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Friday, December 19, 2014

A Quick Look at Knicks Draft Prospects, Part I

As you are no doubt aware the Knicks have the 17th overall selection in the upcoming draft (pending lockout notwithstanding). So mock season is upon us.

I thought I’d take an abbreviated look at some of the prospects NY may be considering at the selection. Keeping in mind that Donnie moves in mysterious ways, I will hold off on making any sort of predictions about what the Knicks will do. Rather, this is just a general discussion of a few prospects who may be around at #17, and where they might fit in NY’s plans.

To begin, I’ll state that I have my doubts about whether NY will find an immediate rotation player at #17 in this particular draft. However, despite some of the hand-wringing I see among the pundits, I think this draft will feature some high-quality NBA starters after a couple years.

Also, I think the Knicks should approach this draft thinking “best player available.” Some of the team’s most pressing needs (i.e., perimeter depth and defensive rebounding) will have to be met in the market or through improvements from current players more than the draft. If a player is available at 17 who fills a need, fantastic. But, NY should look to the this draft to improve the overall talent and depth it lost in the recent roster churn. I list a decent-sized handful in order of how much they intrigue me. Note: stats listed per season are courtesy of draftexpress.com.

1. Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead St.

Numbers that matter: true shooting (53%, 57, 58, 62), ft/fg (34%, 54, 60, 64), rebs* (16.7, 17.7, 17.4, 17.2), TOs* (3.3, 3, 3.2, 3.1) *pace-adjusted per 40 minutes

For what Faried is–a demonic freak of an undersized, rebounding PF–everything is where you’d expect it to be statistically. We know that rebounding generally translates from college to pro, and Faried’s college production is incredibly consistent in this area when considering the attention he draws. What impresses me most the times I have seen him is that his defensive presence isn’t overly-reliant on explosiveness and energy. At a glance he appears to have some Jared Jeffries-like instincts on defense. He anticipates better than most college bigs playing at the backs of 2-3 zones; they rarely even see the opportunities for steals that Faried actually converts. He seems to understand how to play angles to discourage entry passes, as well as defensive rotations. Faried has the makings of a quality NBA defender, especially considering that he contributes roughly four combined blocks and steals. On offense Faried is nothing special, but his points per possession improved every year to a very respectable 1.16 as a senior. He has very good hands. He doesn’t bobble entry passes and he finishes with authority, but he’s not a black hole. He doesn’t get many assists but Morehead State’s offense is chuck-and-duck. Faried isn’t a ball-stopper. Some Knicks fans may be old enough to remember Kurt Thomas at TCU. Faried is a bit more explosive than Thomas was then, but not by much. (I know that’s hard for some to believe, but Thomas had some ups before his ankles betrayed him.) If I have a concern about Faried it is that sometimes players with his profile–undersized rebounding forward–can “age” quickly from attrition or injury. Unless they can develop a mid-range jumper their value plummets.

2. Kyle Singler, F, Duke

Numbers that matter: true shooting (57%, 55, 55, 54), ft/fg (30%, 37, 38, 30), Rebs* (7.4, 9.4, 7.9, 7.5), TOs* (2.8, 3.1, 2.2, 2.1)

Pass. Singler is no “poor man’s” Gallo. For a second there I was almost fooled by the rosy cheeks myself. Singler is a tweener who lacks a readily-discernible NBA skill.

3. Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas

Numbers that matter: true shooting (50%, 61, 64), ft/fg (45%, 64, 46), Rebs* (11.2, 11.6, 13), TOs* (3.1, 3.1, 3.2)

The slightly larger but much less-heralded of the Morris twins, I can’t help but wonder if their pro career will mirror the Grant twins’ (Horace and Harvey). Horace (Clemson) was far less-heralded than brother Harvey (Oklahoma) but the former became the better pro. Markief would play Horace’s role in the league as a defense and rebounding PF right from central casting. He’s perfectly built for the position, but has somewhat limited upside. His offensive game is still developing, but he’s already a nasty defender. It’s not clear whether he’ll be available at #17, but he seems like a Walsh kind of pick.

4. Josh Selby, G, Kansas

Numbers that matter: Incomplete

My inclination is to not read much into Selby’s single disappointing year of college production. It’s pretty clear that he would have declared out of high school given the choice. The turnovers are a big red flag, but he played so few games. Sometimes the high school stuff provides the best information on how the pro scouts see a kid. He’s explosive. He’d be the quintessential “upside” pick that NY has consistently passed on in recent years.

5. Reggie Jackson, PG, Boston College

Numbers that matter: true shooting (51%, 52, 62), ft/fg (26%, 31, 31), Asts* (3.5, 6.1, 5.4), TOs* (2.5, 3.5, 2.9)

I know a number of regulars here at Knickerblogger.net are fond of Jackson. Perhaps the light went on for him this past season. I did not seen him play this past season, where he shot 42% from three and averaged over 5 pace-adjusted assists per 40. If I have a concern it is that he shot unusually well from three last season. That could be a maturing player adding range and better understanding of when to shoot, or it could be a fluke. Nevertheless, the assist numbers alone make him an intriguing prospect to consider developing.

