If the New York Knicks were to trade their No. 11 draft pick, it wouldn’t be surprising. The question of the team having room on the roster for a lottery pick has been brought up, but what if New York was able to get an established player, along with a lower draft pick?
Knicks fans should be expecting some sort of trade to happen in the coming months, whether it involves Julius Randle or the team’s lottery pick. The proposed trade might not be appealing at first, but once you take some time to think it over, it should be something that you want the team to pursue.
The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, who covers the Houston Rockets, proposed three trade ideas (subscription required) involving Christian Wood. The 26-year-old is entering the final year of his contract with the Rockets and is set to make $14.3 million in 2022-23. According to Iko, the big man has already garnered trade interest, so there’s a chance that he could soon be on a new roster.
And hey, there’s also a chance that Mitchell Robinson will be on a new team himself next year. If he and New York don’t agree to an extension by the end of June, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent and could walk away from the Knicks and leave them with nothing in return.
With that being said, let’s explore one of Iko’s trade ideas involving Wood.
No. 11 pick in 2022 draft
No. 17 pick in 2022 draft
2023 1st round pick
2024 2nd round pick
Knicks should be open to trading No. 11 pick for Rockets’ Christian Wood
There should be zero opposition to New York trading Nerlens Noel because he’s not a suitable replacement for Robinson (if he leaves) and he also isn’t a reliable backup center. Noel played in 25 games in 2021-22 due to an injury.
For those who aren’t overly attached to the Knicks’ No. 11 pick, getting rid of Cam Reddish might be the most difficult part of this trade to accept. New York traded a 2022 first-round draft pick and Kevin Knox, who was a lottery pick in 2018, to Atlanta in exchange for Reddish, a 2025 second-round pick, and Solomon Hill, who was waived shortly after by the Knicks.
And truth be told, Reddish wasn’t given a fair shot in the whole 15 games that he played in for New York before he was ruled out for the last month of the season with a right shoulder injury. He hasn’t gotten to crack his full potential with the Knicks.
But moving from No. 11 to No. 17 in the draft isn’t too shabby, on top of getting Wood and a couple of future picks. Wood averaged 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1 block in the 68 games he played in for Houston this past year.
If Robinson enters free agency, New York’s going to sorely miss his rim protection and rebounding abilities, but Wood provides both of those things. Oh, and he can shoot three-pointers. He shot 39% from beyond the arc last season.
There isn’t a free agent center who’s better than Wood and Jericho Sims showed promise in his rookie campaign, but he’s probably not ready to be a starter just yet.
Iko’s proposed trade benefits both the Knicks and the Rockets, so why not go for it, Leon Rose? But if the plan is for Robinson to stay in New York, and all of that is up in the air, then this trade would make zero sense, but if he leaves, let’s all do our best to give Wood a warm welcome to the Knicks.