Are NY Knicks Trying to Trade Way into First Round of NBA Draft?

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18: Phil Jackson addresses the media during his introductory press conference at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

UPDATE (June 3, 2014, 8:44 ET): After initial reports indicating the New York Knicks would seek to purchase a second-round draft pick, ESPN's Jeff Goodman suggested that Phil Jackson and company might have something even more ambitious in mind:

Hairston, a former University of North Carolina standout who was suspended for the entire 2013-14 season, has been projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick in numerous mock drafts.



ORIGINAL STORY: Phil Jackson doesn't have a lot to work with in New York.

The current roster of Knicks just failed to make the playoffs after going 37-45, and the team's finances are a mess thanks to the massive contracts attached to Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani.

But even with limited options in front of New York's new president of basketball operations, he's looking to wheel and deal.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post:

"Jackson confirmed the Knicks will attempt to buy a second-round pick, acknowledging snaring a first-rounder will be too tough. The Knicks traded away their first- and second-rounders in this June superdraft."

This appears to be about as bad a year to miss out on the first round as any, but it's deep enough that New York could still find value in the second round.

According to Bleacher Report's draft expert Jonathan Wasserman, "Having a second-round pick this year could end up going a long way."

Jackson apparently agrees. Berman quoted him saying, "Teams do sell draft picks. If teams are willing to allow us to buy a draft pick for a player we want to have at a position, we’ll do it."

The report lists the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks as potential sellers, considering Philly has five second-round picks and Milwaukee has three.

If the Knicks buy one of those picks in the range of 31 to 40, they could target someone who could help them replace Raymond Felton, who Jackson has already talked about trading, according to SNY's Adam Zagoria.

Connecticut's Shabazz Napier or Iowa State's DeAndre Kane could both be interesting possibilities. Even UCLA's Kyle Anderson could slide into the second round if teams are afraid his lack of athleticism will hurt him in the NBA.

Nothing's guaranteed, though, as Berman relayed Jackson's desire to stay out of a "bidding war." Jackson said, "We’re not going to run ourselves into the ground if it doesn’t work out."

If New York does manage to buy one of those second-round picks, integrating him into the current maelstrom that is the Knicks would be the next challenge.

Jackson could probably do just that with the zen he brought to coaching. This would give him a chance to show whether it works in drafting players.


Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDBailey.