The New York Knicks currently hold the 11th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Their disappointing season landed them in the lottery, but with the team stuck in the middle of contention and rebuilding, adding more youth might not be a bad idea.
While there could be some intriguing prospects available at the 11th pick, the top-end talent this year has caught the eye of New York. According to a recent source, the Knicks might be considering a move toward the top of the draft.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that the Knicks could be eying a top-five pick. Berman reported that the Knicks interviewed Purdue standout Jaden Ivey at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, sparking rumors that they could trade up.
“In the first clue that the Knicks have at least explored moving up in the upcoming NBA draft from No. 11, team brass interviewed Purdue sophomore combo guard Jaden Ivey at the draft combine in Chicago,” Berman reported.
Ivey is a top prospect, projected to go in the top five in this year’s draft. However, the Knicks could have a sneaky advantage if they choose to make the point guard their top choice.
Knicks Hold Potential Advantage in Ivey Sweepstakes
Berman reported that Ivey’s agent could give the Knicks a leg up on the competition due to the connection with team president Leon Rose.
“It’s also noteworthy is that Ivey is a Creative Artists Agency client — guided by Aaron Mintz, a friend of Knicks president Leon Rose, who used to run CAA,” said Berman.
While this may not end up impacting much, Berman also noted that it could help the Knicks gatekeep Ivey. If his agent chooses to skip out on certain workouts, it could give the Knicks a pathway to drafting him.
“The Knicks were allowed to interview 20 prospects at the combine last week. That Ivey is a CAA client could matter if Rose’s former agency holds back on certain team workouts with the goal of funneling Ivey to the Knicks on June 23,” Berman stated.
The Knicks drafted CAA client Obi Toppin in the 2020 NBA Draft at pick eight after most mocks projected him to go in the six through four range. It could have been that the forward simply fell, but it’s possible the Knicks had some inside help.
This isn’t the first time Ivey has been connected to the Knicks, either. Back on May 17, Berman reported that they would likely target him if they lucked out in the lottery.
Knicks Previously Interested in Ivey
Before the NBA Draft Lottery played out, Berman noted the Knicks’ potential interest in Ivey if they did land a top pick.
“The Knicks own a 9.4 percent chance of gaining a top-four pick and snazzy combo guard Jaden Ivey of Purdue would be high on their list if they pick anywhere from second to fourth,” Berman reported.
Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists on 46.0% shooting from the field and 35.8% shooting from three-point range in his final season with the Boilermakers. Josh Cohen of the Orlando Magic and NBA.com listed his ceiling as Ja Morant, Dwyane Wade, or Donovan Mitchell.
There are pathways for the Knicks to move up, too. The Sacramento Kings have expressed interest in trading their pick, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. He said that they could potentially move back in the draft if they also received a quality veteran. New York could offer them the 11th pick and one of Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, Kemba Walker, or Derrick Rose, if those players interest them.
Getting Ivey won’t be easy, but if the Knicks are intrigued enough by him, trading up could be a real possibility this summer.