Draft steal Tyrese Haliburton haunts Knicks

Tyrese Haliburton made sure the New York Knicks would remember this loss for passing up on him in the NBA Draft.

Haliburton, who slid to No. 12 in the Draft, helped the Sacramento Kings deal the Knicks a stinging 103-94 loss that put an end to their three-game winning streak.

The Knicks went into a black hole at the start of the second half but appeared on track for a comeback in the final quarter before Haliburton made them pay down the stretch.

The 12th pick of the draft hit the dagger three-pointer with 2:35 left — his only field goal in the second half — that gave the Kings a nine-point cushion, 96-87. Then he stole the ball on the other end to seal the win.

“I guess it fueled me personally,” said a grinning Haliburton before pivoting.

“But I love it here. If we did this all over, I pray to God that I slid here. It’s not hard feelings or anything. It is what it is. It’s a business. I don’t care,” he added.

He must be incensed for getting little interest from a team that badly needed a lead guard.

Haliburton showed what the Knicks could have had at No. 8.

“My job is to make them think about that when they go to sleep. So I’m just going to go out there and be the best player I can be. I’m not that big into that motivation,” Haliburton said.

Haliburton entered the game as one of the top rookie performers averaging 11.1 points on 50 percent shooting and 49.2 percent from deep with his unorthodox shot and five assists.

The 6-5 rookie combo guard was the best rookie on the floor Friday night at the Golden1 Center.

Haliburton was all over the court as he finished with 16 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and four of the Kings’ 14 blocks in 31 minutes off the bench.

In contrast, the Knicks’ eighth overall selection Obi Toppin had six points and five rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench, his sixth game since recovering from an early-season injury (strained right calf).

The Knicks, playing on the second night of a back-to-back schedule, started slow and trailed by as many as 10 in the opening quarter. They recovered quickly and grabbed a 26-25 lead.

The Kings, who came into the game with the league-worst defense, stunningly limited the Knicks to just five points in the final 5:47 of the pivotal third quarter. They would grab a 10-point lead midway in the last quarter, but the Knicks charged back and got within two, 89-87.

The Kings lived at the line before Haliburton bailed them out with the big triple — their first field goal in four minutes — to gut out the big win.

”This was a weird, weird game for us,” said Randle, who led the Knicks with 26 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists.

“We started slow, worked our way out of it, and was up at the half. The third and fourth quarter was a little bit of a funk. I don’t even know what happened. The ball stuck a little bit.”

The Knicks’ offense turned cold after a sensational showing the night before in a 119-104 rout of the Golden State Warriors.

RJ Barrett added 21 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while Mitchell Robinson put up a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) but had little help from the rest of the Knicks.

De’Aaron Fox, who trolled the Knicks for landing No. 8 in the Draft Lottery, paced the Kings with 22 points and seven assists.

Together with Haliburton, they outplayed the Knicks point guards Elfrid Payton and Immanuel Quickley, who combined for 15 points and five assists.

The Knicks (8-9) will continue their West Coast trip in Portland on Sunday night.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton and his unorthodox shot at NBA glory

The New York Knicks have been looking for a lead guard for so long. They might find him in this year’s point guard-heavy NBA Draft.

He may not have the size and the athleticism of Magic Johnson and LeBron James but Tyrese Haliburton has their combination of vision, high basketball IQ, charisma, and leadership qualities.

Haliburton has closely watched both guys growing up with Johnson belonging to his father’s generation and James from his generation.

“I watched a lot of old, throwback basketball like the 80s and 90s stuff growing up because my dad is an old head. For me, Magic Johnson has always been my guy,” Haliburton said during his Draft Combine interview.

“His passion and spirit on the court but his vision and his impact on winning, I don’t think people really understand how much of a winner Magic Johnson really is. That probably is my inspiration.”

Magic Johnson has won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 80s. James, on the other hand, is fresh from winning his fourth title also with the Lakers, his third team.

There was a time when the 6’9” Johnson played center in the NBA. And James too as a 6’8” point forward. Haliburton grew up like them in Wisconsin alongside recent NBA Bubble breakout star Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat.

Haliburton was the tallest kid during his fifth grade that he was pigeonholed as a center.

“I hated being a big man,” Haliburton recalled.

