New York Knicks: Ranking the trade assets, post-Kristaps Porzingis

New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Duke Zion Williamson (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

1. 2019 first-round pick

It boils down to the New York Knicks’ own first-round pick for 2019. As valuable as any asset they own, it could become the No. 1 overall pick if luck trends their way in May, when the NBA conducts its annual draft lottery.

At 10-43, the Knicks own the League’s worst record. This puts them in a three-way tie for the top odds. The NBA smoothened the odds for the draft, starting with 2019. However, if the Knicks remain at the bottom of the standings, they can’t pick lower than fifth.

If this selection lands at No. 1, its value soars. That means a direct path towards Zion Williamson, the popular choice to become the first player drafted.

Williamson already teased his Knicks future, and if the team has the chance to draft him, it’s impossible to pass up.

It’s just as enticing to New York as other teams, though, including ones that potentially offer a superstar for the Duke talent’s rights. Whether it’s the Pelicans’ Davis or another big name that hits the trade market, someone might deem it enough to acquire the tantalizing Williamson.

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If the Knicks know a marquee free agent will join them this summer, would they even entertain moving the No. 1 pick? Risk to bust or not, Williamson will become one of the NBA’s most unique talents upon arrival. To send him away without a chance could develop into a catasrophe in short order.