Something very important is happening today.
The... the what? The Finals? Who cares about the Finals?! The Knicks might be trying to get MOAR DRAFT PICKS!!!
Yes, indeed, per Sporting News’ Sean Deveney and ESPN New York’s own Ian Begley, the Knicks have apparently engaged the Portland Trail Blazers to try to acquire one of their three first rounders (they own the Nos. 15, 20 and 26 picks this year for those of you keeping score at home).
According to multiple league sources, the Trail Blazers have been open to deals for some combination of the picks. Portland has contract commitments to 12 players next season already, and a projected salary of $133 million, which is $12 million over the league’s luxury-tax threshold. That puts the Blazers in line for $21 million in luxury tax payments.
Portland owns the No. 15, 20 and 26 picks in this draft, and several teams are eager to get into that mix. The Knicks have inquired about some combination of the Blazers’ picks, a source said, and those talks are ongoing. New York has the eighth pick and could trade down for a combination of picks, though the preference for the Knicks is to keep their pick and add one of Portland’s.
OK, this is getting exciting. Begley dove in a little deeper on the Knicks side of things:
Talks between New York and Portland are believed to be in the early stages, but at least one scenario discussed involved an additional player from Portland being sent in a trade, according to sources. Portland's Moe Harkless is one player who was discussed in a possible trade scenario, sources told ESPN.
It is unclear which players outside of Harkless have been discussed. It's worth noting that the Blazers have nearly $133 million in guaranteed contracts on their books for the 2017-18 season, so they may be looking to shed salary in any transaction involving their first-round pick.
Be still, my beating heart.
This all makes almost too much sense to be a possibility for the typically nonsensical Knicks. The Knicks could have $20 or so million in cap space this offseason, but given the results of the team the past few seasons and Phil Jackson’s now-public desire to rebuild, it would make sense to use that money to absorb some other team’s unwanted contracts rather than spend it on free agents.
Portland certainly has an interesting situation, with not a single contract coming off of their books going into next season, which could result in a steep luxury tax penalty.
The Knicks, in addition to Harkless, could potentially take a stab at acquiring Allen Crabbe (whose trade kicker makes his cap hit about $22 million to any receiving team) or Evan Turner (whom Phil Jackson was enamored with last summer), both of whom make a lot of money.
Time will tell if this goes through, but here’s hoping it does! More young Knickersnappers next year would certainly be a welcome thing.