Alrighty-roo. Have everyone’s hopes been sufficiently dashed by the draft lottery? Was your heart (which beat only for Luka Doncic) ripped out of your chest and sacrificed to the NBA gods, as you watched the just-as-hapless-as-the-Knicks Sacramento Kings move into the top two? Are you convinced that this life as a Knicks fan is nothing but a series a kicks to the nuts/lady parts, year after year?
Well, you’re not totally wrong, but remember, just two years ago, the Nuggets were taking one of their franchise cornerstones (Jamal Murray) with the Knicks’ pick. Let’s be happy for what we’ve got!
And what we’ve got is pick number nine, which thankfully didn’t move down like last year. Another good thing! Let’s see what the pros think about whom the Knicks will pick:
The Ringer: The Knicks select Trae Young, freshman PG, Oklahoma. Look, this is maybe the scariest/most exciting pick the Knicks could make. It’s hard to find a middle ground between “Trae Young will be a multiple-time All-Star” and “Trae Young will be bagging your groceries in two years” among NBA scout types. But I could definitely see the upside of taking Young. If he is as good as his best play suggests, he could be a force. (Last update: 5/15)
Everyone remembers despising the coverage surrounding Young by the end of the season, but hopefully they also remember why he garnered so much coverage in the first place: He was doing things that nobody has ever done in the history of college basketball. Even though Young’s stats dipped toward the end of the season, I can still comfortably say that there has never been a player quite like him. He’s not Steph Curry, he’s not Steve Nash, he’s not Chris Jackson, and he’s not Jimmer Fredette. He’s his own breed of guard, with unlimited range, a tight handle, and incredible passing ability … who also takes a ton of dumb shots, throws the ball all over the gym, and plays defense like he’s got cinder blocks on his feet.
The Big Lead: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. Mikal will likely be one of the most popular players mocked to the Knicks. He certainly seems like a Scott Perry/David Fizdale guy — a long athlete, good defender, and an above-average 3-point shot. (Last update: 5/16)
The Knicks get a player that can come in and play right away in Bridges. While he does not have that high of a ceiling, his floor is pretty solid thanks to his shooting. Bridges shot 43.5% from three-point land last season, and can defend multiple positions. His game should translate well at the next level. With the Knicks probably tanking again next season, Bridges will be a nice piece to pair with Kristaps Porzingis when he is back, and their future lottery pick.
NBC Sports: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. You should Mikal kinds of room in your closet for that new Mikal Bridges jersey in the fall. If these mocks are to be believed, he’s a future Knick. (Last update: 5/15)
The Knicks would get a versatile, NBA-ready player right away.
Your classic 3-and-D player, with solid athleticism and more experience playing at the highest level in college.
The biggest knock on Bridges is his strength, but an NBA-level weight training program can easily improve that.
Yahoo!: The Knicks select Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke. Carter’s foot speed on defense could make pairing him with Kristaps Porzingis a risky project, but with his solid outside shot and an offensive game that can function in a complimentary capacity, the Knicks could have a solid two-big thing going. (Last update: 5/16)
Carter didn’t receive the same headlines as teammate Marvin Bagley, but in some facets of the game, he was even more productive. Carter can play some four but is more of a natural center, though he’s not some burly, plodding guy either. He runs the floor well, has good touch around the rim and uses his 9-foot standing reach to bother shots at the rim. He will pair nicely alongside Kristaps Porzingis, who can now shift to a less physical role defensively.
CBS Sports: The Knicks select Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke. Same player as the last roundup, and that’s alright by me. Carter could be an interesting frontcourt partner with Kristaps Porzingis — he’s a pretty strong rebounder, and he can hit the outside shot. (Last update: 5/15)
Carter was Duke’s “other” frontcourt one-and-done standout -- not quite as productive as Bagley but still really good. The 6-11 forward averaged 13.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 2.0 assists in 26.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.3 percent from 3-point range (on limited attempts) for a Duke team that advanced to the Elite Eight. His versatility on the offensive end of the court makes him an intriguing prospect. But whether he’ll be able to handle pick-and-roll situations on the defensive end is a reasonable concern unless Carter improves his foot speed.
