New York Knicks Draft Report

Breaking down the Knicks draft picks and roster outlook heading into the NBA draft

2017-18 W/L: 29-53 2018-19 W/L: 17-65

Team Needs: PG, SG, PF, C

Finished 15th in the eastern conference (Missed Playoffs)

Free Agents: Deandre Jordan, Mario Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay, Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet, John Jenkins

Under Contract: Lance Thomas, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Mitchell Robinson, Damyean Dotson

Team Option: Henry Ellenson

Pick 1: 1st Round-3rd Overall

Expected to select RJ Barrett

Other players that could fit with this pick:

PG: Darius Garland, Coby White

SG: Jarrett Culver

SF: De’Andre Hunter

Pick 2: 2nd Round-55th Overall

Players that could be available and fit with this pick:

PG: Ky Bowman, Shamorie Ponds, Jaylen Hands, Jalen Lecque, Justin Wright-Foreman

SG: Zach Norvell Jr., Jordan Poole, Quinndary Weatherspoon

SF: Brian Bowen, Daquan Jeffries, Cody Martin, Oshae Brissett

PF: Eric Paschall, Simisola Shittu, Bennie Boatwright, Robert Franks

C: Tacko Fall, Dewan Hernandez, Moses Brown, Marques Bolden

The Knicks have two draft picks this year, but their roster will be largely molded through free agency in the off season. They are expected to make a major play at this years free agent class that consists of names like Kevin Durant, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and more. What chance the franchise has of actually signing multiple big names is a debate that will play out over the next month or so, but there is no doubt that they have the cap space and the market to be an option for some of these potential signings. Because of the fact that they have structured their roster to be able to sign a couple of max contract players, it is tough at this point to have a realistic idea of what the roster will look like on opening night, especially when you consider the possibly of one or both of their picks being used in a trade. Considered a possible destination for Anthony Davis if the Pelicans do elect to move the forward, New Orleans would most likely want the #3 overall pick included in their agreement. As of now we will continue to assume the Knicks will be the team selected at #3, and providing that New Orleans takes Zion Williamson along with Memphis taking Ja Morant as expected, choosing RJ Barrett should be an easy choice. Further than that if they do hold on to the pick and ultimately Barrett through the summer, he has the type of game that would fit well with multiple styles depending on the talent that the team brings in. Many analysts have the Knicks landing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, which if you put with Barrett and last years first round pick Kevin Knox, would immediately become a core you could build around and win games. However free agency plays out, if they end up with Barrett at #3 they are getting a potential franchise player that could be one of the leaders on a winning team for many years to come. 

With their second round pick things become much more up in the air than the presumed selection of Barrett at #3. Providing they do take Barrett, they will most likely be in a best player available thought process when it comes to their next choice due to free agency looming after the draft. They have worked out Marques Bolden, Tacko Fall and Quinndary Weatherspoon who all are expected to be in the late second round or undrafted range with Fall having the obvious intrigue of his 7’7″ size. These late picks are usually about providing future depth to a roster and there will be plenty of options that are capable of making a roster in the next few seasons. In the scenario in which they are going to land a couple of max contract players in free agency, filling the roster with young and cheap talent will become even more important going forward. If we were selecting for the Knicks in the second round it would come down to two types of players, you could select a prospect with a high offensive upside and hope they pan out like a Zach Norvell Jr., or you elect to go with players like Daquan Jeffries and Quinndary Weatherspoon who project as potential strong two way players providing perimeter defense and play making. This should be an exciting time for the decision makers within the franchise as they have the opportunity to not only make a selection in the top three of the draft, but they also have the cap space to make a run at some of the best players in the game. If they make some good decisions in the draft and get some big win’s in free agency, it should put the Knicks back in the conversation as a top tier team in the eastern conference. Of course if they do not land any big name free agents, and they are left with role players surrounding their young talent, then the team will most likely continue to struggle as they build the roster through the draft and trades. 

 

 

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