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Knicks mock draft round-up: 05/31/17

Let the Dennis Smith era commence

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NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at North Carolina State
Dennis Smith, Jr. is movin’ on up.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s hungry for some mocks?

I couldn’t come up with any new ones this week... I checked out Walter Football, but, I dunno. They’re a football site. Just doesn’t feel right. Otherwise, the well’s coming up dry. Luckily, there’s been some updates!

Updated entries

SB Nation: The Knicks take Lonzo Ball, freshman PG, UCLA.

Wee woo... wee woo... WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO.

Tom Ziller took over for Ricky O’Donnell in this edition of the SB Nation mock, and sent us to an alternate reality where the Lakers don’t view Lonzo Ball as the Christ-like Magic Johnson immaculate conception baby that we all know the Lakers find Lonzo to be. Instead, the Lakers take Kentucky PG De’Aaron Fox, the other teams take other guys, and the Knicks take Lonzo with the eighth pick. Honestly, his dad aside, Lonzo’s a great player and this would be beyond a steal for the Knicks at their spot. Color me skeptical that teams actually view LaVar as that big of a detriment. (Last update: 5/30. Previous pick: Frank Ntilikina)

Finally, Lonzo Ball finds a home in the chaos draft! LaVar Ball and Phil Jackson deserve each other.

Jokes aside, this could be a wonderful fit in the short and long terms. Carmelo Anthony hasn’t historically fit with ball-dominant guards, but one presumes Ball will take some time to adjust to NBA speed and physical demands, which should give Melo plenty of offensive opportunity in the short term. Giving Kristaps Porzingis a generous guard who also stretches the floor would be a lovely gift.

More than all that, the Knicks deserves an exciting point guard for the first time since 1990-never. The city that gave us Linsanity for an all-too-brief spell would go nuts over Lonzo.

Fox Sports: The Knicks take Dennis Smith, Jr., freshman PG, NC State. Hard pivot by Andrew Lynch at Fox Sports here — previously he had the Knicks taking Duke freshman F Jayson Tatum. Now, he’s gone presumably the safer route in choosing a would-be Knick with Smith. (Last update: 5/31. Previous pick: Jayson Tatum)

We were reluctant to give the Knicks a point guard in our first mock draft, mostly because we're worried Phil Jackson will insist on taking someone who can play in the triangle offense rather than a pick-and-roll dynamo.

With that said, New York really needs a point guard, and Smith is a far better player than his college win-loss record would indicate.

NBC Sports: The Knicks take Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR). Updated, but no change for the Knicks, as he was the pick last week as well in NBC’s mock. The Knicks pass on Smith and Florida State F Jonathan Isaac in this scenario. (Last update: 5/25. Previous pick: Frank Ntilikina)

Sports Illustrated: The Knicks take Dennis Smith, Jr., freshman PG, NC State. A little bit of a shake-up here, and SI managed to commit my greatest pet peeve of mock-draftery: putting trades into the mix. I get that it’s fun to think up trades, but there’s no reason to add a second unpredictable element to something that’s pure guesswork to begin with. The trade sends pick No. 3 to the Kings from the Sixers in exchange for Nos. 5 and 10, thus making the Sixers a little more comfortable taking Kentucky G Malik Monk at 5 than they would be at 3. So the Knicks now take Smith instead of Monk, passing on Ntilikina. (Last update: 5/24. Previous pick: Malik Monk)

Smith has as high an upside as anyone in the top 10, and the Knicks will be thrilled if he falls this far. He spent most of his high school career as the top point guard prospect in this class. Then a knee injury derailed his senior season, while "going to NC State" derailed his lone year at NC State. Still, he's an incredible athlete and a great scorer. I'd draft him top 10 off the Duke game alone. With a team that spreads the floor and let's [sic] him run the pick-and-roll surrounded by shooters, he could be a terror. The two big questions: can he play defense? Can he shoot consistently from the outside? The first one may not matter—at least half of the current crop of All-Star guards are bad on D—but the second one is what'll determine whether he really turns into a star. Either way, for a Knicks team that hasn't had a great point guard this millennium, Smith is worth the gamble.

FanRag Sports: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. As one Dennis Smith is giveth, another is taken away. FRS does the opposite of SI, giving the Knicks Malik Monk this time around instead of Smith, since they now have Smith going to the Magic at six. The Knicks pass up Ntilikina here. (Last update: 5/26. Previous pick: Dennis Smith, Jr.)

Monk possesses an NBA-ready knack for outside shooting, plays well off the ball and has a superb feel for the game. He’d run smoothly in Jeff Hornacek’s (read: Phil Jackson’s) triangle-based offense.

The 6-3 freshman shot the rock like an NCAA senior or NBA player last year. Both the eye test and stat test (104 of 262 on 3-pointers) suggest he’ll acclimate well to the Association from deep.

He’s undersized for the 2-guard spot, which is a concern. The hope is that his top-shelf athleticism and high IQ will limit the downsides. Overall, his shooting and springs are an attractive combination for the Knicks in the late-lottery range. The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. No change in the pick from the last time with these guys, but I did find their mock draft with a write-up, so that’s cool! The Knicks pass on Ntilikina in this scenario. (Last update: 5/29. Previous pick: Malik Monk)

The Knicks could use a dynamic young guard to groom for the future to play alongside Kristaps Porzingis. While GM Phil Jackson hasn't done the greatest job of signing free agents or hiring head coaches, his selection of KP at 4 was a magnificent one. Whether he can duplicate that draft magic at 8 remains to be seen.

Basketball Insiders: The Knicks take Dennis Smith, Jr., freshman PG, NC State. Another change from Monk to Smith, this time in the Basketball Insiders consensus mock draft. Smith received two of four votes, and Isaac and Monk got one vote each. (Last update: 5/31. Previous pick: Malik Monk)

Old entries

Sporting News: The Knicks take Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR). (Last update: 5/21)

USA Today: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: 5/17) The Knicks take Jonathan Isaac, freshman F, Florida State. (Last update: 5/17)

ESPN: The Knicks take Dennis Smith, Jr., freshman PG, NC State. (Technically, this was updated on 5/25, but nothing changed in the lotto, including their explanation of the Knicks’ pick)

HoopsHype: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Same as ESPN, this was “updated” on 5/30, with no tangible changes)

CBS Sports: The Knicks take Dennis Smith, Jr., freshman PG, NC State. (Last update: 5/15)

DraftExpress/The Vertical: The Knicks take Dennis Smith, Jr., freshman PG, NC State. (Last update: 5/22)

Heavy: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: 5/17)

Knicks Mock Draft Power Rankings 2.0

1. Dennis Smith, Jr., freshman PG, NC State (6 mocks)

2. Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky (5 mocks)

3. Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR) (2 mocks)

4A. Jonathan Isaac, freshman F, Florida State (1 mock)

4B. Lonzo Ball, freshman PG, UCLA (1 mock)

Out: Jayson Tatum, freshman F, Duke (previous: 4B, 1 mock)