The New York Knicks have been joined in their pursuit to acquire a first round pick in tonight’s NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets as teams seeking to move into the first round of what is being regarded as the deepest draft in years.
Phil Jackson‘s new team has been reported to have a strong desire to trade into the first round or purchase a first round pick for the better part of the past month, but now comes word from Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that their in-state rival and one of the Western Conference teams poised to take the next step are exploring possibilities to get into the first 30 picks.
The Knicks made a major trade on the eve of the draft shipping out Tyson Chandler, Shane Larkin and Raymond Felton to the Dallas Mavericks in what could be perceived as a salary dump to free up money to re-sign Carmelo Anthony and pursue LeBron James, but the fact remains the club is desperately in need of young talent to complement an aging roster.
Speaking of aging roster, the Nets have one of the oldest teams in the NBA and with Kevin Garnett announcing he’s returning for another season, the team will be only getting older next season, so they will need a young asset to work into the rotation after giving up a plethora of first round picks to the Boston Celtics to acquire Garnett and Paul Pierce prior to last season.
Lastly, the Trail Blazers have a great young nucleus with Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nick Batum, so they would be looking at acquiring another young piece to push them toward the upper-echelon of the Western Conference with the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.