In a flurry of moves worthy of making an insider’s head spin, the New York Knicks pulled off three separate trades during the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft — and still didn’t come away with a selection.
The Knicks first selected forward Ousmane Dieng with the No. 11 pick of the 2022 NBA Draft Thursday night in Brooklyn but quickly traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for three first-round picks (2023 protected first-rounder via Detroit, 2023 protected first-rounder via Washington, 2023 protected first-rounder via Denver), as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
They then proceeded to use at least one of those picks to acquire Memphis center Jalen Duren from the Charlotte Hornets, who selected him at No. 13 but then quickly flipped him along with that 2023 protected first-rounder from the Thunder via Denver and four future second-round picks back to the Detroit Pistons alongside veteran point guard Kemba Walker.
But instead of crafting a package to acquire their No. 1 target in Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, who was drafted by Detroit at No. 5, the Knicks’ sole benefit from their mad wheeling and dealing was to get Walker’s contract off the books along with what is believed to be a pair of future first-round draft picks.
Walker was slated to make $9.1 million next season, which is the final year of his contract. With the savings, they are expected to make an all-out push for free-agent guard Jalen Brunson, who had a breakout season with the Dallas Mavericks last season.
The Knicks made a major push, per reports, to make a trade for Ivey — a dynamic talent connected to New York throughout the pre-draft process — who was drafted No. 5 overall by the Detroit Pistons.
While rumors leaked that it came down to the availability of Memphis big man Jalen Duren at No. 11 to help facilitate a package deal, word came out that when the San Antonio Spurs were on the clock at No. 9 that the Pistons would be keeping Ivey.
Regardless, the Knicks made one more push for Ivey with a deal stacked with the picks received from Oklahoma City, but the Pistons denied them again, per James Edwards III of The Athletic.