3 reasons the Knicks shouldn’t trade down from No. 3 in 2019 NBA Draft
The New York Knicks are facing a huge offseason. They have enough cap space to sign two top-tier free agents and own the third overall pick in the draft. The franchise has long been a laughingstock of the league, but if they get things right, they will turn their fortunes around in a heartbeat.
But for Knicks fans, don’t celebrate just yet. This organization has a long history of making the wrong decisions, and this summer might not be an exception. This past week, there was a rumor saying the Knicks have explored the possibility of trading down in the draft, with the Atlanta Hawks’ No. 8 and No. 10 picks as the primary target.
Sure, you probably heard the follow-up report that this is not under serious consideration and that they’re just doing those “explorations” for due diligence purposes. But the idea of the Knicks even thinking about this is scary.
So here are three reasons why they SHOULD NOT trade down in the draft.
1. The 2019 NBA Draft is top-heavy
It is understandable that the Knicks are frustrated because they won’t be able to select Zion Williamson or likely even get Ja Morant in the draft. But with the third overall pick, they can still go after RJ Barrett. During the NCAA season, he averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. While his 3-point shot is still a work in progress, there is no denying the fact that he’s one of the players in this year’s draft who can make an immediate impact in the NBA.
Once Williamson, Morant, and Barrett are off the table, then the talent level in the draft goes down. Yes, there are still guys like Darius Garland, Jarrett Culver, and Cam Reddish, but they are not as talented as the three aforementioned players.
2. It makes no sense
The Knicks have an opportunity to select a guy like Barrett, someone who is expected to be an All-Star within the next five years, and they are considering throwing that away? That makes no sense at all.
Again, no one is taking away anything from the rest of the players in the draft, but Barrett is a cut above most of these other guys. Some would even say he’s better than Morant, so it should already be a no-brainer for them to select him third overall.
There’s that old saying that whenever a team is bound to select in the draft, they should go after the best available talent, not what their team actually needs. That was the mistake made by the Portland Trail Blazers twice when they passed on guys like Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant. So it would be wise for the Knicks to have this same approach this June.
3. Insurance policy
The Knicks are in a very good position right now. Drafting Barrett third overall gives them an assurance about their future in case they miss out on their free-agent targets. He has a ton of potential, and if he turns out to be as good as what people project him to be, then the future of the franchise is secured.
Moreover, the Knicks can actually use it as a trade chip to acquire another superstar. They will reportedly go after New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis this summer, so it would be wise for them to keep the pick unless the Pelicans ask for them to trade down.
Either way, it’s still a win-win situation for the team.
Of course, the main priority of the franchise is to nab two superstars in free agency, but their future could also depend on the draft. As mentioned, it is still possible for them to strike out, regardless of all the rumors out there, so keeping the third overall pick and selecting RJ Barrett this June still makes a lot more sense than trading it for the Hawks’ two first-round picks.
Don’t screw this up, Knicks!