Next time:
6. Tyler Honeycutt, G/F, UCLA
7. Jim-mah!, G, BYU
8. Lucas Noguiera, C, Brazil
9. Justin Harper, F, Richmond

67 comments on “A Quick Look at Knicks Draft Prospects, Part I

  1. cgreene

    The more I think about it the more I like Faried. I did not watch much college hoops this year. Not even the tourney. I did happen to watch a Morehead game. What we need are high energy great defensive role players who can finish at the rim when open. Someone who gets out there and dives on the floor, gets the crowd going and brings the team energy level up. His size is concerning but seems like he could at least guard the best 3 or 4 on the court each night. That takes a load off one of our “stars” on the defensive end. Also he seems most NBA ready.

  2. Frank

    I’m surprised that there isn’t more love here for a Chris Singleton-type pick. He might be around at our pick (#12 in Chad Ford’s draft, #20 at DX, #18 at NBADraft.net, and #21 at probasketballdraft.com). 6’9″ 230 (roughly Lebron size), known to be a top-notch defender who DX says can guard 4 positions, and his per-40 #s are pretty good:

    18 pts, 9.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.7 steals, 2 blocks

    His TS is pretty bad (53%) but it sounds like he was miscast as a go-to-guy at FSU this year. He looks to be a career 33% or so 3 point shooter, which I’m sure would go up if he camped in the corner and practiced it all day long with NBA-level coaching. I’m feeling a Shawn Marion/Josh Smith/Gerald Wallace vibe here.

    If we’re ever going to have a chance against Miami, we’ll need a guy who can credibly guard Lebron 1-on-1. Maybe Faried can do that too, but Singleton looks like he probably has more offensive upside, and might have more defensive versatility outside of pure rebounding ability.

    Meanwhile – does anyone think the Cavs would do this trade (and would we ever consider it):

    Fields, Douglas, Balkman, + #17

    for

    Sessions + 2012 #32 + #54

    Then we draft best available SG or big at #32 and 54 (ie. Vucevic, Marshon Brooks, Keith Benson, Jeremy Tyler, Malcolm Lee etc.), and buy as many more 2nd rounders as we can.

    Overall this is cap-neutral for 2012 — Douglas+Balkman+#17 salaries are roughly equal to Sessions’s 4.5M 2012-13 number. For us we get our PG of the future as well as a couple of picks to swing for the fences. We move Walker into the starting lineup – he was a better player than Fields in March/April anyway.

  3. Frank

    I think Cleveland would do that deal – they lose Sessions who is expendable anyway assuming they take Irving, and then would have #1, 4, and 17 in what’s a weak draft, but still – 3 early-mid first rounders. They could go into 2011 with a starting lineup like this:

    PG: Irving, Baron Davis
    SG: Fields, TD
    SF: Chris Singleton
    PF: Hickson, Jamison
    C: Kanter, Varejao

    That’s really not a bad team at all.

  4. Jim Cavan

    Nice rundown, David.

    I agree completely we should be looking to go “best available” and hope that that ends up being a solid PG or big. That said, I love Faried, and think if he’s available you have to grab him. Like David said, rebounding is one of those things that usually translates from college to pros. He didn’t play in the toughest conference by any means, but against top flight opponents his numbers were pretty much on par with that he was putting up in the OVC. His sense of timing and judging where the ball will be is Love-esque, and I think he’s versatile enough to guard 3s and 4s effectively.

    Being a Michigan State fan and a fan of the Big Ten in general, I have to say Darrius Morris was pretty impressive last year. I’d be tempted to grab him, or maybe even buy an early second rounder and hope he falls that far. Kid is tough is nails and has very good court vision. The shot, we can work on.

  5. David Crockett

    Frank:
    I’m surprised that there isn’t more love here for a Chris Singleton-type pick. He might be around at our pick (#12 in Chad Ford’s draft, #20 at DX, #18 at NBADraft.net, and #21 at probasketballdraft.com).6’9? 230 (roughly Lebron size), known to be a top-notch defender who DX says can guard 4 positions, and his per-40 #s are pretty good: […]

    I rather like Singleton. When I see him play, I think “bigger James Posey.” I didn’t include him because he strikes me as the quintessential “vault up the draft boards” player. Once workout season commences in earnest he’ll get some buzz and work his way into the mid-to-late lottery area. His game is tailor-made for the drill-heavy, one-on-one- and three-on-three-centric evaluation process.

  6. SeeWhyDee77

    I am admittedly smitten with Jackson’s potential. But I agree that if a decent big is there, like Morris, then we go big. Faried is a gread rebounder/defender..but he’s just not big enough. Please don’t let the rebounding numbers fool u. As a team we CANNOT afford Amar’e playing alot of 5. I think that it’s unlikely that Morris is available at 17, so in addition to my suggestion of Jackson, I’m gonna throw Marshon Brooks into the gauntlet. He’s long and quick for his size, a good scorer and decent shooter. The reason why I would consider him is because I expect Walsh to go hard after Sessions. And that’s gonna take away our backcourt depth becuz Walsh problee would hafta include Douglas and Walker. And considering Walker’s late season improvement, Douglas’ ability and status as a 1st rounder, and the fact that Cleveland is almost assuredly gonna draft Irving- I think Walsh can squeeze a draft pick out of Cleveland. If it’s this season, and Cleveland has a relatively high 2nd rounder then that would be perfect. I don’t think there’s any need to consider a package with Fields or the #17 pick for Sessions since they would be loaded at PG if they draft Irving. So Brooks wouldn’t be a bad pick at 17 to compete with Fields at the 2. I still would love Jackson here..but theoretically Walsh can trade Billups back to Denver this offseason if Felton is really unhappy coming off the bench. It would problee take Chandler in an S&T to make the numbers work..or they may be willing to throw in Mosgov for Billups and a future draft pick. I guess it depends on how bad they want Billups back to be that veteran leader at the PG spot that they need. Hell, I’d give them Billups and the rights to Jordan for Felton and Mosgov. Yea..thas the trade right there. Billups, Jordan and a future pick for Felton, and Mosgov.

