Begley's Mailbag: After Cam Reddish trade, are Knicks hesitant to include first-round picks at NBA trade deadline?

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Myles Turner Cam Reddish cropped
Myles Turner Cam Reddish cropped

SNY's Ian Begley will be responding to and breaking down answers to Knicks questions from readers. Here's the latest...

@jmere09nyc (Jason Meredith): With the Knicks sending out a first round pick in the Cam Reddish trade, do you think the Knicks are hesitant to include first round pick(s) in any trade at the deadline?

Great question from Jason here. Going all the way back to the Phil Jackson regime, the Knicks have been very conservative with trading future draft picks. With Jackson -- and later with Steve Mills and Scott Perry -- the goal was to keep all future picks unless trading them landed a top player.

That thinking allowed the Knicks to stockpile first-round picks over the past few drafts, and it’s continued under Leon Rose. Prior to the Reddish trade, the Knicks had been acquiring future picks in trades -- not sending them out.

With that said, I don’t think New York would be hesitant to send out a first-round pick in a trade at the deadline for a player who can help them win this season (such as Myles Turner, if healthy, or Jalen Brunson).

They have all of their first-round picks moving forward. And they also own a protected 2023 pick from the Mavs, via the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

Apr 2, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) passes the ball against New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) passes the ball against New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As stated earlier this week, there are people at MSG who had high expectations for this season after the club’s success in 2020-21.

Entering the weekend, those expectations haven’t been met.

That’s part of the reason I wouldn’t be surprised if New York included a future first in a trade ahead of the deadline. If the Knicks stand pat at the deadline and miss the playoffs, the entire organization will be under greater scrutiny in 2022-23. That’s an uncomfortable position to be in when you’re a high-profile team with just one playoff series win in 20-plus seasons.

Fans who want to see the Knicks undergo a full rebuild and prioritize player development over winning games probably don’t want to hear that. But, from my seat, that’s the Knicks’ reality right now.

One thing worth noting about the trade deadline: Players like Brunson and Turner can also be acquired via trade in the offseason. So the Knicks can wait out the market on those players if they feel that the asking price is too steep at the trade deadline.

Making that kind of trade in the offseason probably puts the Knicks under less of a microscope early in the 2022-23 season.