A young Haliburton reached his breaking point during one of their team practices. He grabbed a rebound and began to run the ball up the court, directing play.

“I told coach, ‘I can play the point, let me play the point’,” Haliburton said.

And he made his point with conviction, playing as the tallest point guard. He’s played that position ever since except for his freshman year in college.

Haliburton and Herro went separate ways in high school and carved their own basketball path.

Haliburton went to Oshkosh North High School and developed into the best point guard in Wisconsin. Herro blossomed into a big-time scorer at Whitnall High School.

Haliburton said he’s gotten a lot of insights from Herro since he declared for the NBA Draft.

As a high school senior, Haliburton led Oshkosh North High School to a 26-1 record averaging 22.9 points, 6.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 steals, and 1.7 blocks. He capped off his phenomenal senior year with a 31-point effort, including 24 in the second half and a perfect 18-of-18 trip at the line, to win the Division I state championship. He was named Wisconsin Player of the Year.

Despite his high school accolades, he was only rated as a four-star recruit. But Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm saw something else in Haliburton.

“He’s been a rock star here since Day One. I think that attracted us and that made him a priority in our recruiting process,” Iowa head coach Steve Prohm told Empire Sports Media.

Prohm’s program at Iowa has produced the likes of Georges Niang, Monte Morris, and Talen Horton-Tucker in the NBA. He has zeroed in on high-character guys and great personalities.

“When we talked to him on the phone, sat with him in their living room, and watched him play, he checked all those boxes,” Prohm recalling his recruitment of Haliburton.

Two years later, Haliburton has emerged as the potential first lottery pick from ISU’s basketball program under Prohm’s watch.

In just a short time with the Cyclones, Haliburton has been to the NCAA tournament, won a Big 12 tournament, and a gold medal with Team USA U19 with a performance that catapulted him into one of the best prospects in this year’s NBA Draft.

Behind his competitive spirit on the hardcourt, Haliburton has that infectious smile and the charisma of a Magic Johnson.

He’s just got an unbelievable spirit and phenomenal personality. And I always joked with him that when he’s done playing, he’ll be the governor of Wisconsin,” Prohm said. “He can walk into any room and can have an amazing presence.”

Like Johnson, Haliburton has only played two years in college before declaring for the NBA. But unlike the former Laker legend, Haliburton isn’t the consensus top overall pick. He’s not even the most highly-touted point guard in the Draft. That label belongs to LaMelo Ball.

And Haliburton’s case as the second-best point guard in the Draft has met a strong resistance from Frenchman Killian Hayes.

But Haliburton has the supreme belief that he’s the best facilitator out of the group, something that he molded himself after the playing styles of Johnson and later on James.

“LaMelo is scoring the ball at three levels. I think I’m the best facilitator out of the group and I think Killian defends at a high level,” Haliburton said of their different strengths.

It’s not hard to see why Prohm can see a vision of Haliburton being a Wisconsin governor someday. Just by listening to Haliburton eloquently answering each media question, showing grace under pressure, is just half of the equation.

He says all the right things. But he’s also done things the right way.

The other half of Haliburton’s brilliance can be seen in the body of work he’s done on the court.

Bleacher Report’s Draft analyst Jonathan Wasserman has indicated in a recent appearance on KnicksFan TV that Haliburton had A+ interviews with teams. Haliburton has gone on record that he has talked to three teams so far — New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, and Detroit Pistons.

And if the Knicks would have Hayes and Haliburton available for the eighth pick, Wasserman believes they would choose the Iowa standout.

But it seems that the Knicks’ interest in Haliburton is not as strong as the other prospects such as two-way wingman Isaac Okoro whom the they have “inquisitively scouted and liked from the jump” according to Ian Begley of SNY.

Prohm said he’s never met with the Knicks yet and admitted that his communication with them was just confined to text messages.

“I have not talked to the Knicks personally. Just a little bit of texts with one of the guys that’s new over there. But that doesn’t mean that my staff has not talked to them. I don’t ask them all the teams they talk to,” Prohm told Empire Sports Media.

Regardless of how the Knicks view him, Haliburton sees his potential fit in New York.

