The New York Knicks Have The 11th Overall Pick in The Draft; But Which Top Tier Prospects Should They Target?

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Last year, the New York Knicks didn’t do much with their 19th and 21st overall picks in the NBA Draft. After they selected center Kai Jones and shooting guard Keon Johnson, the Knicks traded both players soon after, with Jones sent to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a future first-round pick while Johnson went to the Los Angeles Clippers for their 2021 25th overall pick, which ended up being point guard Quentin Grimes.

Fast forward a year later, and the Knicks have themselves a much better 11th overall first-round draft pick that they could allocate towards a bright young starlet.

Coming off a deflating 37-45 finish last season, the Knicks predicated the majority of their success on their Top 10 defense but lacked the offensive efficiency they displayed over the 2020-21 season. Ranking 26th in the league in points per game (106.5), 27th in field goal percentage (43.7), and dead last in assists per game (21.9), the Knicks have continuously struggled to put their ailing offense back on track and sorely need a natural scoring-playmaker to alleviate this concern.

However, one key factor the Knicks will have to account for in this draft is that it isn’t stacked with point guard prospects, which just so happens to be their greatest need this offseason. And similarly to that of their 2020 first-round pick when they selected power forward Obi Toppin eighth overall, the Knicks might want to consider going after the most talented player available once again should the top two point guards be already off the board.

With that said, let’s get right to it and check out the best three prospects the Knicks should target with their 11th overall pick.

 

PG Jaden Ivey

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 200

Class: Sophomore

School: Purdue

The number one prospect the Knicks should have on the top of their list is none other than Jaden Ivey. In most mock drafts and rankings you’ll come across so far, many, if not all, will have the number one point guard in the draft going Top 5. Although the point guard position is his area of expertise, Ivey can play as a shooting guard as well and can be a plug-and-play starter within just about any system in the NBA.

But what makes Ivey so special is that he is the pure definition of a combo guard that possesses a wide range of versatility as a scorer, playmaker, and defender. His explosive speed and burst, smooth catch-and-shoot fluidity, and high-octane motor in open space and when slashing through the paint, has led him to become an elite scorer from just about anywhere on the floor. And with his raw athleticism, lanky strength, and sharp lateral quickness, Ivey has established himself as both a great rebounder and defender for the guard position.

After a quiet freshman season at Purdue, where he only scored 11.1 points per game on 39.9% shooting from the field to go with an average of 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists, Ivey made grand strides with his sophomore season development and looked like a whole new version of himself. Scoring 17.3 points on 46% shooting from the field and 35.8% from 3PT range (previously 25.8% as a freshman), Ivey’s transformation was a sight to behold, posting a better rebounding average (4.9) and assist output (3.1) as well.

So why all this hype and excitement for a player that is well out of reach for the Knicks, you might be wondering? Well, first and foremost, the Knicks could decide to trade up for Ivey should the opportunity present itself. But secondly, most teams ahead of the Knicks in the draft have strong point guards or dual guard combos as is. Though it might be a stretch, the draft is always full of surprises, and Ivey to the Knicks just could be one of them.

 

PG Dyson Daniels

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 185

Age: 19

Program: G League Ignite

If you take current NBA guards Cade Cunningham and LaMelo Ball’s unique set of skills and you combine them into one, you get point guard Dyson Daniels. Naturally, Daniels has not nearly established himself to the extent of Cunningham and Ball talent-wise. But it’s uncanny to see how many similar traits from either guard he has in his game that he executes in his own special way.

From his size, athleticism, body control, bounce, and speed, Daniels’ physical talents grant him a very solid foundation that allows him to utilize his full arsenal of weapons to be the complete scorer and playmaker he is.

Whether he slashes his way through the paint, or posts up on his man, or pulls up from mid-range, or works around a pick to secure a catch-and-shoot opportunity, Daniels has such a deep variety of ways he can exploit defenses with his scoring, and because of such, has a great feel for when to knock down his shot or utilize his teammates around him. And because he’s so tall and big, Daniels is a great rebounder and plays really active, strong defense as well.

In 15 games played with the Ignite, Daniels scored 11.9 points per game on 50% shooting from the field while averaging 7.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.1 steals as well. Earlier this March, when the Ignite took on the Stockton Kings, Daniels illustrated just how exceptional his level of versatility really is with an explosive performance. In 38 minutes played, Daniels dropped 21 points and collected 17 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and a block to add to his impressive output.

Whether they choose to play him at the one or the two, Daniels would be a great fit for the Knicks and could provide the much-needed scoring and playmaking spark they’ve been yearning for from their backcourt. Should Ivey be off the board (and most likely he will be), Daniels would make for a fantastic second choice.

 

SG Ochai Agbaji

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 215

Class: Senior

School: Kansas

If the top two point guards in the draft are not available for the Knicks come their 11th overall pick, they should strongly consider selecting Kansas veteran shooting guard Ochai Agbaji. Although he isn’t a point guard and doesn’t bring the best playmaking skillset, Agbaji has a slew of transferrable skills the Knicks could really benefit from having and shouldn’t be overlooked if he’s still available.

Offensively, Agbaji really came into his own during his fourth and final season with Kansas, delivering his best numbers to date. In all 39 games he started, Agbaji dropped an average of 18.8 points on 47.5% shooting from the field, shot a crisp 40.9% from behind the arc, and gathered 5.1 rebounds per game to add to his scoring dominance. This included a career-high performance where Agbaji dropped a whopping 37 points on 58.3% shooting from the field against Texas Tech. And 21 of his 37-point output came from seven three-point makes he had on 12 attempts.

A big reason why Agbaji took off the way he did is due to his immense growth with his athleticism. Possessing this long-striding speed, impressive bounce, and an overpowering strength to go with a big 6’10” wingspan, Agbaji finishes very well around the rim and has developed an elite defensive presence on the perimeter as well, making him a great fit for the Knicks and their current system.

In short, the Knicks desperately need better two-way guard play. And since they have already three different point guards they are all planning on keeping as of right now (Kemba Walker, Derrick Rose, and Immanuel Quickly), they might as well go after a dependable, experienced four-year guard who just so happened to be one of the best players on a National Title Winning team.