The New York Knicks are really serious about their rebuilding process as they first solved the coaching vacancy with the hiring of Jeff Hornacek, now they are looking to bolster their roster as they seek versatile wingmen in the small forward position who could be Carmelo Anthony’s wingman for next season.
Since the Knicks does not have any rights going into the draft night, they might as well pull some strings to get out of something from the June 23 draft which will be held in Brooklyn or else their season will be in jeopardy once again. According to Fansided, the Knicks are expressing their interest in trading into the second round of the draft, though nothing concrete has been laid out, but the Knicks could gamble their future picks to gain interest among other teams.
The Knicks are known in making trades during draft night, it was the same situation back in 2014 wherein Phil Jackson managed to acquire two second-round draft picks in Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo. In 2015, Jackson landed Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4 and traded to acquire both Jerian Grant and Willy Hernangomez on draft night. Thus, the Knicks are no strangers to such situations, it will all depend on how Jackson and the rest of the Knicks‘ organization will be “very active” during the draft.
Realistically, Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram will be a far pitch for the Knicks, they are now looking other talented candidates in this year’s NBA Draft class who could suit the run-and-gun style of Hornacek and can very well go with the flow of a pick-and-roll play.
Among the names that have come up in the Knicks’ possible list include Providence’s Ben Bentil, Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije and Malachi Richardson, Seton Hall point guard Isaiah Whitehead, Villanova small forward Josh Hart, Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, and Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith. The Knicks also talked with Kansas duo Cheick Diallo and Wayne Selden.
The Knicks might try to solidify their point guard position then beef up their wingmen and lastly a strong rim protector, who could also be a solid blocker and rebounder. Aside from the coming draft, the Knicks could also explore the free agent market with Rajon Rondo, Mike Conley and Seth Curry waiting for July 1 negotiations.
One thing is for sure, though, the Knicks will be in for a major transformation as Hornacek plans to junk the triangle offense and move to a more conventional play working with pick-and-roll and go-to play. Thus, it is important to have solid wingmen and reliable playmakers on the floor to make things work for them. Even Carmelo Anthony is upbeat on what to expect from a Hornacek-mentored Knicks.
“One thing I do know is he wants to play as a fast-paced team, up-tempo,” Anthony said in a Q&A with the NBPA. “You just look at the teams that he’s coached in Phoenix, and how quickly they wanted to get up the court and play. We still have time to figure everything out as far as sitting down and seeing what he wants and seeing what we want as a team. And we’ll figure that part out.”
It will be a very exciting offseason for the Knicks as they immerse themselves with a new system with the hoped that it could elevate their poor performance this season to becoming top contenders next season.
Photo Courtesy: Brad Barlow/Wikimedia