“I like the Knicks roster and I think they are an up-and-coming team,” he said. “Obviously, they have a lot of guys that can play the point guard spot in Elfrid [Payton] and Dennis [Smith Jr.] and Frank [Ntilikina] but I’m prepared to do whatever I have to do, so if it was the Knicks I’m prepared to do whatever is asked of me. If that’s play the one, or slide to the two or come off the bench or start, it doesn’t really matter. I’m ready.”

Haliburton’s Draft projections have been all over the place. The uncertainty of this Draft presents a strong case for Haliburton to be one of the sure things.

Aside from his phenomenal vision and high-efficiency play on the court, Haliburton brings flexibility at the backcourt.

When he arrived in Iowa, Haliburton was pegged to become the backup point guard behind senior guard Nick Weiler-Babb. But an injury to their starting shooting guard Lindell Wigginton had prompted Prohm to slot him in the starting unit right away next to Weiler-Babb.

But even playing outside his natural position didn’t stop Haliburton from making an impact on the team.

“As a freshman, the goal was to put them in a position to have immediate success and gain confidence. We had a senior guard (Weiler-Babb) who was phenomenal at the position. With the way we play, and what we always emphasize — spacing and ball movement, Tyrese was still able to be the second in assist to turnover ratio as a freshman and he almost led our team in assists as a freshman,” Prohm said.

Haliburton started in 34 out of 35 games as a freshman and averaged 6.8 points, 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and almost a block per game while shooting over 51 percent from the field and 43 percent from the three-point region. He ranked third in the nation in offensive rating (136.8) and his 4.5-1 assist-to-turnover ratio was the second-best in the nation and led the Big 12 Conference.

He also broke the 44-year school record with most assists in a single game when he dished out 17 against a lone turnover in a blowout win against Southern.

“He’s such a willing passer and a giver that he’s so good in the pick and roll and his vision is phenomenal. He’s a high-assist, low-turnover guy and off the floor, he’s all about the right things. You talk about character and what’s the right thing for the team,” Prohm said.

On the defensive end, Haliburton joined last year’s top overall pick Zion Williamson (Duke) as the only true freshmen nationally with 50 steals and 30 blocks.

“That’s why Tyrese is good at understanding scouting reports. He has great anticipation and a great feel. He’s really good away from the ball. He really understands how to trap, double the post, understand rotation,” Prohm said of Haliburton, who has been watching and breaking down game films since his middle school.

His stint with Team USA in the summer before his sophomore year has shot up his confidence even more. He returned to Iowa in high spirits ready to embrace a bigger role in Prohm’s system.

 

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slept on myself for a minute, I’m up now. #lostfiles

A post shared by Tyrese Haliburton (@tyresehaliburton) on Oct 14, 2020 at 4:25pm PDT

In a clean seven-game sweep, Haliburton averaged 7.9 points, 6.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.3 steals in 25 minutes per game in the 2019 U19 FIBA World Cup. He also shot 56 percent of his three-pointers on his way to being named to the tournament’s All-Star Five.

Haliburton showed elite playmaking next to elite talents in a team that boasts of tournament MVP Reggie Perry, next year’s potential top picks Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, and fellow Draft prospect Kira Lewis, Jr.

His phenomenal play in the world championships turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg.

“Obviously, we lost a lot of those guys from his freshman year that he moved into the primary point guard responsibility and he flourished with that. But the other thing he did a great job is he’s really shown people that he can score as well,” Prohm said.

Haliburton had a breakout season in his sophomore year that led to his decision to declare for the NBA Draft.

When the college season was cut short by pandemic, Haliburton was sixth in the Big 12 in scoring (15.2), second in FG percentage (50.4), first in assists (6.5), first in steals (2.5), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3), third in 3FG percentage (41.9) and 13th in rebounding (5.9).

He has destroyed all Big 12 point guards this season including Lewis, Jr. of Alabama. In their matchup in the Bahamas late last year, Haliburton has outplayed his Alabama counterpart leading the Cyclones to a 104-89 rout.

Haliburton almost had a triple-double finishing with a game-high 23 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. He also shot 4-of-7 three-pointers.

In contrast, Lewis, Jr. struggled with 3-13 field goal shooting and was limited to just eight points, four boards, and five dimes. He also went 0-of-4 from three.

Haliburton though hasn’t seen action since February due to a wrist injury but if there’s something positive that came out of it is that he showed what he’s really made of.

