With the 2019 NBA Draft just around the corner, the New York Knicks find themselves facing a number of intriguing potential routes to go. One of them is to simply hold the No. 3 pick and add a high-profile player to pair with (hopefully) two top-tier NBA free agents. The other, which just recently came to light as an apparent option, is to trade the pick and move back in the first round.
The possible trade outcome was first reported in a story by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz. According to the chatter, the Knicks could consider a deal which includes sending the No. 3 selection to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange picks No. 8 and 10.
New York has explored the possibility of trading back in the lottery, sources told ESPN, perhaps to acquire pieces that better complement potential high-volume All-Star free agents (such as Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving). Trading the No. 3 pick for the Atlanta Hawks’ two first-rounders (Nos. 8 and 10) is under consideration by the Knicks, one source said.
It goes on to point out that both sides would want to know who’s available at No. 8, so the trade likely wouldn’t come until after the draft. Regardless, we’re going to roll with the trade as one possible scenario and offer up two different potential results while involving some free agency talk in the process.
Knicks NBA Mock Draft Scenario No. 1: RJ Barrett & Kyrie Irving
The first aspect of this deal is obviously a very realistic outcome, as Barrett is expected to be on the board at No. 3. If the Knicks want to hold the pick, there’s a high likelihood they roll with the former Duke Blue Devils star. As seen above, the focus for the Knicks could be on finding ideal fits with the likes of Irving and possibly Kevin Durant in free agency.
Barrett would be a fine fit with Irving on the surface, but how it would work with Durant is a big question. So in this spot, we’ll take a bit of a shot in the dark and say the Knicks do land Irving, but Durant opts to head elsewhere or even remain with the Warriors, as a pure hypothetical.
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Should that play out, the Knicks could still pursue another top free agent and find one who could fit incredibly well with both Irving and Barrett. They could also consider looking into a trade and potentially attempt to find a way to acquire someone like Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal.
Knicks Mock Draft Scenario No. 2: Trade Back, Land Rui Hachimura
I’d be very interested to see how Irving and Durant would mesh with Rui Hachimura, but I can see it working. So in this scenario, I’m going to give the Knicks some extra love and assume they add both of the top-tier free agents while then opting to trade back from No. 3. In the deal, it would result in them holding the No. 8 and 10 picks, as stated above.
With No. 8 and 10, we’ll go with Hachimura out of Gonzaga first, and then add some outside shooting and another scorer in Virginia Tech guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker. I like the idea of either having Alexander-Walker coming off the bench as a top scoring option or even providing the ability to help ease pressure offensively on Irving and Durant in the starting five.