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Leon Rose explains Knicks’ 2022 NBA Draft trades

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Leon Rose broke his silence on Friday.

In a press release released by the team, the Knicks’ president addressed his decision to trade out of the primary round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

Rose, who hasn’t spoken to the team’s beat writers because the preseason, said the draft-night trades created “increased financial flexibility and extra draft capital moving forward.” The statement also noted that the trades allow the team “to be energetic in free agency, in addition to within the trade market.”

Rose said the main focus was for the team to be “strategic and thoughtful in our team constructing” while “prioritizing our player development program.”

Leon Rose addressed the Knicks’ flurry of Draft-night moves on Friday.Getty Images

The Knicks traded the No. 11 pick within the draft to the Thunder for 3 future first-round picks, then acquired the No. 13 pick in exchange for five future draft picks and sent it to the Pistons together with Kemba Walker to shed his $9.2 million salary. They did receive a 2025 first-round pick belonging to the Bucks within the deal. The three first-round picks they gained are all protected, though the Bucks one conveys unless it’s in the highest 4.

All told, the Knicks are actually $18 million under the salary cap, and are putting themselves in position to make a significant run at coveted free agent point guard Jalen Brunson of the Mavericks.

In addition they own 11 first-round picks and 11 second-round picks over the subsequent seven years, giving themselves assets to make further moves to bolster a 37-win roster in need of improvements.

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