The NBA draft is less than a month away and the NY Knicks are the most interesting team in the top 4, as Phil Jackson may consider a trade down if the top players are picked and this comes as the team is looking at Justise Winslow, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles and Frank Kaminsky as potential targets, while the Boston Celtics could be a candidate to trade up in the first round.
The Knicks have the number four pick in the draft and among the top teams, they are the most likely to trade out of the top five. The Lakers have the number two pick after knocking the Knicks out of the way in the lottery, while the Timberwolves have the first pick and the Sixers are at number three. Those teams are expected to stay and not trade out, leaving the Knicks as a possible partner for teams looking to get into the top five.
Phil Jackson said earlier in the season that the team would consider trading out of the top five the pick was outside the top three and that has been confirmed by reports. According to Chad Ford of ESPN, the Knicks will be "more eager" to trade the pick if players Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns or D'Angelo Russell is off the board at number four. The wild card in all of this is Kristaps Porzingis, as he is considered by some scouts to be the top overall player in the draft.
If one of the top three teams considers the 19 year old, the Knicks would be guaranteed to get one of the three players they reportedly covet. With the Sixers dealing with possibly losing Joel Embiid for another season, they could go after a big man or Porzingis, which would leave Russell for the Knicks. Towns and Okafor are expected to go one-two, but if something changes, the Knicks likely would stay with the top four and keep their pick.
The Knicks have worked out numerous players, including Trey Lyles, Cameron Payne, Justise Winslow, Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Kaminsky and now they are working out Willie Cauley-Stein. According to SNY, the Knicks are working out Cauley-Stein on Tuesday and he is one player that the team is "seriously" considering with the fourth pick in the draft. Most mock drafts have Winslow as the pick for the Knicks, including by Ford and on Pro Basketball Talk. Cauley-Stein is a strong defensive player and he had averages of 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.2 steals with Kentucky last season.
Ford writes that the Knicks are "on the fence" about Mudiay and Porzingis and the team also could consider trading down if they want players like Payne, Lyles or Kaminsky. Those three players are considered mid first round picks and the Knicks could trade down and still get one of them most likely. The team may consider Porzingis, but Ford writes that teams like the Nuggets and Pacers could also tempt the Knicks in a trade into the top five.
The Celtics also are an option to move up, as they reportedly want Cauley-Stein. According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England, the Celtics are "very open" to trading up and the top target is Cauley-Stein for the Celtics.