Starting at 8PM tonight, the 2011 NBA Draft will kick off. For the last week, the Knicks have been one of the more active teams in the trade market. As of Thursday morning, the Knicks hold the 17th pick in the draft, but are active in trade talks. I’ve read countless mock drafts that have the Knicks selecting Kansas point guard, Josh Selby or Georgia Tech point guard, Iman Shumpert. Other publications have the Knicks trading up to select sharp shooting guard, Jimmer Fredette of BYU. Despite reports that the Suns do not want to move Steve Nash, the Knicks have been linked to a three-team trade with the Suns and Timberwolves. The Knicks and Bulls are also discussing a trade that would give the Knicks the 30th pick. With some many variables in play, what will the Knicks do tonight?

Will Josh Selby Call MSG Home?

One thought about the 2011 Draft: Anything can and will happen.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold the #1 pick, are strongly leaning towards selecting Duke point guard, Kyrie Irving. After that though, anything can happen. The Timberwolves, who hold the second pick, are still actively shopping. Reports have linked the Suns dealing Steve Nash to the Timberwolves for the pick, but why would the Wolves want three point guards (they aren’t have Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio)? Nash only has one year left on his deal and the Suns keep saying they want to keep their veteran point guard. The Knicks have also been tied to these discussions, with the following package being presented:

  • The Suns receive: Minnesota’s #2 selection
  • The Wolves receive: The Suns selection (#13), their 2012 first round pick, Toney Douglas, and The Knicks selection (#17)
  • The Knicks receive: Steve Nash & Josh Childress

Nash is owed $11.6 million this year before becoming a free agent. Childress is owed an average of $6.5 million over the next three seasons. Childress would be nothing more than a salary dump for the Suns and his 5.0 PPG and 2.9 RPG are simply not worth it. I don’t see the Knicks clogging up their salary structure by making this deal. Obviously there would be other parts involved and the Knicks would have to move other players, but reunited Nash with D’Antoni for a season isn’t worth it.

When the Knicks make their selection at #17, guard Josh Selby will likely be available. Selby is an extremely raw player, but Carmelo wants to bring the fellow Baltimore native to the Big Apple. Melo had this to say about Selby:

Anthony has made it clear to the Knicks that he’d love for the club to draft one of his Baltimore pals, Josh Selby, a 6-3 combo guard out of Kansas. Selby is all but certain to be available when the Knicks, who own the 17th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, make their selection.

ESPN has Selby ranked as the eighth best point guard in the draft.

The Knicks have also been tied to point guard, Iman Shumpert of Georgia Tech. The 6’6″ junior guard averaged 17.3 PPG in the ACC last season. He’s not a great shooter (40% from the field; 28% from three-point land), but he ranks as the top perimeter defender in the draft. Shumpert will likely be available at 17.

It’ll be a very interesting day with all of the trade speculation. The Lakers have been talking about moving Andrew Bynum for a Top 5 selection while the Sixers have been discussing trading Andre Iguodala. Stay tuned and check back here tomorrow night as we analyze the NBA Draft.