Phil Jackson did some wheeling and dealing to land three second-round picks in Thursday's draft.
Ideally Jackson hopes to have Carmelo Anthony groom Early. But in the meantime, Jackson is trying to add some young athletic blood to the Knicks.
Let’s take a look at what some of the other teams that may pursue Anthony in free agency did on draft night:
MIAMI: The Heat traded their first-round pick (No. 26) and two second-round picks to the Hornets to move up and draft UConn’s Shabazz Napier at No. 24. The move is designed not only to improve the Heat at point guard, but also to please LeBron James, who is a big Napier fan. If James ends up staying in Miami, other teams jockeying to make a run at him will likely turn their attention to Anthony.
We still have to wait and see what Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh do with their contracts, and whether the Heat will be able to make a play for Anthony or if that's a “pipe dream” as Pat Riley labeled it.
CHICAGO: The Bulls traded the No. 16 and No. 19 picks along with a 2015 second-round pick to the Nuggets for the rights to Doug McDermott. According to the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, the Bulls will only save about $329,000 by trading the two first-rounders for McDermott, who was taken No. 11 overall. The Bulls likely will continue to clear more cap space, and Mike Dunleavy and his expiring $3.3 million deal could be “expendable” according to Johnson. The Bulls did add some salary by also taking on Anthony Randolph's expiring $1.825 million deal in the trade.
The Bulls also drafted New Mexico power forward Cameron Bairstow at No. 49. According to Johnson, the Bulls have “only $11 million to $12 million of salary-cap space if they use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer, so additional moves would have to be made” to make a run at Anthony. Johnson adds Randolph can be traded, but not in a multi-player deal.
HOUSTON: The Rockets drafted Switzerland’s Clint Capela with the No. 25 pick. The 20-year-old could remain overseas, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen. Feigen says that “will save the Rockets a small bit of the cap room they hope to use on either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony.”
Houston also drafted Arizona guard Nick Johnson in the second round, and acquired another second-round pick to take Italian League forward Alessandro Gentile. The Rockets created some cap space before the draft by trading Omer Asik to the Pelicans for a future first-round pick. And Houston is expected to try to move Jeremy Lin's contract to create more cap space. Lin, like Asik, will make $15 million next season, but would count for $8.37 million against the salary cap according to Feigen.
L.A. CLIPPERS: The Clippers drafted Washington's C.J. Wilcox with the No. 28 pick. According to the L.A. Times’ Brad Turner, the Clippers “were trying to put together a package centering on small forward Matt Barnes” and were targeting the Knicks’ Iman Shumpert, the Grizzlies' Tony Allen or the Suns' Gerald Green. The Clippers will have to find a way to create cap space to go after Anthony, since they are committed to $76 million in salary according to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne.
L.A. LAKERS: The Lakers drafted Kentucky forward Julius Randle with the No. 7 pick and acquired a second-round pick to take Missouri point guard Jordan Clarkson. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak then said the Lakers are ready to go shopping in free agency starting July 1.
"We're prepared," Kupchak said, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin. "If any of those players do want to make a move, we're prepared. And if we get word, when we're allowed to get word, we will go all out."
McMenamin says the Lakers have “close to $30 million in cap space available to revamp their team via free agency, with just Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and Kendall Marshall (once the Lakers exercise their team option) on the books for next season.”
CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers took Kansas’ athletic Andrew Wiggins No. 1 overall, and Virginia shooter Joe Harris in the second round. According to the Northeast Ohio Media Group, the Cavs could end up being $25 million under the cap when they make a run at free agents to team with Kyrie Irving, last year’s top pick Anthony Bennett, and Wiggins.
DALLAS: The Mavericks had no picks after trading two second-rounders to the Knicks in the Tyson Chandler deal. Acquiring Chandler put “only a minor dent into this summer’s cap space while improving the team’s financial forecast in the near future” according to ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon. MacMahon says “the Mavs will pitch a plan that includes potentially adding an All-Star again next summer, when the Mavs will have ample cap space again.”
ATLANTA: The Hawks drafted Michigan State forward Adreian Payne with the No. 15 pick, and added Walter Tavares from Cape Verdes and Pittsburgh’s Lamar Patterson in the second round. Atlanta has as much as $10 million in salary cap space according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore.