They will have plenty of options at No. 11 though none of them would be a surefire franchise-altering talent.
Major NBA mock drafts are divided on who the Knicks should select in the first round.
ESPN pegs Arizona’s All-American wing Bennedict Mathurin. Bleacher Report sees them taking a flier on versatile G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels. The Ringer views Duke’s talented scorer AJ Griffin as the right pick. Basketball News has Kentucky’s point guard Tyty Washington Jr. as their selection.
With the projections all over the place, there’s also a big chance that the Knicks would kick the can further down the road as they did last year, especially with a glut of young players already on their roster.
In the 2020 NBA Draft, the Knicks traded their 19th pick for a future heavily protected first-round pick, which they used in the package to acquire former lottery selection Cam Reddish before the February trade deadline. They also swapped their other first-rounder — No. 21 for Quentin Grimes at No. 25.
The Knicks have been solid in the draft since Leon Rose took over as the team president, bringing with him former Utah Jazz draft guru Walt Perrin. While they missed out on rising stars Tyrese Haliburton, Tyrese Maxey, Desmond Bane and defensive stud Herb Jones, the Knicks’ picks in the previous two drafts are developing at their own pace.
They are all out in Chicago with a strong contingent led by Rose, William Wesley and Tom Thibodeau as the NBA Draft Combine got underway Wednesday.
But they are also leaving no stone unturned as they check out under-the-radar prospects back home. The Knicks also have the 42nd pick in the second round.
So far, the Knicks have worked out Bryant’s Peter Kiss, Texas Tech’s Kevin McCullar, Michigan State’s Gabe Brown, LSU’s Darius Days, Kansas’ Jalen Wilson, Seton Hall’s Jared Rhoden and Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim.
Rhoden moved from to the Draft Combine after an impressive run in the G League Elite camp. Meanwhile, Boeheim, the son of Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, reportedly shot the lights out in his private workout with the Knicks. Boeheim shot 71 of 80 three-pointers, according to Forbes Sports’ Adam Zagoria.
The Knicks are scheduled to work out the Philippines’ 7-4 phenom Kai Sotto on Monday.
None of these prospects are projected to be drafted. But this current Knicks regime unearthed a diamond in the rough in Jericho Sims toward the end of the draft last year.
They also worked out Jose Alvarado and Aaron Wiggins — two players who went undrafted but became solid rotation players in New Orleans and Oklahoma City, respectively, last season.
So, maybe one of these under-the-radar prospects could sneak their way into the NBA.
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