The New York Knicks have had many organizational issues over the last decade. These include front office mismanagement, a revolving door at head coach, and an inability to develop young players. The Knicks are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference at 20 games below .500. They are in line to finish as the 6th worst team in the NBA. Not good enough to make the playoffs, not bad enough to have great lottery odds. We’ve seen this story before.
The Knicks are neglecting their draft picks.
Take Kevin Knox, the 8th overall pick of the 2018 draft as an example. In 2018, Playing alongside a barren roster, Knox managed to earn NBA Rookie of the month for December and a spot in the Rising Stars Game.
What is Knox up to in his 2nd season? He is currently averaging 18.4 minutes per game, 28th among sophomores. You read that correctly. The 8th overall pick from a year ago is 28th in minutes played amongst his draft class peers.
When the Knicks traded Marcus Morris at the deadline, it was an opportunity for younger players to take his minutes. In the three games since Morris has been traded, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, and Dennis Smith rank 9th, 10th, and 11th on the team in minutes per game, respectively. Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson have been DNPs. Iggy Brazdeikis and Kenny Wooten are stuck in the G League. Taj Gibson and Wayne Ellington have seen more minutes in those games.
With this roster, development is far more critical than a few wins. Knicks fans don’t want to see Reggie Bullock and Elfrid Payton lead the team to victory a few times a month. They want to see the “Baby Knicks” get playing time. They want to see a youth movement.