The New York Knicks have a lot of pressure to nail their picks in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft. For the first time in recent memory, the Knicks have draft ammunition over the next few years.
On top of their own selections, the Knicks will have the Clippers’ 1st round pick, which was acquired in a trade for Marcus Morris Sr. just before the trade deadline. That pick currently sits at 27th overall, but the final position of the pick will ultimately be decided by where the Clippers finish in the playoffs.
There’s already been plenty of speculation about who the New York Knicks may target with their first pick, but who are some the prospects the Knicks could pursue with their other first-round selection?
Patrick Williams | SF/Wing | 6’8 | 225lbs |
A raw, 18-year-old prospect who recently declared for the draft. Patrick Williams came off the bench for the Florida State Seminoles and was the ACC Sixth Man of The Year. Williams is the perfect example of taking upside overproduction.
Williams may be the most athletic wing player in the entire draft. His NBA frame as a freshman is something you don’t see very often.
What scouts love most about Williams is that he uses his athleticism on the defensive end. He can cause fits as a perimeter defender and is an emphatic shot-blocker. He hasn’t shown much of an ability to move off the dribble and is still learning how to create space for himself. His shooting is solid and should continue to improve. Williams is a terrific athlete who could develop into a solid 3&D player.
Theo Maledon | PG | 6’4 | 198lbs
Another French guard? Maledon projects as a combo guard in the NBA. He won’t be the most effective passer, but his great speed allows him to easily create penetration and open up space for others. His shooting is incredibly promising, he’s shot the 3 at 37% in the EuroLeague.
His defense is spotty, and he will have to rely on his quickness to improve on it. Whether or not the Knicks draft a guard with their first pick, Maledon provides a scoring ability that could be valuable off the bench. He’s an intriguing prospect that definitely deserves a look.
Jalen Smith | PF/C | 6’10 | 225lbs
The term “Power Forward” may leave a sour taste in some Knicks fans’ mouths after they signed four of them this offseason. Jalen Smith, however, provides something the Knicks desperately need: Floor spacing.
The 20-year-old Maryland big man has shown the ability to be a consistent shooter. He shot 36.8% from 3 and 75% from the free-throw line. While he has a solid face-up game, he hasn’t shown much of an ability to create in the post.
Another thing to like about Smith is his defense. He’s been the rim protector for the Terrapins and has put up 2.4 blocks per game. He will need to continue to add strength in order to bang with NBA bigs, but his shooting and defensive upside make him someone that could contribute right away.