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Shams: Knicks hoarding picks waiting for “megastar” to become available

Executives around the league believe New York is holding onto their first-rounders waiting for next-available superstar

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Shams Charania, speaking to FanDuel TV on Wednesday, dropped an interesting nugget of intel information related to the Knicks and their current franchise-building approach.

According to Charania, the Knicks were “literally one first-round pick away” or “a Quentin Grimes away” from getting a deal done for Donovan Mitchell. “Doesn’t happen”, he concluded:

With that said, and the Mitchell saga in the past, the reporter then proceeded to share much more interesting information. “The Knicks have eight first-round picks in their coffers,” adding a valuable bit of information by unveiling that “when I speak to executives around the league, they are believing that the Knicks are kind of hoarding those first-round picks.”

Of course, there is a reason for that and all executives seem to agree on why New York is doing what it’s doing, as they think the Knicks “are just waiting for that next megastar to become available.”

The consensus thought among the executives Charania has spoken with is that “for whatever reason [the Knicks] did not believe that Donovan Mitchell was the guy that they wanted to go fully, fully, all-in on.”

Sharing his own opinion about that last part—ultimately passing on acquiring Mitchell—Charania thinks that “it is ironic because when Leon Rose first got the job there it was Mitchell, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns...” and that “[Rose] had a chance to go get Donovan Mitchell but [he] chose [he’d] rather keep all those picks, all that flexibility.”

Don’t get that wrong, though, as Charania kept explaining his view of the current state of the Knicks affair and Leon’s moves saying that “you have to give Leon Rose credit for this,” building his take on how “[the Knicks FO] has built up the assets necessary to win [the deal] for whoever that megastar is,” adding that “[the Knicks] will be there for him.”

All of this comes weeks into a regular season that has already seen the Cavaliers put on a serious, albeit early, contending case after having added Donovan Mitchell to their roster. The Knicks, meanwhile, have been a rather mediocre team.

The voices will only grow louder as the season progresses if the Cavs keep outperforming the expectations and the Knicks fall short of theirs.

Before the Mitchell chase this summer, the last time New York went hunting for a superstar trade was undoubtedly in the Melodrama days all the way back in 2011, landing Carmelo Anthony ahead of the 2010-11 trade deadline. You be the judge on how that move turned out when all was said and done, and after Melo was re-routed to the Oklahoma City Thunder in September 2017 in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick.

It is still too early to know which “megastar” will become available as the season progresses with most teams having barely played 10 games through the first three-and-change weeks of play.

The Wizards (5-6) are boasting the same record as the New York Knicks after the latter lost to Brooklyn on Wednesday, so Bradley Beal is still looking good in DC. The Thunder (4-7) are still trying to figure things out and always planning for a future led by Shai Gilegous-Alexander, so the odds he gets moved soon are slim to none. The Suns (8-3) recently extended Deandre Ayton. The Lakers (2-9) stink but/and Anthony Davis misses more games than he plays these days.

The likes of Myles Turner, John Collins, Ben Simmons, and Zach LaVine are lightyears separated from getting “megastar” treatment. Booker and KAT are going nowhere.

Realistically, the train for the Knicks FO to pull off such a tectonic deal might have already left the 2022-23 station. with Mitchell in Cleveland and Dejounte Murray in Atlanta.

League executives better stay patient.