So the Knicks were the only team to end up worse off than regular season record would dictate.
Of friggin’ course. Because LOLKnicks, right?
The draft with the best looking pair of bigs to come out together in a long time, and New York appears to be on the outside looking in. It’s not like we need low post scoring or rim protection.
That’s it for you basketball gods. You’re done here. I renounce you, like the mythical Salieri.
So with that out of the way, the draft is still weeks off which means current prospect rankings will stay in flux as teams work them out. Short of injury or scandal though, Towns and Okafor (in some order) will be the top two selections. Of course, some are already suggesting that the Lakers may take Mudiay at #2. (I doubt it.) Philadelphia also looks poised to take a guard at #3, but who the heck knows what the Sixers will do.
It seems like the Knicks have three categories of options involving the pick.
1. Draft best player available at #4 and sign a rim protector in free agency. Right now a consensus appears to be forming around 19 year old PG Emmanual Mudiay as the fourth best player. He played about a dozen games (including playoffs) in the Chinese league after foregoing the Larry Brown experience at SMU. I have nothing intelligent to say about the kid because I haven’t seen or read much about him. He has a pro body at 19, and that’s not something to take lightly. Drafting a guard would force the Knicks to look elsewhere for the rim protection it sorely needs. Hey, I hear Tyson Chandler is unrestricted…
2. Draft the best remaining center at #4. A strategy that hasn’t received much ink just yet involves the Knicks using the pick on the next best center after Towns and Okafor. Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein and Texas freshman Myles Turner are defense-first bigs in the Tyson Chandler mold. That’s probably the ideal style of center to play alongside Carmelo Anthonly. Both are right at or about 7’0″ and 240lbs. Right now DraftExpress lists Cauley-Stein as the 6th rated player and Turner as the 11th. Assuming those ratings hold, Cauley-Stein’s probably not an outrageous reach at #4. By the time we get through work out season, we may be talking about him as pretty good value at that spot.
3. Move the pick for additional assets. The pundits are already speculating that the Knicks will listen to trade proposals. All things equal, I prefer the team use the pick rather than move it unless a move involves other young, cheap players and/or picks.
I am a salty dog right now. Like pretty much every other Knicks fan, I was hoping the draft lottery would provide some clarity on who would anchor the next good Knicks team. We are not much closer to knowing that, unfortunately.
The big thing Knicks fans (by which I mostly mean me) must remember though is that this roster needs a massive talent infusion. It is legitimately one of the worst 2 or 3 in the league. At this point, New York won’t get one of the two would-be franchise-altering bigs. Still, there is PLENTY of space on the roster for young, quality, athletic basketball players. Plenty of minutes too. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Knicks could stand an athletic upgrade at virtually every roster spot.
Although our dreams of drafting the next Patrick Ewing may have been dashed, an equally important dream of not drafting the next Stacey King/Jason Caffey or trading the pick for the next Eddie Curry remains very much alive. So, lets count our blessings. But keep in mind that they were supplied by random chance. Not the basketball gods.
Fuck those guys. Seriously. Fuck them.