Knicks Trade Rumors: Designing ideal Noah Vonleh deal with Sixers

New York Knicks Noah Vonleh (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Noah Vonleh (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Kevin Knox NBA Draft 2018(Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /

2019 first-round pick

It starts with the Sixers’ main piece to move, a 2019 first-round pick. Not a player with team control that slides into the salary cap, but an asset the New York Knicks can use to build their future by choice.

Given Philadelphia’s winning record and placement near the Eastern Conference’s top, this pick should convey after No. 20. Obviously, that’s a mile away from the Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant-esque players, but late-round selections have proven successful in recent drafts:

  • Kyle Kuzma: No. 27 overall, 2017 NBA Draft
  • Caris LeVert: No. 20 overall, 2016 NBA Draft
  • Rodney Hood: No. 24 overall, 2014 NBA Draft
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.: No. 24 overall, 2013 NBA Draft
  • Jimmy Butler: No. 30 overall, 2011 NBA Draft

Outside of Butler, these players are not stars (yet), but impactful, enough to make a difference on their respective teams; Hardaway has led the Knicks in scoring in 2018-19.

A first-round pick gives the Knicks a cheap, controllable player for four years, rather than losing Vonleh for nothing in free agency. Plus, the team must sign him into the salary cap, due to no Bird Rights.

It’s also moving a first-round pick for an expiring salary, although one that’s not worth $2 million and has played well enough to warrant a higher price than multiple second-round picks. This should lead any deal for the Knicks, no matter where they send the Indiana product.