Draft Preview # 4: Trades!

Written by Ian Ellis (iellis2018@yahoo.com)

In our last draft preview, we look at one of the most talked options with the pick, trading it. Whether it be trading the pick for a superstar or to trade down, a lot of talk has been about trading the pick. So, I decided to create 12 mock trades that the Knicks could do. Here are some notes before you read this:

1) Some of these trade include the Knicks acquiring players owed more money than them the cap allows, so some of them would have to be done once free agency starts, but they can be agreed on draft day.

2) WARNING: Some of these trades are really crazy…

3) …But no, you can’t do Lebron/KD/Anthony Davis for the pick, nice try. Trades have to make sense for all teams involved.

4) Teams trading for the pick are probably targeting Kristaps Porzingis, the big man from Latvia producing tons of draft buzz, or Emmanuel Mudiay, the athletically gifted PG that played in China last year.

5) Knicks have a ton of trade exceptions that expire on draft night. A trade exception is essentially a cap filler in a trade. To keep things simple, I won’t include them in these trades.
Alright, now that we’ve got that down, let’s look at the trades!

Trade #1: NY Deals with MJ

NYK Gets: CHA Gets:
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 4th Pick
9th Pick
39th Pick

Why this Trade goes down:

The Knicks are doing this because MKG is very very good. While people may say that he’s a bust for going 2nd overall, that’s because they are only looking at his two weaknesses: his jump shot (that’s actually improved) and his 1 on 1 game. If you look at any other aspect at the game, he’s very good at it. MKG is athletic, an amazing defender, passable ball handler and playmaker, is a good slasher and good rebounder. Him next to Melo at the 3 or 4 is a great combo. With the 9th pick the Knicks could possibly take Cameron Payne, Frank Kaminsky or Stanley Johnson, or they could trade down this pick again to get a pick more around 14 & 15 to get even another asset. The second round pick is also nice. The Hornets are doing this because their roster is a mess and they need a franchise player, which they could get in Mudiay or Porzingis at 4. Also while giving up MKG stings, he is a restricted free agent next summer and I’m not sure if Charlotte wants to give a ton of money for him as while he’s very good, he’s not a franchise player.


Trade #2: Undoing the Bargtastrophy

NYK Gets: TOR Gets: DEN Gets:
PG Kyle Lowry 4th Pick (NYK) SG/SF Terrence Ross
20th Pick (TOR) PF Kenneth Faried PG Shane Larkin (3 yr, 3.75 mil) (S&T)
2016 First Round Pick (Top 4 protected TOR, Top 2 protected 2020 & 2018 2nd Round pick DEN via GSW) SF Wilson Chandler Option to Switch 2017 1st Round Pick (TOR)
2016 First Round Pick (Removed switch from DEN, TOR via NYK) SG Tim Hardaway Jr.
2017 Second Round Pick (TOR via NYK)


Why this Trade goes down:

Let’s Start with the Knicks. The first player they get in this trade is Kyle Lowry who is an all star PG and a good fit in the triangle by being a good 3 point shooter and a tough defender. Then the Knicks get 3 first round picks. The first one is this year’s 20th, where they can still get a nice role player. Second they get Toronto’s pick next year getting them back in that draft, and finally they get their pick they traded in the Bargs trade back and Denver removes the pick switch that the Knicks did in the Carmelo Anthony trade. They also get their 2017 second rounder back which is why I called this undoing the Bargtastrophy, we get both picks from the Bargs trade back. Toronto needs a roster shakeup after another disappointing 1st round exit, so they replace Lowry with Mudiay who while isn’t better than him right now, Mudiay has tons more of potential. They also get Faried and Chandler from Denver to fill the PF and SF holes they have right now, and THJ who could be a bench bro. Denver does this because they get rid of Faried’s contract and they get some nice assets for Chandler like Terrence Ross, Shane Larkin (who might play well in the high altitude with his speed) an option to switch 2017 first rounders with Toronto.


