Knicks could be targeting Virginia power forward in the 1st round of NBA Draft

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Semifinal-North Carolina State vs Virginia, ryan dunn, knicks
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks face crucial decisions this off-season as they contemplate trading their first-round draft capital (picks #24 and 25) for a proven star or using their selections to deepen their roster and infuse it with young talent.

Knicks’ Off-Season Strategy: Balancing Youth with Experience

Throughout the playoffs, the Knicks struggled with depth, particularly after suffering multiple injuries. While maintaining expensive bench players has proved unsustainable, integrating a few rookies could enhance their roster dynamics effectively.

Potential Draft Pick: Ryan Dunn

One potential draftee who could impact the Knicks significantly is Virginia power forward Ryan Dunn. At 6’8″ and 208 pounds, Dunn has demonstrated elite defensive capabilities in his sophomore year, averaging 8.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game.

His defensive prowess is complemented by a .548 field goal percentage, although his minimal three-point attempts indicate a need for development in shooting from distance. Nonetheless, Dunn’s high work ethic and defensive skills lay a solid foundation for his potential NBA career.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Semifinal-North Carolina State vs Virginia
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Knicks extend OG Anunoby with a new contract, drafting Dunn could provide a vital supplementary piece to help manage Anunoby’s minutes effectively. Much like they drafted Quentin Grimes for his defensive skills out of Houston, the Knicks could look to Dunn to bolster their defensive lineup while supporting his offensive development.

Although Grimes faced injury setbacks and was later traded to the Detroit Pistons, the Knicks’ developmental system has been geared towards enhancing players’ offensive contributions.

Dunn’s potential as a solid offensive player, especially as a three-point shooter, could significantly enhance his value at the NBA level. In the meantime, he could fulfill important defensive roles, particularly when Anunoby is off the floor.

The Knicks have already conducted a workout with Dunn, who is originally from New York, adding a sentimental angle to his potential return. His top ranking in Defensive Statistical Impact among NCAA players last season makes him an ideal candidate for Coach Tom Thibodeau’s system, focused on robust defense to support the starting five.

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