Sports Illustrated: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. Again, same result as last time SI mocked the Knicks’ pick. And Bridges still remains a popular choice for the Knicks. He certainly fits the “defensive-minded, long athlete” type that Scott Perry and Steve Mills have publicly expressed interest in. (Last update: 5/16)
The Knicks have a need on the wing, and should have a few players to pick from in this spot. Bridges is a pretty safe bet to become a useful defender and perimeter shooter. He’s a smooth athlete whose ability to space the floor and guard multiple positions makes him an easy theoretical fit in any lineup. Creating his own shot off the dribble is a weakness, but as a secondary scorer, Bridges has room to improve and give you enough everywhere else. He’s a safe bet for the lottery but may not have the upside of others in this range.
Bleacher Report: The Knicks select Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama. Look, I know Sexton’s a fine player. He’s just not really my cup of tea. Especially considering that, in this mock, the Knicks pass over Kevin Knox, Miles Bridges and Mikal Bridges. (Last update: 5/15)
NBADraft.net: The Knicks select Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama. NBADraft.net previously had the Knicks taking Wendell Carter, but have now changed their mind post-lotto and skrt-skrted the Knicks to draft Sexton instead. (Again, passing over both Bridges and Knox. Grr?) (Last update: 5/15)
Basketball Insiders: The Knicks select Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke. Another vote for the other big guy from Duke. It should be noted that this mock was published before the draft lottery, meaning this could change right quick in the next BBI mock. Either way, Carter it is (for now). (Last update: 5/15)
Sporting News: The Knicks select Miles Bridges, sophomore F, Michigan State. Hey, a new face! Always exciting. Miles is not related to Mikal, but they do play a similar position. Miles’ length is kind of a concern for the NBA level, but he’s proven he can really score the ball at the forward spot. (Last update: 5/16)
The Knicks’ front office has already highlighted small forward as a position of need for the roster, so Mikal and Miles Bridges seem to make sense. Either selection would work, but the upside of Miles due to his youth may be slightly more attractive.
The Michigan State forward has proven himself to be a diverse jump shooter capable of spotting up on the perimeter or coming off screens. He can attack defenders in a straight-line drive off closeouts, and his athleticism is explosive. Bridges may not become a star at the next level, but he’s an excellent piece of connective tissue for a roster.
ESPN: The Knicks select Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama. Ok, I’m really, really still not sold on picking Sexton. But I will acknowledge that he once almost brought his team back in a real-life NCAA basketball game while playing 3-on-5 for a decent chunk of time. That’s pretty badass. (Last update: 5/15)
Enter Sexton, with his tremendous aggressiveness driving the lane, taking off-the-dribble jumpers and putting defensive pressure on opposing guards. NBA teams have some concerns about Sexton’s decision-making and reckless style of play. Fiercely competitive, Sexton has shown enough flashes in the right areas to be comfortably projected as a starting-caliber point guard, with plenty of upside.
Heavy: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. Another vote for Mikal, who would surely be a welcome addition with his infinity wingspan next to Porzingis and Ntilikina. (Last update: 5/15)
It is simple for the Knicks, this franchise needs to get Kristaps Porzingis help. New York has a new GM and coach combo in place with Scott Perry and David Fizdale. The Knicks have cycled through general managers and coaches without much improvement on the court. Knicks fans are hoping this time is different.
SB Nation: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. (Last update: 4/12)
Knicks Mock Draft Power Rankings 2.0
1. Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova (5 mocks)
2a. Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama (3 mocks)
2b. Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke (3 mocks)
4a. Miles Bridges, sophomore F, Michigan State (1 mocks)
4b. Trae Young, freshman PG, Oklahoma (1 mocks)