The Knicks did not trade into the first round of the NBA Draft last night, preferring to sit where they were, all the way down at pick 38. The first guy they picked: Hey, look, it's a 'Cuse guy! Let's get excited! Okay, nobody really cares about two second-round picks: Everyone just wants to talk about LeBron. Fine.
First things first, though: The Knicks took Syracuse three-point specialist Andy Rautins — "the J.J. Redick of the draft," says ESPN's Chad Ford — and Stanford small forward Landry Fields. Ford was a little less excited about Fields:
Fields is the first real shock of the draft. He was a good scorer in the Pac 10. He's a great shooter, but he makes plays. He wasn't rated in my Top 100 and I'm not a fan, to say the least.
The Knicks took Rautins and Fields over Lance Stephenson, the Brooklyn product, who went with the very next pick to the Indiana Pacers.
What really matters is the one-week-till-LeBron-and-Co. deadline, and other teams are clearly feeling the pressure: Both the Bulls and the Heat have made big, roster-altering moves to attempt to bring LeBron and/or Bosh and/or Wade and/or Amar'e into town. (The Bulls made an extremely beneficial trade with the Wizards to free up space.) Are the Knicks worried that other teams are catching up with them on salary-cap space, space that the Knicks have imploded two seasons in a row in order to have? Don't worry: Coach Mike D'Antoni is all over this.
"[The competition] is stiff anyway, and everybody is trying to do more or less the same thing. But as long as we can keep the Empire State Building where it is, we'll be OK."
That is a plan.