Knicks could add generational defender in 2024 NBA Draft

Ryan Dunn, Knicks
Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks can continue to pride themselves on defense by selecting a highly touted ball hawk in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype linked the Knicks to standout defensive forward Ryan Dunn out of Virginia, saying this about why the pairing would make sense (h/t Scott Davis of The Sporting News):

“I’ve certainly touched on how many people around the league believe Ryan Dunn of Virginia, a stout defensive player and arguably the best perimeter defender in this class — a lot of people think his floor is the Knicks at 25,” Scotto said.

Knicks 2024 NBA Draft: Talented athletic defender could be the steal of the first round

Ryan Dunn, Knicks
Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Dunn, a 6-foot-8 combo forward, averaged 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals for the Cavaliers in 2023-24. He was one of only five players in the NCAA who averaged at least two blocks and one steal per game last season.

His tenacity on defense translated on offense to 8.1 points per game on 54.8 percent shooting from the field. The New York native needs to work on his outside shot, where he only drained 20 percent of his one three-point attempt per game from deep last season. Albeit, his ability to play both forward spots would be huge for a Knicks team that could use depth to back up or replace Julius Randle and OG Anunoby this summer.

Knicks Draft target Ryan Dunn’s NBA player comparisons

Ryan Dunn, Knicks
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dunn’s play resembles that of Los Angeles Lakers star Rui Hachimura and Utah Jazz star John Collins. He may not have their polish offensively, but that could come with time, as his mechanics mirror those NBA players.

Seeing that the Knicks have back-to-back picks at No. 24 and No. 25, they have the luxury of selecting a player they can take their time with. If Knicks guard Miles McBride taught the Knicks and the NBA world anything, it’s that defensive specialists ought not to be placed into a box without opening, as he blossomed into an elite three-point shooter on the campaign. Dunn can follow in those footsteps.

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