Knicks size up lottery prospects in competitive workout

Mar 20, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Malaki Branham (22) shoots the ball against Villanova Wildcats forward Brandon Slater (3) in the first half during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks had a good look at lottery prospects who could be available to them in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Ohio State’s Malaki Branham, G League Ignite’s Dyson Daniels and Kentucky’s TyTy Washington were part of the group that the Knicks worked out Monday at their Tarrytown practice facility. Memphis’ 6-foot-8 wing Josh Minott also was reportedly part of the group.

The one-and-done shooting guard Branham said the three-on-three scrimmage became competitive.

“If I’m a lottery guy, and the next guy’s a lottery guy, I’m going at his head,” Branham told reporters.

The most lethal shooter among three lottery prospects, Branham shot 41.3 percent from deep in his lone season with the Buckeyes.

Meanwhile, Washington views himself as one of the “most true point guards” in this draft class. And he has the Kentucky connection that runs deep in the Knicks’ organization.

“Most definitely, I feel I’m one of the most true point guards coming out of the draft, even though this season I played mostly off the ball,’’ Washington said at the combine last month. “Before this season, I was mainly a point guard. I played off the ball because that’s what my team needed. They needed me to make baskets and score for us. Cal said me being off the ball was no knock on me.’’

The Knicks are constantly searching for a long-term answer to their point guard woes. The Kemba Walker experiment last season went awry.

Washington projects to be the natural table-setter among the prospects who worked out Monday.

The 6-foot-3 Washington only averaged 3.9 assists for the Wildcats last season, but he holds the record for most assists in a game, dishing out 17 against Georgia last January. He’s a decent shooter, norming 35 percent from the outside. The only thing that might go against him is the Knicks already have a player in the same mold as Immanuel Quickley, who is also his friend.

On the other hand, Daniels is a lot bigger at 6-foot-7 and 1/2. The athletic wing converted into a point guard during his G League run has a wingspan just a shade under 6-foot-11, almost the same as Branham.

Daniels has the best defensive upside, which Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau values in a point guard.


All three are viable prospects at No. 11 though none have the ceiling to become an All-NBA player.

The Knicks have done their due diligence covering all bases, but they are reportedly open to trading up with an eye on the ultra-athletic combo guard Jaden Ivey.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Purdue projects to be a top-five lottery pick.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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