It’s become almost a yearly tradition here at NYSG to make our last minute plea for the Knicks to draft the guys we want, so here goes nothing! If the Knicks can trade up for a Bamba or Doncic at 3 or 4, as unlikely as it is, they should do it. There is no price too high to get a superstar especially in a weak draft next year that is rich in quality small forwards and with the understanding that the Knicks presumably don’t want to tank. Bamba is a future Embiid and has the blueprint handed to him by his trainer. Luka could very well become a MVP contender someday and has big aspirations for his career. It looks like Young is falling in most mocks and I pray the Knicks don’t make that mistake of passing on him. He can singlehandedly change an offense, so why not take the chance at a game changing guard if the Knicks are truly for BPA? His weaknesses can be masked by Frank on the defensive end and he does things Ntilikina can’t do like shoot and score from anywhere.
Let us not regret this like many other things but if the Knicks insist on passing greatness up, they should be smart about it and take advantage of a team like the Clippers who hold picks #12 and 13 that they’d be willing to trade to get someone who led the country in points and assists. The gap in talent is huge after. You would think the success of a Steph Curry would dispel worries; however, sometimes the pundits are listened to too much when they were completely wrong on a two-time MVP and three-time champ. Yes, he’s a little smaller but that is OK in today’s NBA. Who else was regularly double teamed in college? He won’t face that in the NBA. The worst part is passing him up because he didn’t shoot the ball well in a workout, the one skill we know for sure will translate. The conditions may have not been right at the time. He checks the boxes as does Lonnie Walker who should easily be the pick otherwise if it’s not Trae.
Walker IV is the highest character individual in this draft like Donovan Mitchell was last year and has the same level of athleticism, which is what the Knicks need more than anything, and shot making ability to be a superstar right away. He was recovering from injury most of the year and came on when Bruce Brown went down. New York would absolutely love him and it would make up for past decisions in full without having to wait a very long time. History repeats itself and these great All Star caliber players go 13-15 range all the time because of questions so I hope that doesn’t happen again. He would slot in at the two guard seamlessly and be able to spell some time at the one as well while his skills improve. That backcourt would be a show stopper in terms of defensive intensity and high basketball IQ on that side of the ball along with having serious offensive potential in his case as a future Bradley Beal type that they can use with his also great shooting.
I desperately wish that the Knicks are not counting our chickens before they hatch and thinking about the free agencies of Kyrie and Kemba as reasons not to take a guard as that would be miscalculated. Drafting thinking that they have positions set is even worse than drafting for need, in my opinion, and is why teams make terrible trades like the Nuggets who thought they had too much talent which there’s no such thing of. Miles Bridges has Blake Griffin talent, and also severely underrated. If NY is afraid to pull the trigger that high on LW, there should be no such concern with Miles. He’s a second year player who wants to win just as much as Mikal with considerably more upside. Their defensive abilities are closer than one would think and Miles is the better player on offense by a long shot as he can also create his own shot, the number one attribute. His jumper improved in form if not numbers and he brings the Flint toughness as well as leadership. What I like most about these guys is that they don’t just absorb coaching but CRAVE it; this is perfect with coach Fizdale!
I will commend the Knicks for being high on Kevin Knox and placing him ahead seemingly of someone with a lesser ceiling who has been on the record as saying he has no problem being a role player within a system. They don’t need that, especially while their franchise player is likely out for much of the season! How will NYK recruit without another bonafide youngster taking the league by storm in his rookie campaign? Knox is probably not that guy, and why I have Walker and Miles ahead on my board for us as he’s going to take time to develop into his body but I can see him turning into Brandon Ingram although he is not nearly the defender he is.
After much consideration, I would deal Michael Porter Jr. if he was also miraculously available at #9 for those Clipper picks i was speaking of before as Knox should be there and is a lesser, younger, healthier version in ways. My concerns stem only from his subpar shot selection and strength going inside that’ll only be more visible at this level. There’s way too much projection for my liking on his ISO game and shooting off the dribble plus getting separation with his below average handle that is not the case for Miles, no matter if he beat him one on one of not by being inches taller. His selection would signal a rebuilding period that is not a bad thing but to slow expectations like not always easy in NY especially when you can clearly see his ability. Two way potential, not just positional versatility, is what I thought the Knicks were after although there’s always a possibility to acquire even more picks if we’re active tonight to go get another first. The easiest trade by far would be to simply exchange the 9th with Philly for 10 and 26 to do this as they’d be sure of getting Mikal or Zhaire Smith, who I like much better as an electrifying guy with unlimited ability in both end. Sixers have too many draftees to sign and they’re getting ready for free agency with a stacked team. As I mentioned in passing, if either Marquese Chriss or Trey Lyles intrigue the Knicks, they wouldn’t be bad options attached with the 14th and 16th picks and more.
Here is who I’d like to see in the second round for the Knicks, although I’d prefer a frontcourt player at 36 since they’re not getting a Wendell Carter Jr. but a wing. This could be Wagner if he’s still there, Hervey who I talk about being my favorite second rounder here: https://newyorksportsguys.com/2018/06/19/best-of-the-rest-part-5, Metu as a sleeper type who will surprise many with his shooting form that makes him look like a fake Bamba at times and Penava – my absolute favorite player in the draft who no one is talking about. Isaac Bonga belongs in such a category with his unique ability to carve defense switches playing like a point forward with no real comparison, perhaps a Lamar Odom if he puts on weight.
Undrafted guys I like are Billy Preston who I thought had lottery type game out of high school with his LeBron James build and Gary Clark from Cincinnati who I like better than Jacob Evans for his PJ Tucker 3 and D scrappiness despite him being a lot older. Another European I like a lot is Arnoldas Kulboka, 6’10 shooter Joe Ingles mold who’s as good as more heralded Euros beause of his intangibles along with aggressive Issuf Sanon from Ukraine who’s the best euro stash this June for his quickly evolving skills that could be fun to watch in short order. I think I found the best Kyle O’Quinn replacement in small ball center Alize Johnson who is his clone with tremendous heart. Hopefully, this has all been helpful in the last hours before the draft and we will get to see a few of all of these players become a Knick.