Each of the workouts so far has included at least one or two players predicted to be reasonable selections at the Knicks' number 8 spot. Today's has a different feel. Terrence Williams of Louisville is the big name of the bunch, but he's generally projected in the mid- to late-first round. The rest of the list includes a few names you may recognize, but nobody expected to warrant a first-round pick next week. From Zag's Blog:
Nemanja Aleksandrov – Forward, 7-0, 220, Serbia & Montenegro
Brandon Costner – Forward, 6-9, 230, North Carolina State, junior
Daniel Hackett – Guard, 6-5, 215, Southern California, junior
Chartrael Hall – Guard, 6-2, Bellarmine University, senior
Kyle McAlarney – Guard, 6-0, 195, Notre Dame, senior
Hackett's a solid defender at the two-guard (and friend of Danilo Gallinari), but has a contract worked out with Bennetton Treviso, so he's not all that invested in the draft. McAlarny, according to Chris Alvino at TKB, is "a Staten Island kid who was the best high school player I have ever seen live". Costner's a Jersey kid who put up reasonably solid numbers at NC State, and who can forget Swing Vote? Mr. Hall's first name reminds me of these, so I like him right off the bat. Aleksandrov was once thought to be a lottery pick but is in the midst of recovering from ACL surgery. He's compared to Keith Van Horn. Intriguing.
At the very least, we should expect to see a few of these guys make it onto the Knicks' summer league squad. At the very most, this can be taken as a good sign that Donnie Walsh is working to acquire a later pick. This draft's wealth of guards extends deep into the second round, so grabbing a later selection could mean a free shot at more backcourt help. Or we could get Vyacheslav Kravtsov. There's a world of possibilities.