New York Knicks: Top five trade assets before 2019 NBA Draft

New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Duke Zion Williamson (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

2. 2019 first-round pick

The 2019 first-round pick is the New York Knicks’ ultimate wild card. It can become the first overall selection in June or as low as fifth. That might not seem like a wide spread, but when, head and shoulders, Zion Williamson headlines a class, it creates a difference.

Williamson has the tantalizing upside to transform a team and become the player to fill an arena, whether at home or the road. Ditching that scenario seems mind-boggling, but if the Knicks have a chance at Anthony Davis, it’s realistic. So is falling one to four spots.

With each pick down the order, the Knicks lose value. While Ja Morant, RJ Barrett, De’Andre Hunter and Jarrett Culver are talented players and worth top-five picks, none hold the pre-draft value Williamson has, and anywhere from No. 2 to 5 potentially breaks a Davis deal with New Orleans.

That does not mean a lower pick in the top five has no value. The Knicks can still move it for something of significance, and Scott Perry told the New York Post that he will take calls on a top pick.

Of course, the Knicks can just keep this pick and upgrade their roster with Williamson, Morant, Barrett or Cam Reddish on draft day.

The Knicks owning a pick higher than usual creates a unique scenario. They have kept their first-round selection in three of the past four drafts, but will they break from this recent trend?