  7. David Crockett

    Frank:
    I think Cleveland would do that deal – they lose Sessions who is expendable anyway assuming they take Irving, and then would have #1, 4, and 17 in what’s a weak draft, but still – 3 early-mid first rounders.

    IF CLE is going to make any deal I would think they’d want to get rid of one of the two picks–not take on another. I can’t see them wanting to pay two top rookies, let alone three, even with a lower cap.

  8. New Guy

    The more I like Faried and Jackson, the more convinced I am they will be taken with the 15th and 16th pick.

  9. TDM

    I posted this on the previous board, but it seems more appropriate here. The predraft measurements are out and Kenneth Faried is apparently only 6’6? without shoes. Shorter than Landry. Barely taller than Rautins. He cannot play center which is our biggest need. The Knicks have to protect their investment in STAT by limiting the number of minutes he plays at center.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?year=2011&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&source=All&sort=2

    If Markieff (or as I like to call him “Extra F”) is available, I think the Knicks have to take him. If not, I still think the guard chosen should be Jackson, Nolan Smith or Darius Morris.

  10. SeeWhyDee77

    continued from last comment:
    That would give us a roster of (assuming Walsh re-signs Extra E and Jeffries and maybe even Mason)
    Mosgov
    Stat
    Melo
    Fields
    Felton
    Sessions
    Extra E
    Brooks or Jackson
    Turiaf
    Jeffries or Brown (whichever one is retained)
    Mason
    Rautins
    Re-acquiring Mosgov would allow us to spend the MLE on a Glen Davis or a Reggie Evans to play behind Amare and give us some kinda punch in the paint off the bench. I’d even take Leon Powe(if he’s finally healthy), but I wouldn’t give him the MLE tho.
    Or Walsh could throw that MLE at Dalembert and see if Philly is interested in a package involving Turiaf and Speights, who gets little to no burn in Philly. I think that would be a very formidable team build around the talents of Stat and Melo. In this scenario, i’m more inclined to adding Brooks or even Klay Thompson as opposed to Reggie Jackson, however.

  11. Frank

    David Crockett: IF CLE is going to make any deal I would think they’d want to get rid of one of the two picks–not take on another. I can’t see them wanting to pay two top rookies, let alone three, even with a lower cap.

    Hmm… don’t you think the more rookie-scale players the better in a lower-cap system? Or do you mean they’ll have too many young players?

  12. David Crockett

    Jim Cavan:
    Nice rundown, David.

    I agree completely we should be looking to go “best available” and hope that that ends up being a solid PG or big. That said, I love Faried, and think if he’s available you have to grab him. Like David said, rebounding is one of those things that usually translates from college to pros. He didn’t play in the toughest conference by any means, but against top flight opponents his numbers were pretty much on par with that he was putting up in the OVC. His sense of timing and judging where the ball will be is Love-esque, and I think he’s versatile enough to guard 3s and 4s effectively.

    Being a Michigan State fan and a fan of the Big Ten in general, I have to say Darrius Morris was pretty impressive last year. I’d be tempted to grab him, or maybe even buy an early second rounder and hope he falls that far. Kid is tough is nails and has very good court vision. The shot, we can work on.

    Faried is the toughest call of the players likely to be around at #17. Among current players (still somewhat in their primes) Faried seems most comparable to Joel Anthony. Like many Knicks fans I LOVE watching this kind of player. At the same time, Faried scares me. It’s unlikely he can ever be an exceptional defender because he’s so undersized; good yes, especially against bottom tier guys, but a liability against better bigs. Meanwhile on offense it’s unrealistic to expect him to develop into anything more than Taj Gibson.

    It’s easy to be seduced by guys like Faried.

    If we draft him I’ll be excited. Yet I wonder if we aren’t better off gambling on a guy like ex-Net Sean Williams in the D-League.

  13. David Crockett

    TDM:
    I posted this on the previous board, but it seems more appropriate here.The predraft measurements are out and Kenneth Faried is apparently only 6’6? without shoes.Shorter than Landry.Barely taller than Rautins.He cannot play center which is our biggest need.The Knicks have to protect their investment in STAT by limiting the number of minutes he plays at center.

    Although I’m not leading the charge for Faried for reasons I specify in #12, I don’t think his height is a fatal flaw. He’ll be able to play the undersized PF role. His wingspan is comparable to the biggest guys in the draft. He’s going to rebound. He’s going to block a few shots and get some steals.

    I just don’t think NY should pass on what may be a superior talent at a “non-need” position. In other words, although Faried’s rebounding would be a welcome addition Walsh shouldn’t fear drafting a player with a totally different skillset.

  14. David Crockett

    Frank: Hmm… don’t you think the more rookie-scale players the better in a lower-cap system?Or do you mean they’ll have too many young players?

    Too many kids. They’re high maintenance, especially given that they’re so likely to be late teens/early 20s.

  15. Frank

    David Crockett:
    If we draft him I’ll be excited. Yet I wonder if we aren’t better off gambling on a guy like ex-Net Sean Williams in the D-League.

    I’d love to sign Sean Williams – cheap, presumably hungry after his fall from grace, and a good citizen by all reports since being relegated to the D-League. In one fell swoop we’d possibly address our rebounding issue, all without wasting a draft pick. I’ve asked Hahn and the other beat writers 104936x about him on twitter but naturally never heard back. Chris Sheridan mentioned him briefly in a chat a while back but just said that the Knicks could’ve had him but decided not to bite so “that ship has sailed”, whatever that means. It’s not like we couldn’t just reach out to him now.

    Maybe Shawne Williams could take him under his wing as a guy who had it all, lost it, and is fighting to realize his dream again?

  16. ess-dog

    Frank:
    Maybe Shawne Williams could take him under his wing as a guy who had it all, lost it, and is fighting to realize his dream again?

    You want Shawne Williams to mentor Sean Williams?? You’re blowing my mind right now.

  17. ess-dog

    Chris Singleton does have a Wilson Chandler feel to his game. I could see Mike wanting him. I think you just have to measure the value of what Faried does vs. what Singleton does. Neither is a true pf much less a center, so it’s not a true “need” pick. Of course, I’m high on Tristan Thompson, who’s maybe slipping. Amongst those guys, I’m not sure there’s a real need to move up to get anyone, unless Donnie knows some secret and has to get “his” guy.

    The real bigs should all be long gone by our pick, so you have to ask should we use this pick to fill our biggest need (starting center) or get help in other areas or just trade for a vet?

    I think the only picks I’d be unhappy with would be a wing scorer (Klay or Jordan Hamilton), a “reach” at 17 (Vucevic or Jenkins) or a big who doesn’t rebound (Motiejunas).

    But even then, maybe we just draft B.P.A. and swing a trade for a player?

    It’s hard to decide on a prospect when you don’t know all the options.

  18. flossy

    Frank:

    Maybe Shawne Williams could take him under his wing as a guy who had it all, lost it, and is fighting to realize his dream again?

    From one down-and-out S.Williams to another…

    I have a hard time rationally justifying it, but if I were Walsh I’d be tempted to roll the dice on Josh Selby. His game was made for the NBA and he’s about 100 times as athletic and explosive as Tony Douglas. His draft stock is being artificially depressed by one bad year of college, but I think he has the most upside of any PG in the draft outside of Irving.

    I also think, if Donatas Montejunas falls to us at 17 we absolutely have to pick him. Sure we’d be doubling down on offense over defense but he is SO skilled at only 20 years old and is a legit 7′ tall. He’d just be too talented to pass up and would probably retain his value as a trade chip longer than the safe-pick Chris Singletons of the world…

  19. SeeWhyDee77

    U know what? The more I think about it, the more I would like to see Walsh draft Marshon Brooks and then acquire a top 5 second rounder or last 5 first rounder and snatch up Singler. I don’t know if he has some defensive potential. but i’d like to have him off the bench as a floor spacer. Imagine this situation. Teams are buckling down midrange and in on D when all of a sudden Mike D calls a time out 2 “unclog” the offense. So he moves Stat to the 5 and Melo to the 2 and all of a sudden we have a lineup out there of Stat, Extra E, Singler, Melo, and Billups. U would run Stat and Melo in the high and low post, and have 3 shooters out there. Who’s gonna double our big guns? Scary thought ain’t it? If that were to happen, then JJ’s not on the team in favor of Brown-who has the same defensive ability almost but with more offense. Team damn near set if we could re-acquire Felton and Mosgov. I would also try to retain Shelden Williams as that physical piece on the bench for the more physical teams.

  20. stratomatic

    Does Faried have any shooting range?

    If so, I think he’d be perfect for the Knicks “small ball” line up.

    Amare at C,
    Faried at PF
    Melo at SF
    Fields/Douglas at SG
    Billups at PG

    If he can’t shoot, it sort of defeats the purpose of putting Amare at C where he’s way quicker than the typical C and they can run the P&R so effectively. One of the requirements of D’Antoni’s small ball strategy is having a PF that can help space the floor so it’s harder to stack the paint against Amare. That’s why the Knicks often used Chandler at PF and were quite effective doing so.

  21. stratomatic

    One other thought.

    I understand the concern about Amare playing C from a long term perspective, but IMO he’s quite a bit better at C than he is at PF. He’s equally deficient defensively at both positions, but he’s way better offensively as a C because he’s quicker and more athletic than most Cs. C’s are also more reluctant to come out and defend the 15 footer. He loses some of those advantages against other PFs.

    I spent most of last year clamoring for a trade or to use Curry’s cap space to bring in a quality C to put next to Amare. I have completely reversed my position. I think this team’s best chance of title (which I regard as minimal under any circumstances post Melo trade) is to go small and to try to turn this team into a better version of the Suns. They need a Marion like PF that can rebound really well AND stretch the floor enough to create space for Amare.

    If Amare needs a break here or there, Turiaf, perhaps Jerome Jordan, or any other big body for a few minutes a night will have to do.

  22. TDM

    There was an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that suggested that the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings may be available. Anyone think the Bucks would be interested in Fields and the 17th for Jennings (and maybe the 40th)? That would leave the Bucks with picks Nos. 10 and 17 and the possibility of trading up for a guy like Kemba Walker.

