knicks since they took him to dinner and hosted the workout. Nevertheless, the Knicks have become known as the “Kentucky Knicks” and “Orange and Bluegrass,” where William Cales, a longtime trustee of John Calipari, works and they need a chief defender.
“He’s a prototype NBA scorer,” Kentucky assistant Oliver Antigua told The Post. “He has a great size, an arm length and he’s very creative with the ball. He’s sportier when people recognize him. He’s a man who scores three goals.”
As the draft approaches, the Knicks can proceed in a number of ways. They have been associated with many prospects and have been involved in trade negotiations with several teams.
On Thursday night, Leon Rose has the opportunity to add to his list. How he does it remains to be seen.
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