Draft

Knicks Options for Thursday’s Draft

     In Thursday’s NBA draft the New York Knicks hold the 17th selection and are looking to purchase at least one more selection late in the first or in the second round. To the Knicks, this draft is just as important as acquiring Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony were. This is a draft that is going to determine whether we remain a 50 win playoff team or a 60 win championship contender. With 2 superstars and a potential 3rd on the way, the Knicks regular season success is almost a given but it’s what happens in the playoffs that really counts. This draft will provide either a springboard into greatness or a burden that keeps us in mediocrity in the vastly improving eastern conference.
     First and foremost, I believe the Knicks badly want BYU point guard Jimmer Fredette and they are desperately trying to trade up to grab him. I have heard rumors that they want to trade up above Utah at 12 to select Fredette. Toney Douglas and the 17th pick are primary what has been rumored to being offered by New York for this selection. While Fredette has the potential to be a great player in this league, I do not believe he is going to live up to his potential nor do I believe he is a good fit for the New York Knicks. The last thing we need is a ball dominant point guard to go along with our ball dominant small forward who already struggles to find chemistry¬† with our ball dominant power forward. In addition all 3 players are notoriously poor defensive players under a head coach, who I do like, that has notoriously been reluctant to emphasize defense in his up tempo coaching style. It just is not a great fit with the Knicks right now and I believe Douglas is a better player already and will be moving forward. He plays great defense, something we badly need, and has shown the ability to be an absolutely lethal 3 point shooter. I believe there is a lot of value in the mid first- second round portion of this draft and the Knicks can get a lot out of staying put at 17, keeping Douglas and passing on Jimmer.
     If the Knicks stay put at 17 they should have plenty of solid options. It’s been rumored that projected lottery picks Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo may slip all the way to 17. Walker is a versatile guard who can play point or shooting guard, he’s a great scorer, good defensive player, he’s clutch and he’s from the Bronx. He’d be a wonderful fit with the Knicks. Same for Bismack Biyombo, a 6’9 power forward/ center who is probably the best athlete in this class. His offensive game needs work but his athleticism, shot blocking, rebounding and post defense really would be a perfect fit next to Amare Stoudemire and would improve our defense greatly. Also the Knicks love Washington State shooting guard Klay Thompson, a knock down shooter, but there is little doubt that he will be gone by 17. In the likely scenario that all 4 players (including Jimmer) are gone by 17, there are still good players for the Knicks to take. I believe the Knicks will be looking at Morehead St Forward Kenneth Faried, USC center Nikola Vucevic, Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert, Providence guard Marshon Brooks and Kansas guard Josh Selby. I think the main 3 guys that the Knicks will be looking at from that group are Shumpert, Faried and Selby in that order. New York has made it no secret that they love Shumpert and there’s a lot to love about him. He’s a 6’6 point guard with a 6’10 wingspan, he’s a lockdown defender and he’s very athletic. He’s been so impressive that the Phoenix Suns are widely rumored to have tagged Shumpert as their guy with the 13th pick. If Shumpert is gone, I believe the Knicks will look long and hard at Morehead State forward Kenneth Faried. I believe he’s going to be the next Dennis Rodman only that Faried is a better offensive player and doesn’t have 7,000 tattoos, bleached hair or multiple nose rings. Faried is a high character, high energy, rebounding power forward who also averaged 17 points a game to go along with his 14 rebounds a game during his senior season. The only knock on him is that he’s 6’6 but he does have a 7 foot wingspan and is incredibly athletic. I have heard multiple people say “if he was 6’10 he’d be the first pick in the draft”. I think next to Melo and Stat, Faried would thrive on the offensive glass. I think he’d be a wonderful addition coming off the bench and getting 8 rebounds and 2-3 baskets a game. The player I really do not want to see taken here is Kansas guard Josh Selby. He’s been questioned as a pure point guard, maybe having skills more suited to an undersized shooting guard (kind of like Toney Douglas). He’s a huge character risk. He had problems in high school and at Kansas. Last season he was benched for most of the second half of the season. Selby thought he should have been the star of the team even though he didn’t play anywhere near that level. He’s also a CAA guy, the agency that seems to be running the Knicks right now, which is why I think he’s a dark horse to be the pick at 17 although I’m praying that I am wrong. I believe if the Knicks pass on Selby at 17, they will try to purchase his rights later in the draft.
     The Knicks do not currently own another pick in the draft after 17 but it’s widely believed that they will purchase at least one more pick before the draft ends. In the NBA, a team can pay up to 3 million dollars on a transaction. I believe the Knicks will give up at least 6 million dollars in draft picks. Some potential teams who might sell to the Knicks would be the Bulls, who own picks 28 and 30, Lakers, who own 41, 56 and 58, and the Kings who own 35 and 60. While it is not as clear who the Knicks will target with their acquired picks, there are a couple players I think the Knicks may target. I mentioned Josh Selby who is probably a late 1 – early 2 in terms of value, also Jeremy Tyler from Japan, Boston College’s Reggie Jackson and UCLA’s Malcolm Lee. Tyler is an intriguing forward prospect as he is 6’11, athletic and potential packed but has character issues after skipping his senior year of high school and struggling mightily in Japan. Reggie Jackson is a true point guard with a 7 foot wingspan who plays great defense. Malcolm Lee is a hybrid guard who is long and athletic and excels defensively.
     If I was drafting for the Knicks at 17, pending the fall of Biyombo or Walker, I would select Iman Shumpert. I think his size and defensive ability on the perimeter would give us a great weapon off the bench. With our undersized front court, I think we need to stockpile size in the back court. Landy Fields, 6’7, already fills one of those roles, I think the 6’6 Shumpert would be another great addition. If Shumpert is gone, I would draft Faried or consider a possible trade down with a team like Chicago or maybe even to accumulate picks next year, as we have 0 next year, in what will be considered a stronger draft class.
     Thursday night is very important for the Knicks, with a great draft they can be championship contenders, with a poor draft they could be average. I think this is just as important as getting our stars was as we have numerous holes to fill. I look for Shumpert or Faried to be the pick and I think the Knicks will get 2 others. Regardless of what happens, it will be interesting to see what happens.

