Single-digit days til the Draft!
Now that those pesky NBA Finals are over with, the Draft is officially the most important thing in the Association. As it should be! We all knew who the champ was going to be. We don’t know who the next Knick is going to be.
Not the most active week, but I’d attribute that to everyone writing about the Warriors and stuff. I’m sure by this time next week we’ll be at critical mass.
Seth’s Draft House: The Knicks take
Dennis Smith Jr., freshman PG, NC State . Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR). New entry here from Seth Davis’ new site, written by Sam Vecenie. I would definitely recommend looking around the site and reading this if you haven’t already. These dudes tried to pull a fast one on me and update this after I submitted this post. Shouts to commenter 11238 champipniskip ringhs for the catch! The Knicks pass on Dennis Smith Jr. and Malik Monk in this mock. (Last update: 6/14)
The Knicks absolutely have a need in the backcourt. They also seem pretty set on playing more out of the triangle in 2017–18 than they have in the last couple of seasons. Ntilikina is a pretty interesting fit as a triangle point guard given his shooting ability, size, and ability to attack closeouts. Defensively, he has as much ceiling as anyone in this draft, depending on how his body fills out, which has to appeal to an organization that just finished in the bottom-five of defensive rating.
It’s also worth noting that the Knicks have a strong track record in European scouting in recent seasons, and have certainly done their due diligence as much as anyone in the league (outside of maybe Dallas). This is a fit that makes a lot of sense from a lot of perspectives.
Basketball Insiders: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders updated his mock in lieu of the end of the NBA Finals, although the result for the Knicks remains the same. BBI’s consensus mock still has the Knicks taking Smith (two votes for Smith, one for Monk, one for Jayson Tatum), but I like Kyler because he reminds me of things like this:
The New York Knicks are the team mentioned the most likely to trade for an additional pick, so that’s the one to watch in terms of teams looking to add picks.
Yassss more picks please! The Knicks take Monk over Ntilikina in this mock. (Last update: 6/13. Previous pick: Malik Monk)
Fox Sports: The Knicks take Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR). A change here, as Fox previously had the Knicks taking Smith. They now have Smith going to Minnesota, however (interesting choice...), so the Knicks take Frank the Franc instead of Malik Monk. (Last update: 6/7. Previous pick: Dennis Smith Jr.)
Ntilikina has a long way to go before he'll make an impact in the NBA, but he'd be a solid choice to put next to Kristaps Porzingis for the future in New York City — as long as Phil Jackson allows the French point guard to show off what he can do in the pick-and-roll, anyway.
Sports Illustrated: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. SI becomes another member of the Church of Monk, as they have previous pick Smith going to the Magic an No. 6 now. The Knicks take Monk over Ntilikina. (Last update: 6/13. Previous pick: Dennis Smith Jr.)
Monk will struggle on defense, and it'll probably take him another year or two before he adds enough weight to finish at the rim and score consistently in the NBA. But even with those qualifiers, he's probably one of the most underrated players in this draft. This would be a win for New York. Everyone was falling in love with De'Aaron Fox a month ago, and now Dennis Smith is getting that love, but Monk's ceiling is just as impressive. He's got unlimited range on his jumper like Jamal Murray, but he's a more explosive athlete, with better instincts as a scorer. If anything, playing next to De'Aaron Fox might have held him back a little bit. With more opportunities in the pick-and-roll and less bodies clogging the lane at the next level, Monk will be very, very dangerous.
FanRag Sports: The Knicks take Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR). Just as one Malik is gained, another is lost. FRS has switched over to the lanky Frenchman instead of the mercurial scoring guard in their latest mock, as the Knicks take Ntilikina over Monk. (Last update: 6/9. Previous pick: Malik Monk)
For better or worse, New York’s rebuilding efforts will likely consist of putting triangle-friendly acquisitions around Kristaps Porzingis. The most versatile such prospect in the 2017 draft crop is Ntilikina.
He has good vision at the point of attack, and he’s also shooting 39 percent from the international arc this season. Although he’s not extremely shifty in isolation, Ntilikina is exceptionally promising coming off screens. He’ll adapt well to the triangle because he’s willing to play on or off the ball.
In addition to advanced defensive footwork and smarts, he’s armed with tremendous length. One NBA executive told Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman that Ntilikina has a 7-1 wingspan.
Sporting News: The Knicks take Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR). No change to the pick here, but interestingly, the Knicks have Ntilikina or Jonathan Isaac to choose from here and opt for Ntilikina. (Last update: 6/8. Previous pick: Frank Ntilikina)
Ntilikina averaged only about 18 minutes per game for Strausbourg in the French League, but he has the makings of a solid combo guard, able to make plays when needed but also adept at stretching the floor. Sounds triangle-ish.
The Ringer: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: Unknown)
ESPN: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: 6/9)
DraftExpress/The Vertical: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: 6/3)
SB Nation: The Knicks take Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR). (Last update: 6/5)
CBS Sports: The Knicks take Dennis Smith Jr., freshman PG, NC State. (Last update: 6/1)
Heavy: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: 6/3)
NBC Sports: The Knicks take Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR). (Last update: 5/25)
NBADraft.net: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: 5/29)
USA Today: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: 5/17)
NBA.com: The Knicks take Jonathan Isaac, freshman F, Florida State. (Last update: 5/17)
HoopsHype: The Knicks take Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky. (Last update: 5/30)
Knicks Mock Draft Power Rankings 5.0
1. Malik Monk, freshman G, Kentucky (9 mocks)
2. Frank Ntilikina, PG, Strasbourg (FR) (6 mocks)
3. Dennis Smith, Jr., freshman PG, NC State (1 mock)
4. Jonathan Isaac, freshman F, Florida State (1 mock)