One would presume this is part of the Knicks' plan to sign one or possibly two marquee free agents. The team has $67.7 million in practical salary cap space, per Spotrac, which is enough to offer two max-level contracts.
Should New York succeed in that regard, it wouldn't have much left to fill out the roster. The team could use another second-round pick on a cost-effective role player to add depth or instead target an international player it can keep overseas so as not to impact its payroll.
Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman tweeted Thursday he "would bet" New York will trade point guard Frank Ntilikina on draft night and could settle for a second-round pick for the 20-year-old French international.
If nothing else, hoarding as many picks as possible is a sensible strategy for where the Knicks are. Should the worst-case scenario happen and they strike out in free agency, they'd be left with a squad mostly devoid of true building blocks—excluding the players they add in the 2019 draft.
Yaya Dubin @JADubin5
The Knicks have two picks. I would like guys who can do one or more of these: shoot, create good shots for others, defend. They currently have under contract for 19-20 one demonstrated good shooter, zero creators for others, two defenders, one guy who does more than one of those.
Second-rounders generally don't amount to much, but occasionally a team can find a Draymond Green, Isaiah Thomas or Malcolm Brogdon.
The Knicks haven't had that kind of luck in the draft in recent years, but that shouldn't stop the front office from getting as many chances as it can to strike gold.