Trade #3: Knicks take a Gamble on the Lottery

NYK Gets: PHI Gets: DEN Gets:
7th Pick (DEN) PG José Calderón C Joel Embiid
37th Pick (PHI) SF Cleanthony Early 2018 2nd Round Pick (NYK)
2016 1st Round Pick (Top 2 Protected DEN) 4th Pick (NYK)
2016 1st Round Pick (Top Three Protected via PHX via LAL)
2016 1st Round Pick (Top 15 Protected via DEN via CLE via OKC)


Why this Trade goes down:

The Knicks are doing this because they turn the 4th pick, a 2nd rounder and Cleanthony Early into 5 picks while getting rid of José Calderón’s contract. Let’s look more into the picks: first they get Denver’s 7th this year where we can still get a WCS or Hezonja. Next they get the 37th pick where hopefully they can get a nice rotation piece. Next we also get Denver’s 1st round pick next year and L.A’s 1st round pick next year, both of which are projected to be lottery picks. Finally we get OKC’s pick next year which should be in the 20’s. If the lottery is kind, and the Knicks end up with the 5th, 8th and 24th (these are projections) picks next year, this is a great trade. Philly does this because they are intrigued with Kristaps Porzingis and Joel Embiid has injury problems, so that should lead them to talk him, but Philly still needs a guard. So they get the 4th pick, where they can get Russell and Porzingis with that and the 3rd pick. They also get Calderón but they get Early too so this is one of those Hinkie trades where they take on a bad contract for a nice young piece. Denver does this because they need a star, and Embiid has real star potential. While giving up two picks may seem like a lot for a player who’s never played in an NBA game, remember it took two first rounders for Cleveland to get Timofey Mozgov, so giving up two firsts is a reasonable price.


Trade #4: Phoenix gets more Point Guards

NYK Gets: PHX Gets:
PG Eric Bledsoe 4th Pick
13th Pick


Why this Trade goes down:

Knicks do this because they get a young, still improving, athletic point guard in Bledsoe, and he’s signed for the next three years. In addition they get the 13th pick, which is in the range for players like Cameron Payne, Frank Kaminsky or Trey Lyles. If the Knicks do this and draft Cameron Payne, a dual PG lineup of Bledsoe and Payne looks very nice. Phoenix does this because while Bledsoe is a very good player (fringe all star), he’s not a franchise player, and you can still probably find one at the 4th pick. Note: keep an eye on this trade as Chad Ford mentioned the possibility of this sort of trade actually happening.

Use the Link below to listen to him.


Trade #5: Phil Gets his Bigman

NYK Gets: OKC Gets:
PF Serge Ibaka 4th Pick
SF Steve Novak Tim Hardaway Jr.
14th Pick 2018 2nd Round Pick
47th Pick


Why this Trade goes down:

Knicks do this because they get Ibaka, an elite shot blocking big, a good shooter and great rebounder. He is perfect for the triangle, and to angle this to free agency, he’s a perfect fit next to Greg Monroe. Also, he’s on a very cap friendly deal at around 12 million per year the next two years. The Knicks also get the 14th pick where they could pick up a Trey Lyles or Cameron Payne, and a mid second rounder. Also, they take on Steve Novak’s 3.2 million, which isn’t great, but we all know that Novak is a lights out shooter and could be a nice bench weapon, and remember his contract expires after this year. OKC does this so they can save some cap when it comes time to resign Enes Kanter and eventually Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook, it clears the crowded big man rotation of Ibaka, Adams, Kanter, Collison and Mcgary, oh and they get the 4th pick too. Also THJ can be a bench bro for them, getting that 2nd rounder is cool and getting Novak off the the books is nice.


Trade #6: A Big goes to Beantown

NYK Gets: BOS Gets:
SG Avery Bradley 4th Pick
PF Jared Sullinger PG José Calderón
SF James Young Rights To Thanasis Antetokounmpo
16th Pick
28th Pick


Why this Trade goes down:

