Knicks president Leon Rose watches his team play against the...

Knicks president Leon Rose watches his team play against the Rockets during the first half at Madison Square Garden on March 2, 2020. Credit: Jim McIsaac

When the Knicks ran through a flurry of deals in the NBA Draft on Thursday to clear salary-cap space, the immediate assumption was that it was to make a run at Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson in free agency.

Trading away their first-round pick and having the Detroit Pistons take on Kemba Walker’s $9.2 million salary put the Knicks approximately $18 million under the projected $122 million cap.

That number brought them close to the range it will take to lure Brunson from the Mavericks. But what if it isn’t enough?

The Knicks still can free up more money by waiving Taj Gibson and his non-guaranteed $5.2 million salary and trading Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel or Cam Reddish (likely needing to attach a draft pick to entice teams to take on their contracts).

Team president Leon Rose and the rest of the Knicks’ front office did not hold media availability around or after the draft, but the team did release a statement Friday in Rose’s name.

“Last night, we made three trades involving draft picks, which resulted in increased financial flexibility and additional draft capital,” Rose said in the statement. “We now have a total of 22 picks, 11 in the first round and 11 in the second round over the next seven years. We have the ability to be active in free agency, as well as in the trade market. Our focus will remain to be strategic and thoughtful in our team building, doing it the right way, while feeding off of the momentum from the end of last season and prioritizing our player development program.”

Brunson almost certainly is the first choice, a talented point guard who has proved to be a winner in college and the NBA.

The Mavericks paired him with one of the best young players in the game, Luka Doncic, and reached the Western Conference finals this season. They have maintained that they want to keep Brunson in place.

Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison told reporters this past week, “Until he tells us that he doesn’t want to be here, we’re optimistic.”

With the ability to offload nearly another $25 million — not to mention the $20 million owed to Evan Fournier — is it possible the Knicks could target something more ambitious? What if they really want to take Kyrie Irving up on his efforts to negotiate beyond what the Nets are offering him?

A sign-and-trade would get him all the money he’d seek in a max contract, but the Knicks have little to offer the Nets that matches his talent, even discounting his absences and the headaches he’s caused at almost every stop in his career.

If they clear Gibson and, for example, Noel, they could have more than $30 million to offer him as a starting point for a contract. It’s still a long shot that the Knicks would go down that road, though.

Some team officials have indicated that they think Irving’s leak of a list of teams he would be willing to work a sign-and-trade with is a negotiating tactic to try to pressure the Nets.

But there are other options available at point guard in free agency. Portland’s Anfernee Simons is a 22-year-old restricted free agent whose production soared this season when Damian Lillard was out of the lineup. Memphis’ Tyus Jones is an unrestricted free agent and could seek a larger role than serving as Ja Morant’s backup.

The Knicks also could pass on a traditional point guard and instead find a scoring guard such as Chicago’s Zach LaVine or Cleveland’s Collin Sexton, who is coming off a major knee injury.

The free-agent frenzy is scheduled to begin Thursday night, so buckle up.