    Meanwhile, the Knicks could pair Billups and Jennings in the back court, and the savings on not having the 17th pick would give the Knicks a little more capspace ($1.3M +/-) to throw at Dalembert. A starting 5 of Billups, Jennings, Melo, STAT and Dalembert wouldn’t dazzle defensively, but they would put up points. Not to mention, Jennings would be another tradeable asset in the effort to get CP3.

  23. flossy

    stratomatic:
    Does Faried have any shooting range?

    This past year he took a whopping 13 jump shots… total. So, yeah… no. I agree that Amar’e at center and a good stretch 4 is probably a better bet than Amar’e at PF next to a below-average center, but Faried has no jump shot. Maybe he could pull a David Lee and develop a reliable mid-range J, but who knows. And probably not as a rookie.

  24. massive

    I’d rather see the Knicks draft Josh Selby and keep Fields than trade Fields and the 17th pick for Jennings. I actually wish we could trade for another mid first rounder to take Selby and Markieff Morris. But Brandon Jennings is a player I’d rather not have.

  25. flossy

    Brandon Jennings is all sizzle, no steak. If we want a flashy young PG with some upside why not just draft Selby and keep Fields?

  26. flossy

    massive:
    I’d rather see the Knicks draft Josh Selby and keep Fields than trade Fields and the 17th pick for Jennings. I actually wish we could trade for another mid first rounder to take Selby and Markieff Morris. But Brandon Jennings is a player I’d rather not have.

    Great minds, etc.

  27. nicos

    stratomatic:
    Does Faried have any shooting range?

    He only took 13 jumpers all year and given that he had to know pro scouts were going to looking for him to show a little range that’s a huge red flag. Given his size it’s doubtful he’ll be able to get much done in the post so his range is probably going to be about 3 feet (at least for the first year or so). You’re basically going to playing 4 on 5 in half-court sets and his defender is going to be parked just outside the lane keeping both Melo and Stat on the perimeter. He will get you some offensive boards and steals as well as shore up the defensive boards so the extra possessions he gets you are going to offset the drop in offensive production but how much?
    He’s also never had to play man defense so figure it may take him a while to get his footwork together- especially given how many 4’s play out on the perimeter. That said, I won’t be too upset if the Knicks take him- I can see him being a really nice 15-20 minute energy guy which isn’t too bad a value in a weak draft. And if he shows he can guard both 3s and 4s and develops even a ten foot jumper he could be more than that. Still, he’s got huge holes in his game and as I’m a big proponent of taking best player available regardless of position I’m fairly certain there’s going to multiple player left on the board that I’d prefer.

  28. taggart4800

    I would be surprised if the Knicks took a C with our pick in the draft. I would agree with other people that it is a push between Mozgov and Jerome Jordan. I say bring the big guy back over from Europe and give him a training camp to show himself. What we need from the C spot can be picked up in FA or in the second round especially considering we will almost certainly still be paying Jeffries, Turiaf and Shawne who played a good few minutes at C as well.
    To add depth though we need to use our pick at any of the positions. Best player available is the only way to go in my book as we are depleted everywhere.
    I would usually stay well clear of guys like Selby or even to an extent Jimmer for there ball dominance but they would fit this team well. One of the benefits of having stars on the team is that there is a pecking order and low character but high skilled guys coming in will respect the pedigree of Melo, Stat and Billups. The only big i would take a swing at with our first rounder is Vucevic because i think he has massive potential, other than that I wouldn’t risk passing on a gunner to increase depth.

    I am a ridiculous optimist but i see this as being a great draft for the Knicks as we have no pressure to find our answer. Previously we have needed star potential with our pick but there is no pressure on the guy coming in to be anything but serviceable.

  29. jon abbey

    yeah, I think the Faried love is crazy. undersized, no offense, small school, all huge red flags for me. I’m rooting for Selby as of now.

  30. Jim Cavan

    The issue with drafting a Selby, Jackson, Jenkins et. al is that you’re essentially banking on them showing enough in their rookie campaign — where they’ll most likely be the backup anyway — to be attractive enough to New Orleans to only require one or two more pieces for Paul (instead of half our team, as happened with Melo). Most on this board seem to think any PG we draft will end up being little more than trade bait. And that’s fine, but there’s a big difference between being one of three pieces, and one of four or five pieces. I think Knight, Selby and Jackson all have bright futures. But whether they show glimmers of said future in their first year is a huge “if”.

    On the other hand, what if they explode out of the gate and contend for ROY? What if Billups gets hurt (knocking on my desk) and PG X turns into a star in the making? Unlikely, sure. And as far as binds go, that’s not a terrible one to be in. But that puts us in a peculiar situation having to choose between a guy who’s proven the upside and a PG who, while tremendous in every since of the word, is 6 or 7 years older with two shaky knees.

    I just think we’d be much better off nabbing a high-upside big who could learn to fit in our system relatively quickly. Problem is we just don’t know who that player is yet.

  31. David Crockett

    jon abbey:
    yeah, I think the Faried love is crazy. undersized, no offense, small school, all huge red flags for me. I’m rooting for Selby as of now.

    I’m ambivalent about Faried. I just want Donnie to go best player, and it’s not inconceivable that Faried is that guy at #17. You can always add a rebounder, and he doesn’t have to start to be a helpful addition. Small school is not a red flag in my book; not in basketball. They play so many out of conference games pre- and post-season.

