Entering the 2018-19 NBA season without a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster, the New York Knicks suffered another huge disappointment and failed to enter the Eastern Conference Playoffs for the sixth straight year. Luckily, the Knicks will be receiving some benefits for their recent struggles. After finishing the season with the worst record in the league, the Knicks will have a strong chance of landing a top-3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Acquiring a top selection will enable the Knicks to add the likes of Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and RJ Barrett to their already talented young core. However, it seems like the Knicks have other plans regarding the pick. In an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, Knicks General Manager Scott Perry opened up the possibility that they will accept trade calls if they acquire a top-3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
“Once the draft process plays out, your phone rings a lot of times,” Perry said. “I can’t sit here and tell you exactly what would happen in that scenario.”
It will definitely not be a surprise if the Knicks really decide to trade a top-3 pick. The Knicks may be unable to end their playoff drought this season, but they will have the opportunity to turn things around in the 2019 NBA offseason. Having enough salary cap space and a plethora of trade assets, the Knicks have plenty of ways to improve their roster next summer. As Perry said, they don’t just intend to build a roster that could help them return to the Eastern Conference Playoffs, but a roster that can legitimately contend for the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“Our vision is eventually is to become a championship-caliber team,” Perry said. “All our planning has that in mind. We’re not going to look at this summer as the end-all or be-all, per say. We’re excited to be in the game. We’re not going to go off the rails if we don’t get what you’re talking about. We’ll be very comfortable with the draft and what we can add via trade to be a better basketball team.”
In the past months, the Knicks have been linked to several incoming free agent superstars like Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors. If they get an assurance that Irving, Durant, or other superstars will sign with them in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Knicks could use the top-selection as the main trade chip to acquire a superstar on the trade market where they could target Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Knicks tried to acquire Anthony Davis before the February NBA trade deadline, but the Pelicans refused to make a deal. The Pelicans may not be interested in a trade package centered on Kristaps Porzingis, but the deal that will send them the No. 1 overall pick may convince them to finally send Davis to New York in the summer of 2019.