The Knicks are reportedly looking to move up in the coming NBA Draft to target hyper-athletic point guard Jaden Ivey in a trade with the Sacramento Kings, who currently have the 4th-overall selection.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the team’s interest in acquiring a better pick, and highlighted the Kings’ desire to use their selection to bring in a veteran player as they look to end their 16-year playoff drought.
“That number-4 pick that the Sacramento Kings hold is very much in play. There are a lot of teams trying to get deals done with Sacramento to move up,” the NBA insider said. “Sacramento’s asking price to move in there is going to be significant.”
Currently sitting at the 11th-overall pick in the June 23 draft, the Knicks would have to shell out significant assets to move up that far — and they’ll be competing against multiple other teams that are also interested in snagging the Kings’ pick.
Other franchises that could be involved in a deal include the Washington Wizards, the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers, according to Wojnarowski.
Many draft experts believe that 20-year-old Purdue Boilermaker Jaden Ivey will be the 4th player selected, behind a trio of Auburn big man Jabari Smith, Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren and Duke forward Paolo Banchero.
After those three prospects and Ivey, many insiders believe the talent level significantly drops off — making a potential entry into the top-4 a very lucrative possibility.
At 6’4” and 200 pounds, Ivey recorded an impressive 17.3 points, 3.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds in his sophomore season at Purdue, while leading the school to a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They ultimately lost in the Sweet 16 against the 15-seed St. Peter’s Peacocks during their magical run to the Elite 8.
More impressive than his stat line, however, Ivey wowed scouts with his lightning-fast speed and ability to shoot from long range, as he recorded a 37% percentage from beyond the arc last year — making him a tantalizing prospect for any franchise looking for point guard help.
The point guard later went on to play in the FIBA Under-19 World Cup in 2021, where he helped lead the United States to capture the Gold Medal, and was subsequently named to the tournament’s All-Star team.
For more coverage of Jaden Ivey and the NBA Draft, head to amNY.com.
Ivey would slot nicely alongside Knicks youngsters RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin and Cam Reddish, and could play a significant role in forming an up-and-coming core of youthful talent at Madison Square Garden.
But the price may be too steep, and could involve moving multiple of their assets (in the form of young players and future picks) to Sacramento for the privilege to acquire the coveted selection.
Other teams in the rumor mill mix, such as Detroit and Indiana, have higher picks than the Knicks in this year’s draft, and the Kings may prefer a deal with one of them, so as to not move down on the board into the double-digits.
In any case, Ivey reportedly prefers not to be drafted by the Kings.
If the Knicks did offer enough to make the Kings budge (and assuming the cupboard wasn’t left too bare afterwards), fans would undoubtedly be thrilled with the maneuver, as New York has lacked a consensus best-option at the point guard position for several years now.
With aging players like Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker, along with overly-raw youth like Immanuel Quickley currently manning the position, Ivey would almost certainly become the team’s number-1 option to bring the ball up the court — and finally plug the roster hole with an elite play-making prospect.
Athletics runs in Ivey’s family, as his mother Niele Ivey is a veteran of the WNBA, while his father and grandfather both spent years playing football in the NFL.
He’s drawn comparisons to Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell and Miami Heat swingman Victor Oladipo, and is among the biggest locks to live up to expectations in the NBA due to his athleticism and shooting potential.
The NBA Draft will be held at the Barclays Center on Thursday night, and teams have until then to work out a deal with Sacramento.