Despite the fact the New York Knicks have $50+ million in available funds this off-season, they should still be targeting a point guard in the 2021 NBA draft. With the Detroit Pistons winning the lottery, the Knicks looked on from afar, having made the postseason, and finally took a step forward in their progression.
The organization is no longer a pushover, thanks to head coach Tom Thibodeau and the rise of Julius Randle. Most believe New York will be an attractive landing spot for star players this off-season, so the Knicks can put their salary space to good use.
However, signing a point guard shouldnâ€™t deter them from drafting one as well, as they can easily utilize multiple guards in the starting lineup; the departure of Derrick Rose and Elfrid Payton could also open up a slot at the position. The Knicks will have their eyes set on a variety of different PGs in the draft, so letâ€™s take a look at three who could offer long-term solutions.
Three point guards the Knicks could target in the 2021 NBA Draft:
1.) Davion Mitchell
Mitchell is currently projected to go in the top 10, but the Knicks have two first-round selections, number 19 and 21, which they can pair together and move up to possibly land the Baylor stand out. As one of the best defenders in the draft, he fits the bill perfectly for Thibodeau and his aggressive defensive mentality.
According to ESPN:
Naismith and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Arguably the best on-ball defender in the draft. Strong frame. Sturdy lower body. Lightning-quick feet. Does a tremendous job of taking on-ball charges. Great anticipation. Fights over the top of screens. Battles on switches. Plays much bigger than his measurements suggest. Elite defender from day one in the NBA.
Mitchell is a fantastic overall prospect, offering elite defense on day one and solid offensive production. Last season, Mitchell averaged 14 points, 5.5 assists, and shot .511 from the field over 33 minutes played on average .
2.) Jared Butler
An alternative if the Knicks miss out on Mitchell would be Jared Butler, his teammate. The 6’3″, 195-pound guard averaged 16.7 points, 4.8 assists, and shot .471 from the field last year. He also connected on .416 of his shots from three, attempting 6.2 per game. Butler is not a physically imposing guard, hosting average size, but he is an aggressive player who puts forth the effort to make up for his lack of frame.
If the Knicks sit still and wait for their selections, thereâ€™s a good chance Butler will be available, and as a First-Team All-American who won the National Championship last year, he represents a quality player. In addition, he wonâ€™t be 21 until August, so he offers a bit more youth and developmental flexibility.
3.) Tre Mann
Another option that could be hovering in the 20 to 25 range is Tre Mann out of Florida. At 6’5″ and 190 pounds, Mann is ranked as the fourth-best point guard in this class, according to ESPN. As a fantastic handler of the ball and containing superior athleticism, he offers solid offense in the paint, driving to the basket. He shot over 40% from beyond the arc and ranked in the 90th percentile on pull-ups last season. He is a smooth scorer with room to grow but doesnâ€™t have the mean defensive mentality Thibs prefers.
Nonetheless, Mann is a scoring point guard with potential as a defender, and thatâ€™s simply what the Knicks need now at the position. Mann will be a solid alternative for New York, who they wouldnâ€™t have to trade up to land, allowing them to allocate their two first-round picks on different players/positions.
If you had a choice, who would you take in the draft? Comment below!Â