This is probably the hardest trade to justify for the Knicks because they aren’t getting a young all star or a lottery projected pick next year or even getting a lottery pick this year. The reason I like this trade is because on of the important things in the NBA is not just having the stars (while that is very important), but also having cheap young depth. Just look at the Clippers, they have 3 of the best players in the league (Paul, Griffin, Jordan) but outside of JJ Redick, they have almost no depth which is why they haven’t been able to succeed in the playoffs. Now that my point has been made, let’s look at the trading parts; first the Knicks get Bradley, a top notch NBA defender and good 3 point shooter, and Sullinger, a good rebounding and post big man that also spaces the floor. Both of them are solid NBA players that come at a cheap/reasonable price (Bradley at around 8.3 mill and Sullinger still on his rookie deal). Next there is James Young, who while had a putrid rookie season, still is young enough with his outside stroke and athleticism that there is belief he could become a solid 3 & D wing. Then the Knicks get two first round picks where they can get 2 cheap role players. If the Knicks do this, they also don’t have to worry about overpaying role players in free agency, they can just focus on overpaying stars. Enough of the Knicks, let’s go to Boston (eww). Boston does this because they are in a weird situation because while they made the playoffs this year getting them the 16th pick, they still probably need one more lottery pick in their rebuild. So they get a high pick at 4 where they can either get WCS to anchor their defense or Porzingis for star potential (I doubt they take Mudiay when they have Smart). They also essentially get a second round pick with Thanasis and take on Calderón to make the salaries match.


Trade #7: Knicks still get Mudiay

NYK Gets: SAC Gets:
SG Ben Mclemore 4th Pick
6th Pick Rights to Louis Labeyrie
2017 1st Round Pick (top 3 protected, 2018 unprotected)


Why this Trade goes down:

People love just to throw out ‘6th and Mclemore for 4th’ but that deal is bad. This is because the Knicks are trading down two picks to get a mid lottery pick from probably the worst draft in a while? Nah, I want more so I want another first rounder. The Knicks now do this to get a young starting SG, a 1st rounder in 2017 and the 6th pick, where two of the four guys they like (Mudiay, Winslow, Porzingis, WCS) will still be on the board. Sacramento does this to move up so they can get Mudiay or Porzingis. Note: notice how the title is ‘Knicks still get Mudiay’, because they actually realistically can. Sacramento might have Porzingis high on their board (who would be a fantastic fit next to Cousins), so they might do this trade to get him. Then at 5 Orlando probably takes a wing like Winslow or Hezonja leaving Mudiay at 6 for the taking. The Knicks should look out for Sacramento’s interest in Porzingis because if the Knicks can trade down, get two assets and still get Mudiay, this is a home run for the Knicks.


Trade #8: BOOGIE!

NYK Gets: SAC Gets: CHI Gets:
C Demarcus Cousins PG Derrick Rose 4th Pick
PF Taj Gibson PG Darren Collison
SF Cleanthony Early SG Nik Stauskas


Why this Trade goes down:

I know, I probably just blew some people’s minds. The Knicks do this because they turn the 4th pick who is young and that has potential to be very good and Cleanthony Early into Boogie, the best center in the NBA annnnnd he’s only 25. Sacramento does this because they turn their superstar into an all star and a solid starter. Combine that with who they pick at 6 (let’s say WCS), a starting lineup of Rose – Mclemore – Gay – Gibson – WCS isn’t bad, that should be good enough to to contend for an 8th seed. Chicago does this to even out their roster in cut their payroll. First of all, they have 4 good NBA starting big men, and the guard rotation isn’t amazing. So Chicago boosters their backcourt with Collision, Stauskas and probably Mudiay. Also it adds cap space. This trade takes out Rose’s 20m million and Gibson’s 8 million off the cap. Combine this with Noah’s expiring next offseason and the rising cap, Chicago will then have enough cap room to get some non-injury prone superstars to pair with Jimmy Butler (assuming he stays) and the young core they help create with the trade.


Trade #9: The Classic

NYK Gets: LAL Gets:
PF Julius Randle SF/PF Carmelo Anthony
2nd Pick


Why this Trade goes down:

I had to add this trade pretty much as a courtesy. The Lakers would do this because they are in a win now mode so they don’t have time with young talent, so they get a NBA superstar. The Knicks do this because the figure that they aren’t going to win with Melo so they get the 2nd pick and Randle as building blocks for the future along with the 4th. The Lakers shouldn’t and won’t do this trade, this is a ridiculous asking price just for Melo who is already 30 and coming off knee surgery. This is the classic because I’ve been hearing people say this trade since midway this past season. If Phil can pull this off, we should all go and praise him eternally.

