While Knicks fans spent the weekend grooving to the mellow stylings of guards like Malik Monk, Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox, the Knicks brain trust may have also been paying attention to Kansas forward Josh Jackson. I hope you’re sitting down, folks, because this kid Jackson is — gasp — not a point guard.
If the tanking Knicks wind up with a top-six pick, as the odds now suggest, they haven’t ruled out passing on a point guard to take Josh Jackson, a Kansas combo forward known best for his defense and passing.
Indeed, the Knicks have a yen for the 6-foot-8 Kansas freshman, whom they have identified as a player with a triangle skill set because of that passing ability. Plus, the Knicks may have to fill a void if Carmelo Anthony is traded.
I love the buildup and payoff involved in these two paragraphs. It starts out with the idea that the Knicks could use Jackson’s defense and passing — extremely reasonable, but this is still a Knicks’ piece, so where is all the talk of the sacred triangle and getting Melo to waive his no-trade clause? Then, BAM, paragraph No. 2 brings the thunder.
OK, so Josh Jackson is an extremely talented kid who passes and plays defense. The Knicks could use both of those things, whether or not Melo is here next season. He’s ranked third overall by DraftExpress, so the consensus is that he is extremely good. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Phil Jackson did draft him at No. 3 because they felt he was the most talented player remaining. That’s cool! Talent is cool! Defense is cool!
I’m jonesing for a point guard as much as the next Knicks fan, but taking the best available non-center (and there will be a few good ones remaining, wherever they pick) is just smart, no matter what.