Knicks Trade Rumors: NY Considering Moving Up in NBA Draft to Pick Mohamed Bamba

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20:  NBA Draft Prospect Mohamed Bamba speaks to the media before the 2018 NBA Draft at the Grand Hyatt New York Grand Central Terminal on June 20, 2018 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Count the New York Knicks among the ever-growing list of teams making a late push for Mo Bamba.

Ian Begley of ESPN.com reported the Knicks have explored moving up from No. 9 to select the Texas product, who is increasingly looking like a top-five selection.    

Bamba, 20, has wowed scouts during the predraft process with his length, athleticism and improving outside shot, which he's spent a ton of time working on over the past few months.

"I want to put myself in the best position to stay out on the floor," Bamba told Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com. "There's a reason why a lot of bigs aren't on the floor [at the end of games]. They can't guard those smalls. They can't shoot."

The Knicks would have the NBA's lengthiest frontcourt if they drafted Bamba and paired him with Kristaps Porzingis, who is expected to miss most (if not all) of the 2018-19 season due to a torn ACL. Giving Bamba a full year of preparation and acclimation to the NBA might even be better without Porzingis, as he'd have more freedom to develop and learn from his mistakes without being pulled for a more established star.

Knicks head coach David Fizdale prefers a fluid five-out system and said he plans to use Porzingis interchangeably between frontcourt positions when he's healthy. If the Knicks take Bamba, that plan would likely change. But it would also give New York two huge bigs with modern skill sets to develop around.

The Knicks may find their most willing trade partner in Memphis, which could offer the No. 4 pick in exchange for taking Chandler Parsons' contract.

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