With the NBA Draft rapidly approaching, the trade rumors are swirling, as teams are getting in position to refresh their talent pool. According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, the Knicks are interested in acquiring one of the Trail Blazers’ three first round selections.
Portland owns the No. 15, 20 and 26 picks in this draft, and several teams are eager to get into that mix. The Knicks have inquired about some combination of the Blazers’ picks, a source said, and those talks are ongoing. New York has the eighth pick and could trade down for a combination of picks, though the preference for the Knicks is to keep their pick and add one of Portland’s.
He also reports that the Brooklyn Nets have contacted Portland, too.
The Nets have inquired, too, and that could be interesting because of the Nets’ ability to absorb salary. Brooklyn stands to have about $40 million in cap space next summer, and without much to offer big-time free agents, leveraging that space to accumulate picks with bad contracts would make sense for the Nets, who will see the No. 1 pick swapped to Boston this year, and have next year’s pick sent to the Celtics, too.
The Blazers currently hold Nos. 15, 20, and 26. The Knicks own the No. 8 pick in the draft, but they apparently have interest in bringing in more than one young player this offseason. Along with this speculative trade interest, the Knicks are bringing in North Carolina’s Justin Jackson for a pre-draft workout. Most current mock drafts place Jackson closer to Portland’s No. 15 pick than New York’s No. 8.
If the Blazers are interested in shedding salary (based on recent rumors), the Knicks would make a logical trade partner. New York can create about $21 million in cap space if they choose to renounce free agent Derrick Rose's $31-million cap hold.
Our sister site, Nets Daily, gave the Brooklyn perspective on these rumors.