Knicks, Blazers discuss trade for one of Portland's first-round picks

The New York Knicks' front office has spoken to the Trail Blazers in recent days about a trade for one of Portland's three first-round picks, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.

Portland owns the 15th, 20th and 26th overall picks in the current draft.

New York has the No. 8 overall pick, and members of the organization have been exploring the possibility of acquiring an additional pick later in the first round, per sources.

The trade discussions between the Knicks and Blazers were first reported by the Sporting News.

New York has hosted workouts for several players who might fall into the mid-to-late first round, including North Carolina forward Justin Jackson and big man Tony Bradley, per sources. The Knicks have also worked out players pegged in some mock drafts as late first-round or early second-round picks, including Kentucky's Bam Adebayo and Colorado's Derrick White, sources said.

Talks between New York and Portland are believed to be in the early stages, but at least one scenario discussed involved an additional player from Portland being sent in a trade, according to sources. Portland's Moe Harkless is one player who was discussed in a possible trade scenario, sources told ESPN.

It is unclear which players outside of Harkless have been discussed. It's worth noting that the Blazers have nearly $133 million in guaranteed contracts on their books for the 2017-18 season, so they may be looking to shed salary in any transaction involving their first-round pick.

Portland general manager Neil Olshey said in an interview with NBA TV last month that he would make whatever "the best decision long term for the franchise is" when considering a trade involving Portland's first-round draft picks. He said that club is committed to continuing to build around star guard Damian Lillard's timeline.

Olshey added that he would at least consider trading an aggregation of first-round picks to get an "impact player" but said Portland could also afford to be patient and use all of its first-round picks to add rookies. It's unclear exactly what the Knicks have offered Portland in return in their trade talks.

In the past, team president Phil Jackson has refused to offer any of the Knicks' future first-round picks in trade talks, per sources. Unless Portland offers one of its premier players or multiple first-round picks, that approach will likely continue during the Knicks' talks with the Blazers.

The Knicks hope to find a player with the No. 8 pick who can help them build a young core around big men Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez.

Members of the organization see several players as potential options for the No. 8 pick, including French prospect Frank Ntilikina, Kentucky guard Malik Monk and NC State guard Dennis Smith Jr., sources told ESPN.