The Knicks and and Cleveland Cavaliers have touched base on a deal that would send Cleveland’s No. 5 pick to New York, league sources confirm.
If the Knicks traded for the No. 5 pick, Dayton’s Obi Toppin would be a target for the club.
Entering the week, Toppin wasn’t the sole focus of New York in a trade-up scenario. Other players projected toward the top end of the draft remained under consideration by New York. But the cost to move up to the top three of the draft is significant and may prove too high for the Knicks.
In trade talks for Chris Paul, the Knicks had been unwilling to part with significant assets. Entering the week of the draft, the Knicks had taken the same approach in any potential trade for Russell Westbrook.
If New York can execute a deal with either Cleveland or the Chicago Bulls, the club would likely be in position to take Toppin.
Agents of players with lottery picks were under the impression that New York wanted to get to No. 5.
The Knicks may have to package the No. 8 pick and the No. 23 pick (which was acquired in a trade with the Jazz on Wednesday morning) along with other assets to get something done with Cleveland.
If New York stays at No. 8, players on their radar include Florida State’s Devin Vassell, guard Killian Hayes, Auburn’s Isaac Okoro.
If the Knicks keep the No. 8 pick and the No. 23 pick, opposing teams see Washington’s Isaiah Stewart as a player to watch for New York at 23.
The Knicks talks with Cleveland about trading for the No. 5 pick were first reported by Cleveland.com.
In other draft notes: entering draft week, members of the Thunder had been intrigued by Aleksej Pokusevski, per SNY sources.
Robert Woodard had gotten strong interest from teams with picks late in the first round.