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Knicks Trading NBA Draft Picks?

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The New York Knicks are heading out for a pivotal Game 5 tonight against the Indiana Pacers, and the outcome could affect how the team operates in the offseason.

A win in Game 5 and the series would lead to the Knicks’ first Conference Finals visit in 25 years and make an argument that New York needs to keep its core together. However, a loss tonight and a subsequent elimination to the sixth-seeded Pacers could prompt for major changes.

Another aspect behind the Knicks’ desire to make a trade is the two first-round picks the team occupies at Nos. 24 & 25. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie believes that makes the Knicks a likely trade candidate.

“The Knicks are another team seen league-wide as a potential trade partner, as coach Tom Thibodeau is not likely to want multiple first-round rookies on his team,” Vecenie wrote. “Additionally, the Knicks have generally tried to add more assets for the future to create more potential avenues to complete trades involving future draft picks.”

This news isn’t exactly new, as the Knicks have always been on the forefront of trade rumors for a star player. A late first-round pick, or even both, won’t do the trick, but the Knicks have a host of future assets that they would be willing to trade for an upgrade, like Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell or Philadelphia 76ers MVP candidate Joel Embiid.

If the Knicks don’t win the NBA Finals this year, those rumors will continue. But the earlier they get bounced, the more likely they are to try and cash in those picks to grab a co-star for Jalen Brunson.

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