The Knicks have been wheeling and dealing lately and it continued as the front office made some interesting moves on Draft Night.

The New York Knicks, similarly looking to continue to build themselves up, had to fill a need in this draft — that need being just any additional bench depth but especially some facilitation and help defensively for an already defensively-minded second unit. They ended up trading back just one pick to the 26th pick instead of the 24th and chose back-to-back anyway at 25 and 26. With those two picks, New York’s front office selected Frenchman Pacome Dadiet and then, promptly traded their 26th pick, giving everyone whiplash. But, they got back five second-round picks in return, ensuring a busy day for them tomorrow to either choose from a pool of upside players or continue to wheel and deal in the wake of some major trade & resigning news from them.

Dadiet, an 18-year-old international guard, most recently played for Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany. With them, he averaged just 6.6 points per game to go along with 2.3 boards in just 15.3 minutes per game. He will be coming over to the team as a project, as the Knicks are fairly set in their rotation after acquiring Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the week and after locking in elite wing OG Anunoby on a nearly max deal. So, picking wasn’t necessarily a necessity for them in this draft. It would have been nice to see them take someone like Ryan Dunn, a defensive stalwart who struggles with his shot but has clear value as a defender off the bench, or someone like Isaiah Collier, a solid guard out of USC. But, it seems like Dadiet has a lot of upside on offense that might have appealed to the Knicks’ FO. His age is a factor in that, and he can now develop under the teams’ coaching staff with a proven track record for turning solid draft picks into legitimate role players.

With that said, it looks like the trades could have had to do with them trying to save money. The Athletic’s Fred Katz posted that their pick moving is “a money saver” for the team, adding that instead of them taking on two first-rounders, they now have the flexibility to take on more minimum contracts to help keep them under the cap. Smart moves from the front office, especially knowing they have plenty of players to pick from tomorrow and knowing that they are in a win-now window, not a building one. The Knicks saw a need to save money and get serious, and they did just that in this draft’s first round.