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The Knicks Are Proud Of Their Confusing, Crummy Draft Night

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The New York Knicks, a bad basketball team without many good players, could have used the 11th pick in the 2022 Draft to select someone who might turn out to be a good player. That would’ve been a satisfying end to the evening, or at least one that preserved some delusional hope. A couple options on the board at pick No. 11 would’ve have met their many needs. Those needs remain unmet.

Trading down a few spots to pick up someone they liked would’ve been fine. Jalen Williams is an intriguing guard with size and vision; AJ Griffin would’ve juiced their pathetic shooting; various bigs could have compensated for Mitchell Robinson’s failure to launch. That didn’t end up happening, either. Alternatively, the Knicks could have made a move up for someone else they liked; several reports suggested that they were trying to pry Jaden Ivey from Detroit. But they didn’t pull it off.

What happened, instead, were three trades, with an impressively boring and unsatisfying net result:

They lost the first-round pick and four seconds. They received three heavily protected future picks, at least one of which seems unlikely to ever convey, because the Wizards suck now and forever. They also shed the expiring Kemba Walker contract that was surely moveable by less painful means. The reason they care about that extra cap space, anyway, is to make a play at Jalen Brunson, an admirable guard who’s played well alongside Luka Doncic and shooters in Dallas. Put him alongside RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, though, and I’m not sure what you get besides a lineup featuring the small, medium, and large version of a muscly guy who can barrel into poor spacing and generate inefficient offense. To top things off, it seems all too possible that Brunson will stay in Dallas, a conference finalist that can pay him more than any other team could, with Mark Cuban happily footing the bill.

In sum, the Knicks spent draft night ditching their lottery pick to get off a small expiring deal, take in draft picks that may never convey, and clear up space for a man who may not sign with them, without another worthy target in free agency. If I spent Thursday evening doing that, I wouldn’t want to talk about it. I’d change the subject to something like the fine weather this Friday in New York City. Knicks president Leon Rose, however, is proud enough of his work to release a statement:

I’m not even mad that Rose called a flurry of wins against tanking or energy-conserving teams “momentum from the end of last season.” He can have that. But he’s sitting there counting up all the picks on his fingers and toes. On his piggly wigglies! C’mon, man. At least Sam Presti has the decency not to do this in public.