Knicks 2019 NBA Draft Rumors: NY Considering Trading 3rd Pick; Hawks in Mix

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2019

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 14: Deputy Commissioner of the NBA, Mark Tatum, holds up the card for the New York Knicks after they get the 3rd overall pick in the NBA Draft during the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery on May 14, 2019 at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The New York Knicks are exploring the possibility of moving back in the 2019 NBA draft, according to ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz.

Per Givony and Schmitz, New York is considering trading the third overall pick for the Atlanta Hawks' two lottery selections (Nos. 8 and 10).

After finishing with the worst record in the NBA this past season, New York (17-65) entered the lottery tied for the best odds of earning the No. 1 overall pick and the right to draft Duke phenom Zion Williamson. Instead, the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies snagged the first and second picks, respectively.

It's widely expected that Williamson and Murray State guard Ja Morant will be the first two players off the board. That would leave Duke's RJ Barrett as the top overall prospect available should New York keep its pick, though Virginia's De'Andre Hunter and Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver could also be in the mix.

According to Givony and Schmitz, the Knicks are toying with the idea of moving back "to acquire pieces that better complement potential high-volume All-Star free agents." Following the Kristaps Porzingis trade earlier this year, they now have two max contract slots. Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving are among the potential free agents linked to the Big Apple.

In the midst of a six-year playoff drought, the Knicks face a crucial offseason. The third overall pick would allow them to grab one of the top prospects in the draft. Trading back, though, could help fill out the roster.

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