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Matt Howard Among 6 Players to Work Out For the Knicks Wednesday

Butler star Matt Howard is among 6 players to work out for the Knicks on Wednesday. The other five are College of Charleston long range stud Andrew Goudelock, Georgia forward Trey Thompkins, Villanova guard Corey Fisher, Rhode Island forward Delroy James and and Notre Dame forward Carleton Scott. Matt Howard is the most publicized player in this group. He’s got a late 2nd round grade. He’s a typical players coach, but the coach would probably be in college. Although he can shoot long range, he doesn’t have the body, athleticism or strength to play forward in the NBA. He’s a great basketball mind and he’s got a good motor but I don’t think he’ll be a good NBA player. Trey Thompkins is a 6-10 forward with a 7-1 wingspan. He’s got a solid offensive game. He’s got a great offensive game, he can shoot mid range, he can shoot 3′s and he’s got a solid post game. He’s not the greatest athlete in the world and he’s had conditioning issues in the past but he’s a solid player. Corey Fisher is a 5’11 point guard. He’s a late 2nd round pick to undrafted. He’s not a great shooter and doesn’t have good size. Just an okay player, I don’t like him that much. Delroy James is another late 2nd round guy. He’s a 6-8 small forward that is athletic but he needs to refine his offensive game. He has to improve his jumper if he’s gonna play small forward in the NBA, only shot 25% from 3 last season. Carleton Scott is a 6-8 small forward who is a very good defender and is a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions. He doesn’t give you much on the defensive end as he is very raw. If you’ve never seen Andrew Goudelock, then you’ve been missing out. It should be Goudelock range not Jimmer range. He’s a 6-3 shooting guard with a 6-5 wingspan. He’s not a great athlete but his shooting is incredible. Just check out the video below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1smyOfRXIxM] thanks to Javon27isback for the video

