During Thursday’s NBA draft lottery, the New York Knicks slid down to No. 8, potentially taking them out of the running for coveted prospects such as Illawarra Hawks guard LaMelo Ball. However, a new report suggested that the team, in theory, might have a chance to trade up with the Golden State Warriors for their 2020 second-overall selection.
As recommended by Bleacher Report‘s Grant Hughes, the Knicks could offer a trade package including this year’s No. 8 selection, their 2021 first-round pick previously acquired from the Dallas Mavericks, and veteran wingman Reggie Bullock to the Warriors, in exchange for their No. 2 pick and reserve guard Jordan Poole.
Per Hughes, this might not be a satisfactory offer for Golden State, considering they’d be moving down six slots in the 2020 draft and getting a likely late-round choice in 2021 as well as a journeyman-caliber talent in Bullock. However, he stressed that the market for the team’s second-overall choice appears unpredictable, also noting that the hypothetical deal could be the best way for New York to select a top-flight rookie like Ball.
“Ball has question marks, just like every other top prospect in this draft. But there’s no doubt he has next-level vision, slick ball-handling skills and the size at 6’7″ to maximize both elite tools. New York’s point guard play has been abysmal for years, and neither Dennis Smith Jr. nor Frank Ntilikina showed anything in 2019-20 to suggest they can change that.”
As a top rookie hopeful, Ball has frequently been linked to the Knicks. Likewise, the 18-year-old’s father, Big Baller Brand co-founder LaVar Ball, commented in May that he wants his youngest son to start his NBA career in a huge media market such as New York, as previously noted by The Inquisitr. However, the fact that the Knicks (21-45, 12th in the Eastern Conference) finished with the league’s sixth-worst win-loss record this season made them long shots for Ball’s services well ahead of Thursday’s lottery.
According to Hughes, the Warriors could still benefit from the suggested deal, as Bullock’s ability to shoot from beyond the arc makes him a potentially good fit. As for the draft picks, he wrote that this year’s eighth-overall choice could allow them to land a “quality” prospect, while next year’s first-rounder could be attached to their $17.2 million traded player exception (TPE), which, per NBC Sports Bay Area, is due to expire on October 24. Still, the Bleacher Report writer concluded that the Knicks would likely “come out ahead” if they successfully trade up for Ball and he turns out to be as good as advertised.