    My concern is that all the pressures point to the team over-valuing a prospect who can contribute early and passing on a potentially explosive talent. Selby could be that kind of player.

    My inner optimist says that Knick fans should not give up on the idea of one of the bigs currently mocked in the lottery sliding out. The entire pre-draft evaluation process is heavily biased towards guards. Some of these bigs will inevitably show poorly and fall.

  32. Brian Cronin

    I think if Jimmer is there, the Knicks do take him. Whether they should or not, I don’t see them passing on him. I bring this up only because Yahoo’s latest mock draft had the Knicks taking Faried and Jimmer going at #20. No way Jimmer gets past #17.

  33. Robert Silverman

    I really like Faried. Even though he only took a dozen shots all season longer than 10 feet, he’s got a 9′ standing reach. By comparison, David Lee’s is/was only 8’10”

  34. massive

    Faried’s standing reach of 9 feet is pretty impressive, but I’m almost positive he gets picked before we’re on the board. I’m hoping we have our choice of Markieff Morris or Josh Selby when we’re picking. Morris because he makes me think of Zach Randolph + defense and efficiency, and Selby because he reeks of Russell Westbrook.

  35. Frank

    Interesting – Chad Ford’s most recent draft blog says the Knicks are looking seriously at Selby, Vucevic, Klay Thompson, and Jeremy Tyler. I would be satisfied with any of those picks. He also wrote that Jeremy Tyler thinks he has a 40″ vertical. 6’11”, 260, and a 40″ vertical? yes please.

  36. Z-man

    Jeremy Tyler or Vucevic could be good gambles at #17. I would really look closely at Tyler’s character concerns, though.

  37. Michael Cline

    I actually would love it if the Knicks took a gamble on Jeremy Tyler. I don’t know of any character issues, other than the fact that he wanted to play pro ball a little earlier than maybe he should have. He was a complete dud overseas, but most athletic big men who can throw it down are — that’s just not the Euro (or in this case, Israeli) style.

    But he has legit center size and looks very athletic on film. And from the youtube videos I’ve seen, the guy has crazy range for a 7 footer that is also not afraid to dunk on you. Check this game out, for starters –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsPAPOSKnUs

  38. Jim Cavan

    Michael Cline:
    I actually would love it if the Knicks took a gamble on Jeremy Tyler. I don’t know of any character issues, other than the fact that he wanted to play pro ball a little earlier than maybe he should have. He was a complete dud overseas, but most athletic big men who can throw it down are — that’s just not the Euro (or in this case, Israeli) style.

    But he has legit center size and looks very athletic on film. And from the youtube videos I’ve seen, the guy has crazy range for a 7 footer that is also not afraid to dunk on you. Check this game out, for starters –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsPAPOSKnUs

    Wow. I know this is high school competition, but that’s a pretty sweet stroke for a 17-year-old 7 footer. Hopefully that didn’t atrophy on the bench overseas.

  39. massive

    Can we buy a late 1st – early 2nd round pick and take this guy Tyler? He’s definitely got some game, and looks like a perfect fit on this team. I’m crossing my fingers for Selby and Tyler now.

  40. Jim Cavan

    Z-man:
    The one game of Japan highlights for Tyler looks less than impressive, though. Really terrible footwork.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXqjfBK8a4w

    Yikes. I guess the truth is somewhere in between, but logic says anyone who came off the bench in that league probably isn’t making the leap his first year in the show.

  41. Ben R

    We don’t need homeruns we need solid rotation players. We already have our stars we don’t need to gamble on players like Selby or Tyler. Selby had one of the worst seasons ever for a player that is about to be drafted. Selby’s 39% on 2 point shots is the lowest of any drafted player in the last 10 years.

    I know he was a great high school player but many many great high school players with good college careers have failed to make it we don’t need to role the dice on a player that was horrible in college and is a 20 year old freshman. Maybe he turns out to be a star but he is either a star or a complete bust with the most likely scenerio being complete bust.

    I am not entirely sold on Faried but at least we know what he is, a great role player, he doesn’t have a lot of upside but I would be shocked if he doesn’t find a nice career as a Jerome Williams kind of player. I know that’s not sexy but at #17 in a weak draft it’s pretty darn good. Also it’s hard to double off of great rebounders who are active because they will punish you with putbacks and cuts to the basket.

    I would love Markeiff or Donatas if they fall, Jimmer isn’t a terrible fall back, but no pure upside picks please. We need bodies we need solid players to fill out our rotation, we cannot afford to come up completely empty with this pick.

  42. Brian Cronin

    A couple of general NBA points…

    1. Wow, what a comeback! Down 15 with 5 minutes to go, the Mavericks won in OT. Amazing.

    2. The management of the Blazers just sound awful to work with. John Cho is the GM for one season, the only notable move he makes was awesome (picking up Gerald Wallace for basically nothing) and a team with tons of injuries, including losing their then-best player for most of the season, still won 48 games! And they fire him! Absurd. The Knicks should scoop him up quickly – he sounds like a good GM and he doesn’t have the same issues people complain about Pritchard.

  43. nicos

    One thing people should keep in mind is that there’s a good chance that there won’t be a summer league this year and possibly even a shortened training camp- something to keep in mind if you’re choosing a project like Tyler and hope to get anything out of him this year.

    And off topic- Dirk has been unbelievable this post-season- even though he played great to start the year I didn’t think he had this much left in the tank.

