The New York Knicks stumbled to a 37-45 record in 2022, providing fodder for detractors of second-year coach Tom Thibodeaux, who claim that the defensive guru’s successful first year guiding the storied franchise might have been an anomaly.
As the Knicks try to get back on course, speculation has mounted that they will look to trade up from 11th to fourth in Thursday night’s NBA Draft to select Purdue guard Jaden Ivey. Poor long-range shooting from R.J. Barrett and inconsistent play from Evan Fournier has created a void at shooting guard that can be filled by Ivey, the talented Boilermakers swingman.
— Greg Armstrong (@gregarmstrong01) June 22, 2022
Ivey (+350) has emerged as the favorite at DraftKings to be selected with the Knicks’ first pick on Thursday night. Ivey is just ahead of fellow Big Ten guards Malaki Branham of Ohio State and Johnny Davis of Wisconsin, who have odds of +400 and +450, respectively. Duke swingman A.J. Griffin also has odds of +400 at DraftKings.
A slew of other sports betting operators offer props on Ivey ahead of Thursday’s Draft — but, it’s important to note, NBA Draft wagering on individual players is not allowed in New York, though it is available for customers in several nearby states.
The price of trading up
If the Knicks covet Ivey, general manager Scott Perry will have to weigh the opportunity cost of passing on one of the aforementioned wings who could be available at No. 11. Besides the Knicks, three other teams — the Pacers, Pistons, and Wizards— reportedly have weighed trades that would allow them to select Ivey.
The top three players in the draft, Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr., Duke forward Paolo Banchero, and Gonzaga forward Chet Holmgren, have separated themselves from the pack. It would be fairly shocking if Ivey leapt one of the forwards to get selected in the Top 3.
Rank the prospects:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 22, 2022
In order to land the No. 4 pick from Sacramento, the Knicks may need to offer multiple picks, as well as a veteran starter. Alternately, the Knicks can stay at No. 11 and select a different sharpshooter.
Consider some of the props on various players to be selected with a lottery pick on Thursday night:
- A.J. Griffin: Under 11.5 (+112) Caesars Sportsbook
- Johnny Davis: Over 10.5 (-102) FanDuel; Under 10.5 (+200) DraftKings
- Dyson Daniels: Over 6.5 (-275) PointsBet; Over 7.5 (+160) DraftKings
It should be noted that the Knicks may have a gap to fill at center if Mitchell Robinson decides to leave New York via free agency. If the Knicks are unable to land Ivey, Duke center Mark Williams and Memphis center Jalen Duren are possibilities for Perry at No. 11. There are odds of +150 on the Under 13.5 prop for Williams at Caesars. Meanwhile, there are odds of -108 on the Under 10.5 wager for Duren at FanDuel.
No picks for the Nets
Brooklyn does not own a pick in the first round of the draft. But the Nets are embroiled in a potentially thorny contract dispute with Kyrie Irving in the coming weeks and could protect themselves by trading into the first round for a point guard.
.@RealSkipBayless on Kyrie Irving's future with the Nets:
"Kyrie is now becoming bad for NBA business. He's forced a team that was the favorite to win, into a classic damned if you do, damned if you don't." pic.twitter.com/C5G7y4U1w0
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) June 22, 2022
For teams looking for a point guard, several options could surface at the bottom of the first round. According to NBADraft.net, Tennessee’s Kennedy Chandler, Arizona’s Dalen Terry, Gonzaga’s Andrew Nembhard, and San Francisco’s Jamaree Bouyea may all remain on the board near the end of Round 1. If those guards are gone by the middle of the second round, a team could also take a chance on someone like JD Davison of Alabama or Iverson Molinar of Mississippi State.
The Nets do not have a pick in the second round, either. After winning one playoff series over the last two seasons, major changes could be in store for Brooklyn this offseason.
Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY