The Knicks missed out on grabbing Blake Griffin or Ricky Rubio last night, but don't get too worked up. Depending on who you ask, pretty much everybody else in this draft class is up for grabs. I've seen many of the other lottery prospects slotted as high as top-five and as low as double-digits. As teams make their needs known, certain guys will likely be sifted to the top of the lottery. For the time being, though, everyone's fair game. So let's take a look at the cast of characters, shall we? I'm of the opinion that the Knicks need one of the following three player types: 1. A play-making point guard, 2. A leading scorer or 3. A defensive-minded center. What follows is a list of candidates (in my eyes) for each of these spots.
Brandon Jennings- Lottomatica Roma- Quick, crafty, and athletic, but largely unproven. +1 for confidence.
Jonny Flynn- Syracuse- Speedy little dude who's been compared to Earl Watson. Not sure if that warrants a top-8 pick.
Ty Lawson- UNC- Small, but still kills people with speed and strength. Can already pass and shoot like an NBA player.
Patrick Mills- St. Mary's- Short and Australian. Pretty good, though.
Tweeners (could potentially play point guard, lead a team in scoring, or both)
Tyreke Evans- Memphis- Big combo-type who finishes brilliantly at the rim. Never seemed that sharp to me, though, and the Larry Hughes comparisons give me nightmares.
Stephen Curry- Davidson- Pure shooter with a skinny frame. People doubt his mid-major background and point guard ability, but he sure doesn't.
Eric Maynor- VCU- Another mid-major guy. More of a point guard than Curry. Can pass and defend at a high level, but people question his weird release on his jumper. No doubts about his clutchness.
Jrue Holiday- UCLA- Uber-athletic combo player who hasn't really had a chance to shine. The hype should build during the combine, when he jumps over a scout.
Jeff Teague- Wake Forest- Scoring point guard whose confidence probably makes up for a slight build. Can he facilitate at an NBA-level?
James Harden- Arizona- One of those guys who can't run very fast or jump very high, but can flat-out ball. Potentially the highest-scoring player of this draft class on the right team. Could also be the next Eddie House. Probably not, though.
Demar Derozan- USC- High-flying swingman with developing shooting touch. Strangely Jewish-sounding last name. We may be related.
Defensive-minded big men
Hasheem Thabeet- UConn- Swats kids like every day. Could be the next Dikembe Mutombo or the next Mouhamed Sene. Either would be wonderful.
Jordan Hill- Arizona- I know next to nothing about this guy, but apparently he can score, rebound, and defend some, too. Might be more of a power forward than a center, though we are talking about the Knicks.
So them's the guys. Feel free to inform me of I've left anybody off. Profiles (like this) of each of these players should follow over the next few weeks. If any of you are inclined to write one of these profiles, make yourself heard. I'm sure you all know more about these guys than I do. It's draft season, y'all. Get psyched.