  44. BigBlueAL

    Ben R:
    We don’t need homeruns we need solid rotation players. We already have our stars we don’t need to gamble on players like Selby or Tyler. Selby had one of the worst seasons ever for a player that is about to be drafted. Selby’s 39% on 2 point shots is the lowest of any drafted player in the last 10 years.

    I know he was a great high school player but many many great high school players with good college careers have failed to make it we don’t need to role the dice on a player that was horrible in college and is a 20 year old freshman. Maybe he turns out to be a star but he is either a star or a complete bust with the most likely scenerio being complete bust.

    I am not entirely sold on Faried but at least we know what he is, a great role player, he doesn’t have a lot of upside but I would be shocked if he doesn’t find a nice career as a Jerome Williams kind of player. I know that’s not sexy but at #17 in a weak draft it’s pretty darn good. Also it’s hard to double off of great rebounders who are active because they will punish you with putbacks and cuts to the basket.

    I would love Markeiff or Donatas if they fall, Jimmer isn’t a terrible fall back, but no pure upside picks please. We need bodies we need solid players to fill out our rotation, we cannot afford to come up completely empty with this pick.

    Agreed. The Knicks cant miss with this pick, they need to draft someone who at the worst will be a solid rotation player for them. At #17 if you draft a player who becomes a solid member of your rotation for the next few years that is an excellent pick.

  45. GHenman

    TDM: I posted this on the previous board, but it seems more appropriate here. The predraft measurements are out and Kenneth Faried is apparently only 6’6? without shoes. Shorter than Landry. Barely taller than Rautins. He cannot play center which is our biggest need. The Knicks have to protect their investment in STAT by limiting the number of minutes he plays at center. http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?year=2011&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&source=All&sort=2If Markieff (or as I like to call him “Extra F”) is available, I think the Knicks have to take him. If not, I still think the guard chosen should be Jackson, Nolan Smith or Darius Morris.

    Good point

  46. Frank

    RE: Tyler – I think Youtube may be the worst place to go to get an idea about a player. We’ll see how he does in workouts and whatnot. He averaged 15 rebounds per 36 there – and all things considered (different country/culture, playing against grown men as opposed to 18-21 year olds), that is reasonably impressive. If Chad Ford can be believed (very questionable – see Pavel Podkolozine, Skita, Maciej Lampe, etc. etc. etc.) he was very impressive physically and defensively at the combine. I’m not personally worried about him leaving high school early. Seriously, if I thought for sure I was going to the NBA and would be making $4-5M per year, would I want to waste my time and energy playing against 6’2″ guys who are not athletic enough to avoid hurting me by accident? Maybe, maybe not, but it sounds like he just got some pretty bad advice…. like Brandon Jennings etc.

    My worry is that when he gets to workouts and knocks it out of the park, he might even go in the lottery – he was just as highly ranked as Jennings and couldn’t have looked worse than Jennings did during his stint in Italy. And JT is 6’11” 260, not 6’nothing “my favorite player is AI” 130 lbs.

  47. Brian Cronin

    That Bleacher Report piece seemed written specifically just to rile people up. How annoying.

    What are the odds that Motiejunas is available at #17? Whether you’d like him or not, I’m just wondering if he will even be there or not. What do y’all think? Ford has him going at #21.

  48. Frank

    @51 and 52 – I actually sort of agree with them. In a draft where there are few potential superstars available, taking a chance on a 6’11 260 who is a real athlete is not ridiculous at all. He is nearly a Deandre Jordan-like athlete (actually is taller although not quite as long). It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he went in the lottery. There’ll always be teams that are looking for role players and teams that are looking to hit it out of the park. Tyler, and maybe Marshon Brooks are high-risk high-reward guys that some teams may bite on early.

  49. Brian Cronin

    It is not that it is, like, insane or anything like that. It just is not going to happen, and to offer it up not as a “where we think the players should be drafted” but instead as “where they will be drafted” and then highlighting right from the get go that it is unlike all other mock drafts and “controversial” just sounds like a recipe for “make people mad to make sure they click on each of the individual links in the slideshow.”

  50. JK47

    I still like Faried, and for this reason: he has both a high floor and a high ceiling. He’s going to rebound, play maniacal defense and block shots no matter what. Even if he turns out to be inept on offense he should be a good role player in the NBA.

    If he reaches his ceiling you’re looking at a spectacular rebounder and elite defender, even if he would have problems guarding certain 5’s. Would you want to add a prime Dennis Rodman to this current squad? I certainly wouldn’t mind.

  51. Frank

    JK47:
    I still like Faried, and for this reason: he has both a high floor and a high ceiling.He’s going to rebound, play maniacal defense and block shots no matter what.Even if he turns out to be inept on offense he should be a good role player in the NBA.

    If he reaches his ceiling you’re looking at a spectacular rebounder and elite defender, even if he would have problems guarding certain 5?s.Would you want to add a prime Dennis Rodman to this current squad?I certainly wouldn’t mind.

    Quick disclaimer – I’ve only seen Faried play once, so this is all based just on DX and other scouting reports.

    Trouble is – no one really knows how well he plays NBA-style defense. As the middle of the 2-3 zone, it’s easy to always get into rebounding position. At 6’6″ – 6’7″ he’s going to be matched up on SFs at times – how will he guard the Lebrons or even the Paul Pierces of the world? Maybe he’ll be great but it doesn’t look like people have a lot of film on him playing man-to-man like he will be here.