After injuring his wrist late in the first half, Haliburton had his Mamba moment. He still started the second half and played through the pain. Playing essentially with one hand, he helped the Cyclones build a 49-35 lead before sitting out the last 16 minutes of the game. His teammates held on to the victory, 73-63.

He was later on diagnosed with a left wrist fracture that prematurely ended his final year with the Cyclones.

“When he got injured, one thing he showed us is he’s all about the right things. His parents still traveled to the games. They still came to the home games. He still followed the scouting reports. He still communicated from the bench. He’s waving the towel. He’s talked to his teammates. And he was all-in to the very end,” Prohm said.

“He was crushed because he doesn’t want to leave this place but he needed to go pro. It was his time and he’s more than ready.”

Analytics guys would fall in love with Haliburton’s high-efficiency play. But his lean frame and unorthodox shot have made him a polarizing Draft prospect.

Aware of those knocks on his game, Haliburton has locked up in Wisconsin in preparation for the Draft training with his former AAU coach Bryan Johnikin. He said he worked three times per day doing lifts in the morning and spending the rest of the day on the basketball court working on his shot, primarily off-the-bounce and his on-ball defense.

From 168-lb, Haliburton has checked in at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas recently with 18 lbs additional muscle — a product of his six days a week lifting in the weight rooms for two months.

And what about his shot?

Haliburton and the people around him have the “why fix it if it ain’t broke” mentality.

“I think it’s so overblown the stuff about my (shooting) mechanics because I don’t think film or numbers lie,” Haliburton said.

“I think I shot the ball really well both years. If people watched, they know the range is not a problem for me. If that’s what people want to talk about, go ahead. But we can revisit that question in a couple of years and see what people will say,” he added.

Prohm didn’t even try to tweak it. And why would he do that if Haliburton’s shooting is off the charts?
“I didn’t [tweak it]. He shot over 40 percent from threes for two years in a row. It’s gone in ever since I’ve seen him play. He’s got great range and size. I didn’t really want to change his shot. In the next level, they may, they may not,” Prohm said. “If you’re shooting over 40 as the top guy in the scouting report, that’s pretty good.”
NBA Draft analyst Matt Babcock of Babcock Hoops and his Director of Scouting Derek Murray have watched tons and tons of film on Haliburton throughout the year.
Murray also saw Haliburton multiple times during the Big12 play.
“While his shot is funky, it goes in, and goes in often. Everywhere he goes — he is the one of the best shooters in the gym, so I don’t see a need to change the shot at this point. It works’,” Murray told Empire Sports Media.
In Murray’s book, Haliburton is “easily a top-5 point guard.”
“I like him in the back of the top-10, certainly a lottery guy,” Murray added.
Haliburton’s shot at NBA stardom won’t necessarily hinge on his shot. To him, it’s only aesthetics that doesn’t need a quick fix. What he’s been working on is how to be more effective shooting off the bounce.
Haliburton has gotten better and more comfortable shooting off the dribble in Las Vegas as noted by ESPN’s Mike Schmitz.
Haliburton already has the offensive gifts and uncanny vision to run a team or even slide to become a combo guard. But Prohm believes that if Haliburton can unlock his potential on the defensive end, then the sky’s the limit.
“One thing that he needs to get better at, he knows this, and teams I’m sure know this is just guarding one on one. He’s gonna have to continue to grow and get better at that but I think he’ll do that with his length and size, his ability to be coached, and as he matures,” Prohm said.
He may not be as fanciful as Ball, or as strong as Hayes, but Haliburton impacts winning in the most efficient way whether at the point or as a two-guard.

“I’m a basketball player. Whatever you need from me I’ll do. If you want me to play the PG, I’ll do that. I think I facilitate better than anybody in this draft. I think I can run a team right away, but if you want me to play the two and knock down shots and defend, I think can do that as well. So whatever’s really asked of me, I’ll do,” Haliburton said.

Haliburton has all the makings of not just a great point guard, but also as a great ambassador of the league. Prohm sounded like a broken record with all the right buzz words but Haliburton has shown he can walk the talk.

“He’s got great temperament, maturity, and humility to fit in any role. He understands what’s needed from him. He’s gonna buy-in and do what’s best for that team,” Prohm said.

