The Knicks selected Ousmane Dieng with the 11th pick of the draft but quickly dealt his draft rights to the Oklahoma City Thunder. That created a series of moves that took a long time to sort out.
Tim Bontemps of ESPN summed things up as best as he could.
What the Knicks did tonight:
NYK trades 11th pick to OKC
OKC trades 3 firsts (23 DEN, DET, WASH) to NYK
NYK then trades 23 DEN, 4 seconds to CHA for 13th pick
NYK then trade 13th pick & Kemba Walker to DET for MKE's 25 first
NYK trades 11, Kemba, 4 2nds & gets 3 future 1sts
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 24, 2022
Stephen A. Smith, who had previously joined fellow Knicks fan Spike Lee in an on-air prayer right before the selection of Dieng and all of the ensuing madness, was not happy. And in typical Stephen A. fashion, he made his displeasure known.
Stephen A. Smith has thoughts on the New York Knicks' draft. 🏀😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/OTEiBKYOP7
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) June 24, 2022
Others in the NBA world joined him in ripping apart the Knicks.
Kemba Walker is on a $9M expiring contract and look at the salary dump cost.
For comparison's sake, the Jazz traded Derrick Favors' $20M/2-year pact for a future 1st, while getting a 2nd and cash back. https://t.co/ykrdCGo6ql
— David J. Smith (@davidjsmith1232) June 24, 2022
So basically the NYK spent the night trading picks and Kemba.
— Dércio D. Mariote 🇲🇿🇧🇷🇺🇸🇲🇼 (@DercioMariote) June 24, 2022
I have dizzy https://t.co/6EXXRZ5wuS
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 24, 2022
Draft Day is not a business model. https://t.co/oYel37XPOi
— BNP (@RevPal_Sharpton) June 24, 2022
— Mike DiIorio (@michael_diiorio) June 24, 2022
Trade Dolan too https://t.co/HyMQyVEhFW
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) June 24, 2022
Unspeakably bad. https://t.co/KcWWwGFXlR
— Billhausen (@MrBill11) June 24, 2022
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) June 24, 2022
The Knicks are their own grandpa https://t.co/2tLMAdvchn
— Hunter Felt (@HunterFelt) June 24, 2022
I cannot criticize the Knicks' draft moves because I don't understand what they were yet. They have foiled me with math. But I'll be back. Oh yes, I'll be back. https://t.co/C6cSQiueWr
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) June 24, 2022
— Juwan the Writer/Pride Month Commander (@juwanthewriter) June 24, 2022
— JM =^) (@JM539581) June 24, 2022
The Knicks did finally land a player, drafting Trevor Keels from Duke No. 42 overall. Keels’ decision to enter the draft drew a mixed reaction and getting selected in the mid-second round won’t do anything to quiet the critics.
This is why Trevor Keels should have returned to Duke: He's not ready, and falling to No. 42 proves that.
A Scouting Reporthttps://t.co/Me7FlQafq0
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) June 24, 2022
In reality, the nature of drafts is that it takes a few years for accurate grades to be made. Occasionally, players will be clear hits or busts immediately. But far more often than not, it takes time and patience. That is especially true when future picks are involved. New York’s front office hasn’t done much to earn the benefit of the doubt since James Dolan took over, but most of the worst moves were made with different general managers. So, if you’re looking for the positive, it’s right there.
When all the dust settles, Draft Day 2022 may not be remembered negatively among Knicks fans. But it will be one of the most confusing days in the franchise’s history — and think of the ground that covers.