GREENBURGH, N.Y. - The Knicks did not win the lottery, but they might have a higher power on their side for Thursday's NBA draft. For instance, when Hasheem Thabeet opened a fortune cookie Monday in midtown while lunching at Tao, the message read: "Buddha says: Please get drafted by the NY Knicks."
Someone at that restaurant in charge of writing fortunes is an optimist.
But for the Knicks to fulfill Buddha's request and land a valuable big man such as the 7-3 Thabeet, who would fill a critical shot-blocking need, it will take a move up in the draft from the Knicks' current position at No. 8. Donnie Walsh Monday said he has been trying.
"Of course we've had conversations," he said, "but I don't know if we're going to be able to do that."
The best opportunity may come with the Wizards' pick at No. 5, though it would come at a very steep price. Multiple sources confirmed that the Knicks have discussed a potential blockbuster trade between the teams that would land the fifth overall pick and allow the Knicks to keep their spot at No. 8. The deal likely would have to include one of the team's most valuable assets, swingman Wilson Chandler, which would be a difficult decision.
This scenario also might include Larry Hughes going back to Washington in exchange for guard Mike James, a Long Island product, and a big man such as Etan Thomas or Brendan Haywood. All of the players involved have expiring contracts.
The bold move by the Knicks, however, would not be to target Thabeet or even Spanish guard Ricky Rubio. It appears more likely that Davidson's Stephen Curry or Memphis' Tyreke Evans are the more coveted prospects.
The Knicks then could use their own pick at No. 8 to land Arizona power forward Jordan Hill, if he still is on the board. If not, there is Duke's Gerald Henderson or USC's DeMar DeRozan to consider as potential replacements for Chandler.
There was a report that Walsh wanted to meet with Rubio this week, but that proved to be inaccurate. Walsh did say there was an interest in sitting down with Rubio at the beginning of the predraft process, but not with three days to go.