Trade #10: Wait, we can have more than 1 prospect????

NYK Gets: SAC Gets: DEN Gets:
6th Pick PG Ty Lawson 4th Pick
7th Pick PF Kenneth Faried SF Cleanthony Early
PG Darren Collison SG Tim Hardaway Jr.
PF Carl Landry


Why this Trade goes down:

I absolutely love love LOVE this trade for the Knicks. Unless Phil is putting up the greatest smokescreen of all time, they seem to like Winslow, Porzingis, WCS and Mudiay. The fact that they don’t know and the draft is Thursday, that scares me. So, let’s get two of the guys that they like. Yes pleeeeeeeaaasssseee. Also, Collison is pretty good as a starting or backup PG. Sacramento does this because George Karl, coach of the Kings and former coach of the Nuggets, did very well with Faried and Lawson in Denver. It also seems that these two players fit right into Sacramento’s weakest positions, PG and PF. A line up of Lawson – Mclemore – Gay – Faried – Cousins is pretty good. Denver does this as a reset button; they move up in the draft, shed unnecessary contracts and gain young assets.


Trade #11: Knicks mess with the Cavs again

NYK Gets: CLE Gets:
C Brendan Haywood PG José Calderón
24th Pick Rights to Thanasis Antetokounmpo


Why this Trade goes down:

Whoa, a trade without the 4th pick, cool! The Knicks are doing this to get another pick and as a salary dump. They can do this because Brendan Haywood has a 10 million dollar deal, but it is not guaranteed so they can waive him for nothing immediately after they get him. Cleveland is doing this to get a veteran PG who while he had a bad season this year, could play very well in a shrinked role as a backup PG. They also get the rights to Thanasis Antetokounmpo who could become a nice backup for LeBron. Also, while this may seem like it’s a lot for just Calderón remember: first, you can’t get a lot for close to 10 mil and 24th pick, so getting Calderón isn’t that bad, and the is a LeBron team, he wants veterans.


Trade #12: The Return of Steve Novak

NYK Gets: OKC Gets:
SF Steve Novak SG Tim Hardaway Jr.
SG Jeremy Lamb
47th Pick


Why this Trade goes down:

This one’s easy. The Knicks do this to add depth because they have none. OKC does this as a salary dump. That’s all.



Afters seeing these trades, here are some takeaways:

– I want a lot for this pick; I want more picks, I want young all stars, I want super stars and I want to get rid of Jose Calderon in these trades. I’m not just trading Knicks first top 5 pick since Kenny ‘Sky’ Walker for a mediocre package, I want a trade package that we can come away saying that the Knicks won the trade or at least got significantly better from the trade

– Trading the pick is complicated, you can’t just call up another team for pick/player x,y and z and just do a trade. Managing picks, contracts, teams incorporated and convincing teams into doing trades is not so easy.

– If the Knicks want to just get a mid to late second rounder, they can just buy it. But if they want a late first or early second, they have to trade. While the Knicks aren’t asset plenty, remember they still have enough to swing a trade like that.

– More of a note, but don’t forget that there are always draft day slips for some players. There is still a good chance that Jahlil Okafor or D’angelo Russell falls to 4th, so the Knicks probably aren’t going to consider actual trades until after the first three picks are made.

– Even while some of these trades might look appealing, my view is to just keep the pick. Just take Mudiay at 4, develop a young above average PG for once on a rookie contract and leave it at that. If Russell or Okafor falls to us, the Knicks should literally run a way with glee and every one in Knicks Management should sacrifice a goat to the basketball gods for for their extreme kindness. While of course the Knicks should at least field the offers, just keep the pick, please Phil.


Alright, that’s it with the draft previews! Make sure to watch the draft Thursday on ESPN at 7:00 EST to see who the Knicks draft and how the draft shakes out. If you’ve missed part 1, the four parts of part 2 and/or part 3, you should go see that. Let’s just hope the basketball gods are nice to us June 25th.


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