“He’s never too high and never too low and he understands the work ethic that it takes to be successful.”

Haliburton, in some ways, is being viewed by skeptics just like how he believes people view Magic Johnson and his underrated impact on winning.

Some people also really don’t understand how much of a winner Haliburton is.

NBA Draft: New York Knicks cast a wide net in point guard search

New York Knicks

It’s going to be an unpredictable NBA Draft Night for the New York Knicks.

New Knicks president Leon Rose and his front office have continued to keep their cards close to their chest.  But the Draft Combine media interviews have provided some clarity that the Knicks are zeroing in on a potential lead guard.

The Knicks, who will be picking at No.8, No.27, and No.38 barring any trades, have interviewed at least seven guards and could be even more.

The consensus top three point guards in the Draft — LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, and Tyrese Haliburton — have all confirmed that they have talked to the Knicks prior to the lottery.

Haliburton claimed his vision is what separates him from the top-tier guards in the Draft. The 6-foot-5 skinny guard from Iowa also added that he’s comfortable playing on and off the ball at the backcourt.

“LaMelo is scoring the ball at three levels. I think I’m the best facilitator out of the group and I think Killian defends at a high level,” Haliburton said of their different strengths during his Draft Combine Zoom call.

Ball is unsure if the Knicks would trade up for him.

“That I don’t know.  Maybe, maybe not,” Ball said.

Hayes, meanwhile, is excited at the possibility of playing with fellow Frenchman Frank Ntilikina in New York’s backcourt.

“It would be dope,” Hayes said Monday on a Zoom call. “He’s [Frank] not really a true point guard. He can play the 1 or the 2, so I think it would be a good duo.”

Another French guard Theo Maledon and Stanford’s Tyrell Terry have also interviewed with the Knicks. Curiously, Maledon had his interview only two weeks ago. He’s the only prospect so far that has been confirmed to have discussions with the Knicks in the post-lottery.

RJ Hampton, whose Draft stock considerably dropped after a lackluster stint in New Zealand’s pro league, has also met with the Knicks over Zoom call.

Add Alabama’s Kira Lewis, Jr. to the long list.  Ian Begley of SNY recently reported that the Knicks have been in touch with the quick point guard.

North Carolina’s enigmatic combo guard Cole Anthony, who opted not to join the Draft Combine, has also his share of fans and critics in the organization.  Meanwhile, Duke point guard Tre Jones, who is pegged by Tankathon as the Knicks’ pick at No. 27, revealed during his Draft Combine Zoom call that he has not interviewed with them.

During Rose’s first public appearance as the Knicks team president in June, he mentioned how he views this Draft as a lot more unpredictable compared to the recent years.

“This draft, a couple of guys stand out, and after that, there’s a lot of equality,” Rose said.

Outside the above-mentioned point guards, the Knicks have also interviewed Memphis’ big man Precious Achiuwa, who split his time in Bronx, New York, and New Jersey during his high school. The other lottery prospects that have also been linked to them are Dayton’s explosive big man Obi Toppin, and a trio of defensive stalwarts in Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, and Florida State’s Devin Vassell, and Patrick Williams.

The Knicks are navigating this Draft process under the same degree of prudence and diligence that they have shown during their head coaching search that ultimately led to Tom Thibodeau, the perceived frontrunner from the start.

Ball is the perceived No.1 point guard in the Knicks board as early as May, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.  And with Ball reportedly withdrawing from the Draft Combine after spilling his talks with the Knicks to the media, expect more smoke to come out of New York.

Whatever the Knicks would choose to do in the Draft — move up, trade down or stand pat — there’s a clear indication that they are doing everything to cover all their bases.

 

It’s a clever move that has Walter Perrin‘s imprint all over it. The former Utah Jazz executive is bringing in the small market-mentality to New York, finding every slice of information he could grab to get an edge over the bigger market teams.

The Knicks won’t draft everyone whom they have scouted and interviewed. But Perrin likes to keep notes which can be valuable down the road either in free agency or trade. Just like when the Jazz targeted Jordan Clarkson in the February trade deadline. Their Draft notes on him helped them pull the trigger on the trade.

“Towards the tail end of the (NCAA) season and the conference tournament he was struggling a little bit only because he had some off-the-court issues, personal issues, nothing bad. If I remember correctly, one of his family members was going through struggles in terms of illness,” Perrin said last April.

