Would you believe the Knicks played their last basketball game of the 2017-18 season just over two months ago? It feels like an eternity!
But here we stand, on the precipice of (hopeful) greatness, about to draft the player that we’ll all be talking about when the Knicks win the title in 2022. But who will that player be?
Let’s consult the experts, one last time:
Tankathon: The Knicks select Kevin Knox, freshman F, Kentucky. Dear Tankathon, I use your site ALL THE TIME during the regular season. I can’t believe I forgot about your mock draft until the last roundup of the season. But, uh, better late than never? <3, Alex. (Last update: 6/20)
Sports Illustrated: The Knicks select Collin Sexton, freshman G, Alabama. SI changed from Mikal Bridges last week to Sexton this week. Like, really? C’mon guys. I thought we were over this Sexton phase. (Last update: 6/20)
There’s a growing sense that the Knicks have zeroed in on drafting a point guard at this spot, in spite of their clearer need for help on the wing. New York is high on Trae Young, but doesn’t expect him to be on the board at 9. Given Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s similarities to Frank Ntilikina, who it seems will continue to spend time playing off the ball next season, Sexton makes sense. His ability to get into the paint and fearlessness on the big stage are a good fit with the Knicks, who took fliers on Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay but have neither under contract past 2019. Sexton has a lot of growth to do in order to run a team as a starting guard, but New York can afford him some time to figure it out. If they do opt for a wing, Kevin Knox’s name has come up as a candidate.
UPROXX: The Knicks select Kevin Knox, freshman F, Kentucky. I’d just like to take this moment to remind you of what happened in last year’s mock draft roundups — Malik Monk led the mock drafts for a little while, and then right at the last moment, Frank Ntilikina swooped in and took the top spot. And then the Knicks drafted Ntilikina. Could we be seeing the same thing take shape with Knox? (Last update: 6/20)
New York has been heavily tied to point guards and with good reason. However, Young is the best theoretical fit with Frank Ntilikina and he isn’t available in this scenario. The Knicks could certainly use a versatile, highly talented forward to grow with alongside Kristaps Porzingis and Knox is a reported riser at this late stage in the process.
The Athletic: The Knicks select Kevin Knox, freshman F, Kentucky. Knox takes another mock draft victim, and he’s cruising right now in the mock draft-o-sphere. Mikal Bridges and Knox were both in play here. (Last update: 6/20)
Knox is one of the risers. Teams came away from his predraft workouts impressed. It’s easy to see why he would be successful on such a circuit. At 6-9 with a 7-0 wingspan and a 9-0 standing reach, Knox is good at running off of screens and has a clean release from distance that should translate to his becoming a good 3-point shooter. He’s also known as a high-character guy who works hard on his game and is the kind of person teams want to get into their system. And at 18, Knox is one of the youngest players in the draft, with NBA evaluators seeing him as a player with high upside. Still, there are concerns. His play this season doesn’t justify being picked this high, as he struggled at times with efficiency because of an inability to get to the basket. Also, he has tight hips and is more of a pure 4 on defense as opposed to a versatile weapon who can guard multiple positions. This is too high for me, but we’ve hit the point at which I would be surprised if he made it out of the top 10.
Bleacher Report: The Knicks select Kevin Knox, freshman F, Kentucky. Mikal Bridges loses yet another of his staunchest supporters in Bleacher Report as Kevin Knox continues to rise up the Knicks’ boards. Provocative stuff! (Last update: 6/20)
Basketball Insiders: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. Mikal wins out in BI’s consensus mock draft with two out of four votes. The other two? Kevin Knox and Wendell Carter Jr. All solid options. (Last update: 6/20)
NBADraft.net: The Knicks select Kevin Knox, freshman F, Kentucky. Knox comes down the back stretch looking like Justify. Crazy how a few reports can change the entire landscape of mock drafts in a week! (Last update: 6/20)
Knox reportedly performed well in a workout for the Knicks against fellow projected lottery pick Miles Bridges. He slots in here as a potential frontcourt partner of the future for Kristaps Porzingis.
The 6-9 forward’s combination of shooting, positional size and youth is an attractive package for a team in need of significant talent upgrades.
USA Today: The Knicks select Collin Sexton, freshman G, Alabama. Sexton could overtake Mikal Bridges in the final mock draft rankings, which is just nutso. (Last update: 6/20)
Bullish and aggressive, Sexton plays downhill, and he’ll need a team that wants to run with him. The Knicks could sorely use scoring out of their backcourt.
Washington Post: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. Oh look, Mikal just snatched one back from Sexton. The fight for second place rages on! (Last update: 6/14)
Like Cleveland, New York would probably love to get its hands on Porter or Young — or potentially even move up and snag Doncic. With those options not likely to present themselves, though, giving David Fizdale a mature wing such as Bridges, who can step in and immediately knock down threes and play defense, will help the new coach establish a culture.
The Big Lead: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. Hm. maybe Mikal can still pull this one out! Nah, probably not, but still nice to see him get a few nods. He definitely wouldn’t be a bad pick. (Last update: 6/14)
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.
ESPN: The Knicks select Kevin Knox, freshman F, Kentucky. (Last update: 6/19, but no new pick or analysis for the Knicks since last week)
CBS Sports: The Knicks select Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama. (Last update: 6/20, but no change to the Knicks’ pick or analysis. I’ll save you Gary Parrish’s cringey “Frank is not a point guard” take this week.)
Heavy: The Knicks select Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke. (Last update: 6/8)
SB Nation: The Knicks select Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke. (Last update: 5/29. NOTE: Ricky O’Donnell wrote a “Player every team should draft” mock, but it didn’t seem rooted in reality. So the old one sticks.)
Yahoo!: The Knicks select Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke. (Last update: 6/5)
The Ringer: The Knicks select Trae Young, freshman PG, Oklahoma. (Last update: 6/13)
Net Scouts: The Knicks select Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama. (Last update: 6/19. No changes, no analysis.)
NBC Sports: The Knicks select Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova. (Last update: 5/15)
Knicks Mock Draft Power Rankings 6.0
1. Kevin Knox, freshman F, Kentucky (7 mocks)
2. Mikal Bridges, junior F, Villanova (4 mocks)
3a. Wendell Carter Jr., freshman F/C, Duke (3 mocks)
3b. Collin Sexton, freshman PG, Alabama (3 mocks)
5. Trae Young, freshman PG, Oklahoma (1 mocks)
Knox pulls off the comeback win! Let us know what you all think in the comments.