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REPORT: Knicks are ‘a long shot’ to trade up into the NBA Draft lottery

Lottery teams are reportedly uninterested in trading for New York’s two first-round picks.

2021 NBA Draft Combine Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks own the 19th and 21st picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, and most observers believed they would try to package those two picks to move up, perhaps in the late lottery.

But it takes two to tango, and the teams in the lottery don’t appear to be interested trading with the Knicks, according to Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman:

A source says the Knicks have made calls to late-lottery teams about trading up. I’m told the Warriors turned down Nos. 19 and 21 for No. 14. The Knicks don’t have strong enough draft assets to get into top 10, and now it seems like a long shot they can get into the late lottery.

There is a still a chance that the Knicks could move up a few spots—Wasserman mentions Washington’s No. 15 pick—but at this point, the Knicks really have to start asking themselves whether that pick is worth the price. This is a deep draft, in my opinion, and there are bound to be some high-quality players available at 19 and 21. New York is bound to lose several rotation players from last year’s team in free agency, and the free agent market isn’t terribly flush. Wouldn’t it serve them better to take two shots at finding quality young replacement players in the first round, instead of one player of slightly higher value? Even if they move up, it would be into the middle of the first round, where no pick is a lock to pan out.

Think about it, Don Leon!