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2022 NBA Draft: Breaking down the Knicks’ three separate trades after moving Kemba Walker

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Draft night for the Recent York Knicks is often pretty easy: they make a pick their fans hate, the fans boo it like crazy and the the fans’ negative response then becomes a story of its own. Thursday night was not so straightforward, because the Knicks were the busiest team within the 2022 NBA Draft. 

They pulled off three separate trades that had players and picks flying in all places, and it took hours to work out all of the main points. Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a better have a look at all of the moves the Knicks made on Thursday.

Knicks-Thunder trade

Knicks receive:

  • 2023 first round pick via Detroit (protected 1-18 until 2024, protected 1-13 in 2025, protected 1-11 in 2026, protected 1-9 in 2027)
  • 2023 first round pick via Washington (protected 1-14 in 2023, protected 1-12 in 2024, protected 1-10 in 2025, protected 1-8 in 2026)
  • 2023 first round pick via Denver (protected 1-14 until 2025)

Thunder receive:

  • No. 11 pick (Ousmane Dieng)

The Knicks had the No. 11 pick entering the night, and there was loads of speak about them potentially moving up. As an alternative, they decided to trade out of the primary round by sending that pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for 3 future first rounders. While the Knicks do need assistance now, getting three first round picks in exchange for one is pretty good value. 

Knicks-Hornets trade

Knicks receive:

  • No. 13 pick (Jalen Duren)

Hornets receive:

  • 2023 first round pick via Denver (protected 1-14 until 2025)
  • 2023 second round pick via Recent York
  • 2023 second round pick via Utah
  • 2023 second round pick (most favorable pick between Dallas and Miami)
  • 2024 second round pick via Recent York

Shortly after completing the cope with the Thunder, the Knicks then got back on the phone and worked out a trade with the Charlotte Hornets. They took the 2023 first via Denver they got within the Thunder trade, and packaged it with 4 future seconds for the No. 13 overall pick, who would change into Jalen Duren. 

Knicks-Pistons trade

Knicks receive:

  • 2025 first-round pick via Milwaukee (protected 1-4)

Pistons receive:

Finally, the Knicks then flipped the No. 13 pick (Jalen Duren) and Kemba Walker to the Detroit Pistons in a 3rd deal. In return, the Knicks got a 2025 first-round pick via Milwaukee, which the Pistons had previously acquired within the Jerami Grant trade earlier this week. 

Final haul for the Knicks

  • 2023 first round pick via Detroit (protected 1-18 until 2024, protected 1-13 in 2025, protected 1-11 in 2026, protected 1-9 in 2027)
  • 2023 first round pick via Washington (protected 1-14 in 2023, protected 1-12 in 2024, protected 1-10 in 2025, protected 1-8 in 2026)
  • 2025 first-round pick via Milwaukee (protected 1-4)
  • $18 million in cap space

In spite of everything the wheeling and dealing, the Knicks closed the night with three future first-round picks and a few extra cap space. It’s no secret that they are going to use that cash to try to sign Jalen Brunson in free agency. They recently hired his dad as an assistant coach, and now have enough cap space to make a competitive offer. There is not any guarantee that they get him, but they’ve a significantly better probability now than before the draft. 

The query, though, is whether or not their tunnel vision for a probability to sign Brunson clouded their judgement. A lottery pick looks like a steep price to pay to jettison Walker’s contract and enter the Brunson sweepstakes. It is simple to make a case that they’d have been higher off just making the primary two trades. In that scenario, they keep Duren and walk away with two extra future firsts. As for the cap space situation, they might have figured something else out later. 

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