Grade the trade pitch: Knicks mortgage their future for Villanova connection

The New York Knicks could be active on the trade market, but how much are they willing to pay to try to win their first championship since 1973?
New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets
New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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The Grade

The New York Knicks are an undeniable threat to win the Eastern Conference with Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, and Julius Randle on the court at any given time. If OG Anunoby re-signs, and at least one of Isaiah Hartenstein or Mitchell Robinson are still on the roster, it's a championship-caliber roster.

Six first-round draft picks, which includes one swap, equate to risking the future of your franchise for one player—but the Knicks have been preparing for this exact situation.

New York still has two first-round draft picks in 2024. It also has guaranteed first-round selections in 2026 and 2028, as well as protected picks via the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards in 2025—meaning they've really just entered the territory of having a more traditional draft layout.

New York would be without a pick in 2027, but that's two seasons from now—and this move suggests the team is trying to contend immediately.

For as crazy as it seems to part with six first-round draft picks, the Knicks are uniquely supplied to withstand that loss—and thus, this trade is an absolute winner of a deal.

Mikal Bridges to the Knicks. A. . . Mikal Bridges to the Knicks

The improvement of the roster is an A and the loss is actually manageable enough to justify the investment. A gamble worth applauding.