The Knicks Almost Pulled Off a Really Slick Series of Draft-Day Trades

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: a surprisingly competent series of moves from the Knicks and a bunch more news from the NBA draft.
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The Knicks did something smart?

In 2006, a Canadian man made headlines by taking a single red paperclip and, over the course of one year and 14 trades, turning it into a house in Saskatchewan. Over the past several years, the Knicks have made the sort of moves more akin to starting with a house and ending up with a paperclip, but draft day was different. 

New York made the first trade of the day at around 9 a.m., swapping pick No. 27 (acquired from the Clippers in February as part of a three-team deal built around Marcus Morris) and No. 38 for Utah’s pick at No. 23. It seemed like a weird move at the time—what reason is there to move up four spots at the back end of the first round before you even know who’s going to be available there?—but the Knicks didn’t end up holding onto that pick. They subsequently traded the 23rd pick for the 25th and 33rd, taking Kentucky’s Immanuel Quickley with the first of those picks. 

That’s pretty sly! By trading twice, the Knicks moved up two spots at the end of the first round and five spots at the top of the second round without giving up anything. There were no players or future picks involved in the deals. They just took two picks, traded them for one higher pick and traded that pick for two lower picks that were still higher than the original two. 

But, because this is the Knicks, things didn’t go exactly according to plan. They had acquired pick No. 33 with the intention of selecting Duke’s Vernon Carey Jr., but the Hornets swooped in and took him at 32. The Knicks apparently had no interest in rostering a player other than Carey, because they took Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu and promptly traded him to the Clippers for a 2023 second-round pick that was originally Detroit’s. 

Even though the Knicks didn’t get their man with the 33rd pick and it’s not a guarantee that the Pistons’ 2023 second-rounder will be as high as No. 33, it still ends up being a good series of moves for them. They were able to move up slightly with their second first-round pick and gain some future flexibility when the original plan for the second-rounder fell through. Imagine that—the Knicks resembling a competent basketball team. 

The best of SI

Here is Jeremy Woo’s pick-by-pick analysis of the draft. ... Chris Mannix breaks down the winners and losers of the draft. ... What Kim Ng finally being hired as a GM means to women who work in baseball. ... Northwestern’s big improvement is no fluke.

Around the sports world

The Warriors’ draft day was dampened by the news that Klay Thompson appears to have sustained a “significant” Achilles injury in a workout. ... A high school football coach in Maryland had a heart attack at halftime but coached the rest of the game, a 53–0 loss. ... The reported sign-and-trade that would have sent Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Bucks was scuttled because Bogdanovic didn’t agree to go to Milwaukee. ... Bill Belichick took a moment during his press conference to call attention to violence against Armenians being perpetrated by Turkey and Azerbaijan

Nice moment for a guy going to his hometown team

Who knew Spike Lee was friends with the Anthony family?

That fabric looks like your grandmother’s couch but he makes it work

This would have been fun, but Jason McIntyre is a hack

Ridiculous skills

He looks like a JV player now

Why weren’t they being as safe as possible from the beginning?

There’s no way he’s getting elected to the Hall of Fame now, and he probably won’t make it to 3,000 hits

Nice try, Sean

Got him!

Not sports

A man wanted in relation to a Ponzi scheme tried to escape the FBI on an underwater “sea scooter.” ... The new Wonder Woman movie will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas Day. ... Sasha Banks says she got her role on The Mandalorian thanks to her appearance on Hot Ones. ... The 200 worst passwords of 2020 have been released

Pretty clever

He looks mad as hell in that second photo

A good song

Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.