NBA Scoreboard

Auto Update: On

Now

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

The current Knicks regime under team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry seemingly hasn't had to fight the same perception issues that New York dealt with during Phil Jackson's presidency. Some young players were turned off by what they'd heard about the Knicks in recent seasons; one of the top point guards in the 2017 NBA Draft was dead set against working out for New York because he didn't want to run the triangle offense, per sources. This Knicks contingent doesn't seem to be handcuffed by those same negative perceptions - at least not to the same degree as the past regime.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

It's hard to overstate just how important this draft is for the Knicks' rebuild. It's also the first draft for the executive duo of Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry. From an outside view, it seems as if Mills, Perry and the Knicks front office has done its homework for this draft. Like all NBA teams, the Knicks have either hosted – or traveled to – workouts for many potential picks. They've had representatives – assistant general manager Gerald Madkins, who overseas the scouting department, and others - at hundreds of college and international games throughout the season. This is what competent NBA teams do.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Let's assume that neither Michael Porter Jr. nor Wendell Carter Jr. is available to the Knicks when they select at 9. It could come down to Kentucky's Kevin Knox, Villanova's Mikal Bridges, Michigan State's Miles Bridges and Miami's Lonnie Walker. I've heard that Knox, Mikal Bridges and Walker all have had support within the Knicks front office in the weeks leading up to the draft. If I had to guess at the time of this post (9:30 AM on Thursday), the Knicks would go with Knox in this scenario.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Assuming the Knicks don't trade up or back, they should have plenty of players to choose from at nine. The big question, of course, is how far Michael Porter Jr. falls. If he's available at 9, the Knicks will have to think long and hard about the risk/reward of taking Porter Jr. If Wendell Carter Jr. somehow falls to 9, I'd expect the Knicks to take him even with Porter on the board given the risk involved with the Missouri star.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Depending on how things unfold over the next few weeks, Kawhi Leonard could be available in free agency in the summer of 2019 as well. Leonard's advisers view New York as a potential destination for the Spurs star. So it would make sense for the Knicks to try to draw Leonard as a free agent rather than try to trade for him; any trade for Leonard would almost certainly have to include Kristaps Porzingis heading to San Antonio.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

The Knicks hope to have enough space to pursue a top free agent that summer. It's worth noting that Kyrie Irving will likely be a free agent in 2019. Irving had the Knicks on his list of trade destinations last summer. It's impossible, of course, to talk with any certainty about potential landing spots for Irving more than 12 months away from his free agency. Plenty can change between now and next July. But people around the league expect New York to remain a desired destination for Irving if he hits free agency next summer. And if Irving is interested in New York, you can be sure that the Knicks will be interested in Irving.