    I wouldn’t be upset with us picking up Faried though – I figure his pipe dream ceiling is Rodman, but even Reggie Evans-ish would be a good thing for this team.

  52. Frank

    Meanwhile – Hahn, who I feel is reasonably tied into the FO, just tweeted that Selby is an unlikely possibility — “score-first guy, no need”. Which is true. Says Klay Thompson will be the pick if he’s there.

    Also noted that Shawne is expected back.

  53. Frank

    KnicksFanInVA:
    Isn’t Faried similar to someone we already have in Balkman?

    I think similar TYPE of player in terms of energy/hustle, but Faried was a far superior player to Balkman in college – all-time leading rebounder in NCAA history. And he doesn’t come with Balkman’s facepalm attitude. I think Balkman forever lost any chance at playing time when he started chucking up 3’s during his one garbage time chance last year. Showed a total disregard for his role – he should’ve been out there hustling and playing smart – instead was just throwing up dumb shots.

  54. ess-dog

    Is Klay Thompson a bluff? I mean, his 3 pt shooting is desirable but “struggles on the defensive end” doesn’t really excite me. But he does look like Reggie Miller redux which should excite Walsh.

    It does seem like Markieff is a great fit if he’s there. He might be worth moving up for.

  55. adrenaline98

    Jeremy Tyler is a very intriguing pick. I don’t think we need to take him at 17 though. As someone said, we can buy a pick and probably get him. Even if we took him at 17, I wouldn’t mind tbh. He’s got almost an exact body type to DeAndre Jordan, whom, if the Knicks didn’t pick up Billups’ contract, I thought they should target.

    He’s got massive measurements and good quickness (from what I saw from Draft Combine). He jumps out of the gym and has good speed as well.

    He has all the makings to be a REALLY solid defender/finisher in this league. He’s got the body and length and athleticism that if he went after rebounds, he’d be a monster. He needs to do everything except score, and we can put him next to Amar’e. I think with Melo and Amare, the ‘character’ issues will go away for certain. I don’t even really think he has any to be honest. He was just a kid who made a dumb decision. We don’t know if he did it because his family needed money or what either. It isn’t as if he was charged with a crime.

  56. adrenaline98

    Jim Cavan: Yikes. I guess the truth is somewhere in between, but logic says anyone who came off the bench in that league probably isn’t making the leap his first year in the show.

    It isn’t. This is a high school kid basically. He was 18 years old I believe, playing professionally.

    With playing time and more coaching, he showed improvements. That link was from a game 1-18-2011.

    This is 2-15-2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=immtfGHZjew&feature=related. There is improvement.

    2-22-2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW6PZOdOMbk&feature=related

    3-6-2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld8YmrMONUM&feature=related

    3-9-2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXbszlyhFeo&NR=1

    I certainly don’t think he’s the next Olajuwon. I’m just trying to show you guys that this is the reason why he started getting noticed among the GMs.

    Pros: His footwork improved tremendously (most of it seems confidence based). He started getting more minutes. He doesn’t have bad court vision. His rebounding seems good, he follows up after misses, hustles after boards (things Curry did not do for instance). His low post game seems refined for an EIGHTEEN year old. It looks very good actually. He has a big AND athletic body (rare combo seen on Howard/DeAndre Jordan/Andrew Bynum). His ball handling is surprisingly good.

    When he gets the ball in the post, he has face up moves as well as a baby hook.

    When he rebounds or gets the ball downlow, he keeps the ball high (another skill rarely seen on young players). Hell, even Amar’e has this weakness still.

  57. adrenaline98

    Now for his cons: seems to pout a bit too much when called for a foul (can be seen in highlights too). Unlike ours, the Japanese/Asian highlights include blunders too, which to be honest, I like.

    His free throw is probably the most UNIQUE (ugly) that I’ve ever seen. Really? You lead with your LEFT foot when you shoot right handed? The shots are brutal, but FT can be fixed. He’s got a decent stroke and good form for a mid-range shot too.

    He seems to make a lot of stupid fouls by using his hands too much and sometimes overly aggressive/stupid fouls come his way.

    Against THAT competition, he does look good. How he does against an NBA big will require adjustments, but he does show promise of ‘learning’ as the season goes on, if he gets some time. His improvement in the Japanese league is DRAMATIC. From the link Z-Man posted until the last one on 3-9-11 that I posted, it is two completely different players. The latter has confidence, good motor skills, a refined post games that include back to the basket and face up skills, somewht knack for offensive rebounds.

    I think he’s more intriguing than most people think. He seems far more active than Jerome Jordan is, and a lot less statuesque. Really guys, a big, if he can do that against NBA bigs, is someone you don’t want to take?

    i’m not sure. I tend to agree that maybe BAP is the way to go. But Tyler, if he can live up to the potential he shows, can fill a gigantic need.

  58. David Crockett

    Frank:
    Interesting – Chad Ford’s most recent draft blog says the Knicks are looking seriously at Selby, Vucevic, Klay Thompson, and Jeremy Tyler. I would be satisfied with any of those picks.He also wrote that Jeremy Tyler thinks he has a 40? vertical.6’11?, 260, and a 40? vertical? yes please.

    I was not very impressed with Vucevic. I saw USC play several times and thought, “Meh. I don’t see the upside. He’s just a dime-a-dozen pick-and-pop center.” I rather like Klay Thompson and Tyler is intriguing, though he could potentially be around later.

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