Knicks

Knicks flush with 2022 NBA draft options for roster upgrade

Swap. Trade down. Use the pick for an established player. Hold fast.

The Knicks and chairman Leon Rose have plenty of options for Thursday night’s 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. There are a variety of directions they can go, a myriad of options to take to upgrade a roster that badly needs a jolt after a dismal 37-win season.

Most popular would be finding a way to break into the top five to land Jaden Ivey, Purdue’s mega-talented goaltender who could fill the franchise’s eternal void at point guard.

The Kings have been in talks for weeks over the No. 4 pick, Ivey would have preferred to play somewhere other than Sacramento, and the Kings are loaded at point guard with De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell. On Monday, Ivey seemed downright eager to find his way to the Knicks, saying he would be “honoured” to play there and brought them up uninvited when asked about potential adjustments to his skills. .

6-foot-4 Ivey has drawn comparisons to Russell Westbrook, Ja Morant and Donovan Mitchell due to his electric first step and elite athleticism and could create a dynamic tandem with building block RJ Barrett.

Knicks
Jaden Ivey
USA TODAY Sports

“I don’t know exactly what the package is, what it would take. I guess that would be important,” ESPN draft insider Jonathan Givony said on a Zoom call Wednesday. “Jaden Ivey has as much star power as any player in this draft. The Knicks need a star, especially in the backcourt.

Going to four, or even five by trading with the Pistons, would clearly take a lot, probably several future picks and one of the Knicks’ young players among Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes. They’ve had talks with those teams, according to multiple reports, but the most likely scenario is for the Knicks to stay at No. 11. There, chances are they have a number of intriguing players to choose from Westchester one-and-done Duke guard AJ Griffin, centers Jalen Duren and Mark Williams, and wings Johnny Davis, Ochai Agbaji and Malaki Branham.

The Knicks worked on Griffin, Williams, Agbaji and Branham and met Wisconsin Big Ten player of the year Davis in the draft last month. They’ve done a lot of groundwork on Griffin, sources said, and his father, Raptors assistant coach Adrian, once worked with Tom Thibodeau with the Bulls.

They could choose to surround Barrett with a shooter like Griffin or Agbaji, or maybe the Knicks would show their game by drafting one of the big men, a sign that future free agent Mitchell Robinson won’t be coming back. Then there’s the possibility of moving the pick to an established player like the Pacers’ on-block guard Malcolm Brogdon, though ESPN reported the Knicks balked at that possible move.

Trading down is not out of the question either. The Knicks have been working on a number of players who are expected to grow from their teens into their early 20s, prospects such as Kentucky point guard Tyty Washington, G-League Ignite winger MarJon Beauchamp and LSU Tari Eason.

Knicks
Tyty Washington
PA

The 6-foot-3 Washington said Wednesday he hasn’t had contact with the Knicks since they took him out to dinner and hosted him for a practice session. That said, the Knicks have become known as the “Kentucky Knicks” and “Orange and Bluegrass”, employ William Wesley, a longtime confidant of John Calipari, and need a senior guard.

“He’s a prototypical NBA point guard,” Kentucky assistant Oliver Antigua told The Post. “He’s tall, arm’s length, very creative with the ball. He’s more athletic than people think. He’s a guy who’s a three-tier scorer.

Heading into the draft, the Knicks could take a number of different paths. They’ve been linked to a slew of prospects and been involved in trade talks with a number of teams.

Thursday night, Leon Rose has a chance to bolster his roster. It remains to be seen how he does it.

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