In 2014, five months before the Draft, Clarkson’s father was diagnosed with cancer. It took a hit on his performance and consequently hurt his Draft stock.

“It was affecting his play, and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to bring him in, we wanted to get to know him a little better and find out what was really going on,” Perrin added.

The Jazz wasn’t able to grab him in the Draft, but when they were looking for a key rotational piece this season, their Draft notes came in handy. Perrin’s scouting instincts was right all along as Clarkson proved to be a second-round steal in that Draft class.

That kind of progressive of thinking is a whiff of fresh air in New York which had more misses than hits when it comes to player personnel.

Under normal circumstances, Perrin could have had more workouts arranged for the Knicks by now. But still, he and his scouting department are doing their due dilligence.

It’s going to be a wild NBA Draft. But if the number of pre-Draft interviews are any indication, the Knicks will come prepared.

Wide-open NBA Draft favors Knicks, says college basketball analyst

New York Knicks, Killian Hayes

Even without a top-three pick, there’s a chance the New York Knicks could still end up with the best player in this year’s NBA Draft.

That’s the belief of former St. John’s head coach turned ESPN college analyst Fran Fraschilla when he appeared on Michael Kay Show over the weekend.

“First of all, there’s no clear-cut no.1, there’s no consensus no.1, there’s no clear-cut NBA superstar in this Draft just yet but I will remind you guys that this is like 2013 when Anthony Bennett went no.1 and there was a kid by the name of (Giannis) Antetokounmpo that was taken No.15 by the Milwaukee Bucks.  Now, there’s nobody like that in this draft but quite honestly, I don’t care if you’re picking 1, 2, 3 all the way down to 15, you can get a guy, the Knicks can find somebody at eight [pick] that could end up being the best player in this Draft,” Fraschilla said.

The Knicks’ current roster has glaring holes everywhere, but with team president Leon Rose viewing last season lottery pick RJ Barrett and rim protector Mitchell Robinson as cornerstones of the franchise, the growing belief is that the most pressing concern is finding a lead point guard.

Whether they can find that player in the Draft, in the free agency or within the current roster, is a matter of internal debate according to a source familiar with the Knicks’ front office thinking.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported earlier today that the Knicks, along with the Phoenix Suns and Detroit Pistons, are among the teams expected to bid for Toronto Raptors breakout star Fred Van Vleet, the top point guard in an underwhelming free-agent class.

The Knicks currently have a point guard rotation of Elfrid Payton, Frank Nkitilina, and Dennis Smith, Jr., all former lottery picks, who have not panned out.  But after acquiring Kenny Payne and Johnnie Bryant to join Tom Thibodeau’s staff, the sense is that they will attempt to develop their current players to get more value on the court and possibly in the trade market.

LaMelo Ball, who is the Knicks’ top point guard in their board as early as May, is not expected to drop outside the top three.  The team has also conducted an interview with Killian Hayes, the top playmaker among international prospects. The Knicks, in typical Rose’s fashion, is doing their due diligence and is said to be considering all options.

Several mock drafts have yielded different results for the Knicks at no.8, bolstering Fraschilla’s observation.

Under normal circumstances, the Knicks and the other 29 teams could have a better grasp of most of their targets in the NCAA tournament and validate that intel during their in-person workouts and interviews. But even if they missed out on that, Fraschilla believes that some teams have already pegged the best players in their boards.

“Hopefully, Rose and the Knicks are one of those teams but there are kids who are going to be available at eight —Tyrese Haliburton, Onyeka Okongwu, Saddiq Bey.  There are guys that are gonna be hanging around in this draft that could end up at eight being the best player in this Draft,” Fraschilla said.  “The Knicks just have to find that guy.”

It is interesting to note that Haliburton is being represented by CAA while Okongwu and Bey are with Excel Sports.

In recent memory, the Knicks have been unlucky at no.8.  Since 2005, they have taken three players with the eight pick— Channing Frye (2005), Jordan Hill (2009), and Nkitilina (2017)— without much success.

Can Rose turn the Knicks’ lottery pick into a ‘Lucky 8’ this time?

Fraschilla is optimistic: “There’s a new regime. I’m confident that these guys know what they’re doing.”