The 2018 Draft is upon us and the New York Knicks are exploring the possibility of moving up into the top five, thanks to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Recent reports have stated that the Memphis Grizzlies are willing to part with the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft if it facilitates a trade that would rid them of Chandler Parsons.
Parsons was signed to a four-year, $94.8 million contract in 2016. (This was the same summer that the Knicks also gave Joakim Noah his disastrous contract).
According to these reports, Memphis still considers itself a playoff contender and wants to retool rather than rebuild. This can work in the Knicks’ favor, as they may be willing to swallow the remainder of Parson’s contract, if that means they can move up in the draft and possibly have a chance of drafting Mohamed Bamba or Luka Doncic.
Numerous media outlets have speculated over potential trades that can be made and the potential assets that could be moved in order to acquire the fourth overall pick. This includes the Knicks’ picks in this year’s draft (9th and 36th), Tim Hardaway Jr., and Courtney Lee.
The best possible trades would allow the Knicks to retain their first-round pick. This would allow the Knicks to have two lottery picks for the first time ever.
To retain their own first-round pick, the Knicks may have to part ways with Hardaway and maybe some other assets, like Frank Ntilikina.
Ideally, the Knicks would be able to facilitate a trade that would send Lee or Noah to the Grizzlies, or a possible third, team and still manage to hold onto the ninth pick.
With the fourth and ninth pick in this year’s draft, the Knicks could walk away with several different combinations of players who could propel the Knick’s rebuild and make them a desirable destination for 2019 free agents.
Personally, I believe that the best combination of players would be Bamba and Mikal Bridges. Both of these players have the potential to be outstanding two-way contributors.
Bridges brings a championship pedigree, as well as the ability to nail three-pointers and defend almost anyone on the court. He also provides much need versatility that the Knicks need in the wing position.
Bamba has been compared to Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert, but is believed to be further along in his development than Gobert was as a rookie. Bamba has shown the ability to be a quality defender, shot-blocker, and rebounder.
He also has a three-point shot that will allow him to stretch the floor.
Pairing Bamba with the Knicks’ resident unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis, would create a shot-blocking and three-point shooting front court that would terrify the rest of the NBA. Adding Bamba and Bridges to a starting lineup with Porzingis and Ntilikina would bring back the defensive grit of the 90s Knicks.
Regardless of which two players the Knicks would choose if given the opportunity to get the fourth pick and keep the ninth pick, it’s a possibility they should pursue.
Given the vast amount of rumors leading up to the 2018 NBA Draft, one thing is for sure: The New York Knicks are making more of an effort than in years past..