The Knicks are amenable to trading out of the first round by gaining an established player.
If Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton fell to ninth in the NBA Draft in 2018, Knicks brass would’ve selected the Alabama point guard over Kevin Knox, according to a source.
They didn’t get so lucky as Sexton was taken at No. 8 by Cleveland. But the Knicks may get another shot at the speedy Sexton.
On Monday, The Athletic reported Sexton has been made “very available” by the Cavaliers in a trade. A source confirmed the Knicks have Sexton on their trade radar as they attempt to shore up the starting point-guard position and that he could be dealt during the 2021 NBA Draft on July 29.
The Athletic reported Tuesday the Knicks have been “most aggressive’’ in inquiring about Sexton, who is due a rookie contract extension with the deadline in October.
On draft night, according to a source, the Knicks are amenable to trading out of the first round by gaining an established player. They hold the Nos. 19 and 21 picks and are one of the few teams who have cap space before free agency begins on Aug. 2. They also have picks Nos. 32 and 58 in the second round.
Sexton is a client of CAA, the agency Knicks president Leon Rose ran until last season.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, are blessed with another young point guard in Darius Garland, who was drafted in 2019. The chemistry of the Garland-Sexton duo has been serviceable but has not led Cleveland to the playoffs the past two seasons.
Knicks GM Scott Perry ran the 2018 draft and the club worked out Sexton in a solo event in Tarrytown. Sexton averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists last season and shot a decent 37.1 percent from 3.
The Knicks are desperate for a starting point guard with Elfrid Payton, Derrick Rose and Frank Ntilikina all free agents. Only Rose has a chance to return but more in a backup role after his knee didn’t hold up from all the minutes in the final two games of the playoffs vs. the Hawks.
The Knicks have Rose’s Early-Bird rights and can go over the salary cap to re-sign him, but only if the offer is at $10.6 million or less. If the Knicks exceed that offer then the contract will eat into their salary cap space, a scenario they prefer to avoid.
Other starry options the Knicks have discussed are Damian Lillard in a trade and Chris Paul as a free agent. But Lillard may not make a decision on his future until late in the offseason. And Paul is a long shot to want to leave the Suns, with the player and team both on the verge of winning their first NBA title.
Lonzo Ball, 23, is a restricted free agent but doesn’t have the offensive firepower or speed of Sexton and is viewed as more of a playmaker. Sexton is also younger at 22.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Marc Berman