The New York Knicks have a second-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but not their own.
The New York Knicks found success in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft, picking Mitchell Robinson 36th overall. It was not their own pick, however, as it originated with the Chicago Bulls, went to the Oklahoma City Thunder and followed to the Knicks in the September, 2017 trade for Carmelo Anthony.
A similar situation exists in 2019. New York does not have its own second-round pick. Instead, they have Houston’s, which places No. 55 overall.
So what happened to the pick that is now No. 31?
The Knicks waived Moultrie after the move was made.
Now, as of June 14, the Nets own the Knicks’ pick at 31st overall, the opening pick outside the first round, with the chance to select a player who may have surprisingly slid down draft boards.
A crosstown rival that could impact the Knicks’ free agency can do the same at the draft. While their picks are 28 apart, whoever goes at No. 31 will partake in a potentially improved Nets team with — possibly — Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell patrolling the backcourt. Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris also play key parts on this rising Eastern Conference team.
The Knicks can still acquire another pick in this range if they trade someone like Frank Ntilikina, but it depends on how much value he has after two disappointing seasons.
If Phil Jackson never liberally moved second-round picks, this would be a different story. It only lessened the luxury tax hit at the time, but now comes back to haunt the Knicks five years later.
Of course, whoever this pick becomes can flop as a pro prospect. It happens frequently in the second round. There is also the chance this player succeeds and participates on a playoff team.
In the meantime, the Knicks will pick third overall in the first round, with players like RJ Barrett and Ja Morant in their sights, so Thursday, June 20, will not be dampened too much, unless fans still wish the lottery ping-pong balls landed differently.
There are two picks for the New York Knicks to make. One is likelier to make an impact than the other, but more unexpected circumstances have happened.