If Jahlil Okafor is available at No. 4, the New York Knicks will take him.
If Okafor is gone, somebody is going to take the No. 4 pick from the Knicks.
This is the intel I am hearing from points near and far as we count down the days to the 2015 NBA Draft. Phil Jackson has a bare cupboard when it comes to future draft picks, and he is inclined to trade down in exchange for multiple picks in this year’s draft and in future drafts.
How bare is the Knicks’ cupboard?
They do not have a second-round pick in 2015, nor in 2016 or 2018.
They do not have a first-round pick in 2016, having sent it to the Toronto Raptors for Andrea Bargnani.
So WWPD — What Will Phil Do?
The educated guess here is that he will go back and forth with Sam Hinkie of Philadelphia and Danny Ainge of Boston in an effort to restock the cupboard.
The Celtics have picks 16, 28, 33 and 45 in this year’s draft, along with the rights to Brooklyn’s No. 1 picks in 2016, 2017 (right to swap) and 2018. They also have the Mavericks’ first-round pick in 2016, the Mavericks’ first-round pick in 2016 (protected 1-7), the Timberwolves first-round pick in 2016 (protected 1-12), and the Grizlies’ first-round pick in 2018 (protected 1-12).
The 76ers have picks 3, 35, 37, 47, 58 and 60 in this year’s draft. They also own the rights to four first-round picks next year: Their own, the Lakers’ (protected 1-3), the Heat’s (protected 1-10), the Thunder’s (protected 1-15), along with nine second-round picks from other teams between 2016 and 2020.
Both Ainge and Hinkie can load up Phil’s wheelbarrow and restock his cupboard if that is what Jackson chooses to do. At this point, I would say it is more likely than not that Jackson trades the No. 4 pick before the draft.
More on the Knicks and Sixers and their draft possibilities in this interview with old friend Anthony Gargano on 97.5 The Fanatic radio in Philly:
Chris Sheridan is publisher and editor-in-chief of SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.