New York Knicks Draft Profile: Nico Mannion

New York Knicks, Scott Perry, Steve Mills

The New York Knicks have been heavily rumored to be interested in drafting one of the top guards in the 2020 NBA draft. There isn’t much consensus as to who the best player in the draft is. For the most part, Lamelo Ball and Anthony Edwards are the two who frequently appear at the top. One prospect who could be selected in the top 10 is Arizona point guard Nico Mannion.

The Knicks currently have the 6th worst record in the league. As much as they’d love a top 3 pick, they have to prepare to draft in the 6-10 range as well. Nico Mannion could be exactly what they need.

He’s a complete point guard.

Mannion has an advanced skill set for someone who turned 19 years old a month ago. The 6’3 point guard has an NBA game. A terrific ball-handler who can dice his way through multiple defenders, not only can he create for himself, he’s a more than capable passer. A great decision-maker who makes the right reads.

His shooting is constantly improving and should easily translate to the league. He shot just under 33% from 3 and 80% from the free-throw line this season.  Nico has shown the ability to make difficult shots off the dribble. The form on his shot is terrific: It’s quick and fluid.

His athletic profile isn’t jaw-dropping, but he’ll surprise people with his sudden bursts. He’ll need to work on his on-ball perimeter defense as he’s struggled to size up with stronger players. If he continues to grow into his body and add weight it would be a huge help for his defensive growth.

How he fits with the Knicks

Nico Mannion projects as a multi-threat point guard at the next level. Just how high his ceiling can be is hard to tell. The New York Knicks desperately need two things in their new backcourt players next season: Shooting and passing. Nico Mannion has both of them. His skills should immediately translate to the next level and make him a nice compliment to RJ Barrett in the backcourt.

Is it too early to start talking about the draft for the New York Knicks?

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks are 11 games into the 2019-20 NBA season and it’s good as over.  The Knicks are 2-9 and on the verge of moving on from Head Coach David Fizdale.

Not even 20 games in and Knicks fan are finding this season laughable and hard to watch.  Some of that falls on the coach for the inability to get his players up for games and develop offensive and defensive schemes.  More can fall on the players for being unable to execute.  Either way you look at it, it’s bad.

Therefore, since the season is lost, the Knicks can start to look towards the upcoming NBA draft.  Yes, it is way-too early to do so but what else is there to talk about.  There’s only so many things to talk about when it comes to this squad.  They repeat themselves almost every game with their play.

For next year’s draft, the Knicks need a point guard with their first pick.  It’s going to be a high pick so they have to hit a home-run.

The Knicks have several power forwards so that should be off the board.  Unless, James Wiseman’s there when they pick.  The Knicks still do not have a ‘true’ point guard running the offense.

RJ Barrett and Frank Ntilikina have been splitting the point guard duties and with Dennis Smith Jr. back, that’ll split into thirds.  Just wait until Elfrid Payton comes back too.

But the Knicks need a point guard that will run the offense day-in and day-out.  No more flip-flopping because the Knicks point guard carousel is such a headache.

The point guards the Knicks need to look at are Cole Anthony, Cassius Stanley and Nico Mannion.  Any of these three ‘true’ point guards would be exciting to pair with RJ Barrett.  Barrett can’t be running the point off-and-on, he’s too valuable.

Cole Anthony, UNC, has the ability to run the offense, shoot the deep ball and get his teammates involved.  He is must-see TV when he’s on and the early favorite for player of the year.  Him and Barrett could be a lethal back-court for years.  Some fans have even started the ‘tank foe Cole Anthony’ bandwagon.

Cassius Stanley, out of Duke, is 6-foot-6 guard with the ability to stretch the floor. He’s very athletic and provides elite dunks in transition.  Smith Jr. was suppose to be that guy for the Knicks but he’s under-performing.

Nico Mannion, Arizona, is shooting 52% from the field and creates his own shot with ease.  Besides, the ability to score he does an excellent job at distributing the ball to his teammates.  Knicks all of the above.

All three players should be high on the Knicks big board.  The Knicks need a ‘true’ point guard to pair with Barrett for the future.  One of these three players would be another effort of trying to turn around the organization.