There is speculation that the Knicks will look to purchase at least 1 second round selection and they have done nothing to dispel that speculation. They’ve been working out a ton of guys with 2nd round grades lately and I fully expect them to spend a bit of money to buy a couple. [twitter-follow screen_name='tarmosino' show_screen_name='no']

Knicks Work Out 5 Players Tuesday

Yesterday the Knicks worked out UCLA’s Malcolm Lee, UTEP’s Julyan Stone, Morhead St’s Demonte Harper, South Carolina forward Sam Muldrow and Syracuse’s Rick Jackson. Lee is a projected first round selection while Jackson and Stone are projected late 2nd round selections. Lee and Stone are both point guards with good size while Jackson is a 6’9 forward. Malcolm Lee is seen as a bit of a tweener between a point guard and a shooting guard but he has excellent athleticism and is a fantastic defensive player. Stone is interesting because he’s a god awful offensive player, especially when it comes to jump shooting, but he’s a great defender. His defensive versatility is also a potential asset to whatever team drafts him. At UTEP, Stone defended 3 positions. With his 6’5 height and 6’10 wingspan, his versatility should translate to the NBA game. Rick Jackson is a typical undersized forward. He’s got a good motor and became a great college rebounder, averaging 10.3 a game in college. He’s not a greatly skilled offensive player but his rebounding and motor are nice building blocks for him to approve on.¬† Muldrow, 6’9, was a fantastic shot blocker in college, averaging 3.4 blocks per game last season, but he’s very limited offensively. He projects, if he makes improvements, to be a designated defensive, shot blocking big. Demonte Harper averaged 15.5 points per game as a shooting guard for Morehead State. He had some significant scoring games this season, including 38, 35 and 27 point games. Granted he wasn’t playing against NBA level talent but he has some scoring ability.

Rumors were that Jackson and Julyan Stone impressed the coaching staff with their sold play on both ends of the court. I could see the Knicks purchasing a second rounder to select one of these two players as we could use all the bench defenders we could get.

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Fredette Among 3 to Workout for Knicks on Thursday

On Thursday, the Knicks will work out the top 2 scoring leaders in college basketball, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette and Providence’s Marshon Brooks, and the Pac-10 scoring leader, Washington State’s Klay Thompson. At 29, 24 and 22 points per game respectively, the Knicks will have plenty of firepower inside the MSG training center Thursday. It’s no secret the Knicks are looking for another shooter and all 3 players would fit the bill. In last years NBA draft, Donnie Walsh struck gold with another Pac-10 scoring champion; Landry Fields, therefore many speculate Klay Thompson could be the pick at number 17. It’s been reported that sources inside the organization compare Thompson to Allan Houston.

Obviously Jimmer is the headliner of this group although I believe he may end up being the worst of the 3 players. If Fredette had come out in last years draft, he would have been scooped up by NY in the 2nd round. I believe Fredette would be the worst selection for the Knicks at 17. Yes he can score but we also have two of the top five scorers in the NBA today. The last thing we need is another volume shooter with obvious defensive deficiencies.

Providence’s Marshon Brooks is the lesser known of the three, although he may end up going ahead of both players. Brooks is a prolific scorer from Providence who has drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant. His resume includes leading the Big East in scoring at 24 points a game, including a 52 point outbreak against Notre Dame and a 43 point game at Georgetown.

It’s possible none of the three players will fall to the Knicks at 17 although I believe at least Thompson and possibly Brooks will be there. I don’t believe Jimmer will get by the Phoenix Suns who select at 13. I believe a backup point or a center is a more important need then a scoring shooting guard but Thompson would fill the role of a scorer off the bench, a role that we desperately need some consistency out of.

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