- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Members of the New York Knicks’ front office were involved in discussions with Orlando, Phoenix and Boston in the hours leading up to the draft on Thursday, league sources with knowledge of the conversations say.
Sources say that the Celtics were discussing a package that included multiple picks and big man Jared Sullinger with New York and that Phoenix talked to members of the organization about a trade involving Eric Bledsoe in the hours leading up to the draft.
It is unclear how far any of the talks advanced, but Jackson eventually settled on selecting Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth pick.
Phil Jackson said the Knicks had talked to teams about potential offers but all the offers were contingent on which players were selected ahead of them, Jackson said.
"Those things fell the way they did. We had what we wanted and we went with it," he said.
As is common during the draft, sources say there was a healthy debate among New York’s scouts and decision-makers over the pick.
Some members of the organization were pushing to trade the pick for a lower first-round selection and a player or future pick.
Fisher says Knicks needs bigs in free agency: The Knicks don’t have a center under contract for next season. The only potential power forwards on the roster are Carmelo Anthony and Porzingis.
So New York will need to find some big men in free agency.
“I don’t think it’s any secret we need to get some size up front, and I think that’ll be a big focus for us,” head coach Derek Fisher said.
LaMarcus Aldridge during free agency. Robin Lopez and Omer Asik are other options on the market. Indiana veteran forward David West opted out of his contract and may have interest in New York. ESPN’s Marc Stein also reported that the Pacers may look to move Roy Hibbert, who could be an option for New York.
Jerian confident, comfortable: New Knicks point guard Jerian Grant expressed confidence in his ability to adjust to the NBA. He said on Friday that he thinks he can start in his first pro season.
“Obviously I still have a long way to go. I think I am going to get a lot better but I do think I am able to come in and start and help this team right away,” said Grant, whom the Knicks obtained in a draft night trade with Atlanta in exchange for Tim Hardaway Jr.
Grant was a combo guard at Notre Dame and thinks he can play both positions with the Knicks.
“Whatever the team needs,” he said. “If I am a point, I can go out there and run the team or if I am a two, maybe score a little bit more. I think I can do that, too.”
Grant, Jose Calderon and Langston Galloway are the only guards under contract for the Knicks. The Hardaway trade opens up an opportunity for Ricky Ledo. Ledo will play on the Knicks’ summer league team and has a contract of $947,276 that becomes partially guaranteed in August.
847dESPN New York staff