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The Knicks are trading the 27th and 38th picks for the 23rd pick in the 2020 NBA draft

Moving on up!

2019 NBA Draft
Woj waving goodbye as he gets ready for a night of nonstop work.
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Knicks will have the 8th and 23rd choices in this evening’s draft, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that Leon Rose has agreed to trade the 27th and 38th picks to Utah in exchange to acquire the 23rd selection.

And with that, the Knicks have officially joined the movers and shakers of this strange little offseason period. According to Woj, as part of the deal, the Knicks will also receive the draft rights to 2008 second-round pick Ante Tomic, a 33-year-old who “isn’t expected to join the NBA.” Huh.

The 27th pick the Knicks are trading in this deal is the one the team acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Marcus Morris trade. Thus, Morris ultimately helped the Knicks gain an early 20s first round pick. Not too shabby.

The Knicks didn’t want to pony up a massive package of assets to pick up Chris Paul, nor have they appeared to show much interest in trading anything worthwhile for Russell Westbrook. This trade further fortifies the idea that Rose understands building through the draft is the team’s best bet. Once there’s a solid foundation, that’s when you try to strike a trade for some disgruntled superstar.

Either the Knicks have a specific player in mind who is more likely to be available at 23 than 27, or this trade is a precursor to more moves. Regardless, the Knicks have officially joined the party. It’s time to find out what this new regime has in store.

The draft begins at 8 PM tonight, and anything could happen. Prepare for all possibilities. As we count down the seconds and minutes, and considering this year’s draft is extremely close to Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks that the first announcement was a relatively benign move that feels potentially smart and promising.