How the New York Knicks Got Better, By Getting Worse, Last Night
It's fair to say, that no team was more active during last night's NBA Draft, than the New York Knicks.
The Knicks were slated to pick at No. 11 in the first round of last night's draft, which they did, selecting Ousmane Dieng out of New Zealand. Once that happened, it seemed as though the Knicks were content to wait until their 2nd round pick, at No. 42, to make their next move.
What ended up happening was the complete opposite, and a quiet evening turned into a franchise-altering evening for New York.
New York Knicks Make Multiple Trade in Order to Get...Better?
As we look back on the Knicks' draft night, the question among fans is simple: did the team get better, or worse, with the moves they made? ESPN broke down the moves they made in this article, and we'll take a moment to recap them here.
So, here's what happened, and we can answer that question from there. This night unfolded in multiple acts, with the first being the selection of Dieng at No. 11. Act two happened when the Knicks then traded Dieng to the Oklahoma City Thunder, acquiring three future conditional first-round picks from the Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons. OKC now had the youngster Dieng, and the Knicks had draft capital.
They were far from finished, though.
New York then traded the Nuggets first-rounder they received from Oklahoma City, plus four second-round picks, to the Charlotte Hornets for the rights to Jalen Duren. Duren had just been selected at No. 13, and was now a New York Knick.
Not for long, said Leon Rose and Company.
THEN, the big move happened. New York then traded Duren and aging guard Kemba Walker to the Pistons for a 2025 conditional Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick. The Pistons absorb all of Walker's $9.2 million salary, and get the highly-touted rookie Duren, as well.
So, Did the New York Knicks Get Better Last Night?
In the short-term, no, I do not believe the Knicks got better. In the long-term, however, the potential of this franchise grew because of these moves.
Check this out from Ian Begley, who covers the team for SNY:
As Ian Begley explains, this is the first of will likely be multiple moves from the Knicks this offseason, all of which will be geared toward freeing up salary cap space. They knocked a good chunk of money off of their payroll last night, and in the process, acquired the kind of draft capital that can help land you a star.
This was the right thing to do for the New York Knicks. You don't need another unproven youngster in your mix; you need a star in order to compete for a championship right away. There are still other shoes left to drop, but in my mind, an important step was taken.