The NBA bubble has officially burst, and the Los Angeles Lakers are the ones popping champagne. Good for J.R. Smith! But otherwise, who cares? All this really means is that the Knicks are now equal to every other team heading into next season. Everyone is 0-0.
Now that we’re all in agreement that the Knicks are essentially equivalent to the Lakers right now, let’s check out what the major mock drafters are saying about which rookie will likely land in New York. Back in August, Devin Vassell was named as the probable Knicks’ pick more than anyone else (three out of nine mocks).
But in the time since, this video appeared on the internet:
here is the aforementioned deleted Devin Vassell video. Imagine thinking you can delete something off the internet pic.twitter.com/eDLX9fXQzA— Bootum (@DaRealBootum) October 15, 2020
Interesting shooting form you’ve got there, Devin! Maybe it’s just an homage to Marcus Camby’s jumper.
The NBA draft is currently scheduled for Nov. 18. That’s only like a month away! The Knicks have the 8th overall pick. Let’s see who the experts think is going to call Madison Square Garden home whenever next season starts.
ESPN: Isaac Okoro
ESPN Insider Jonathan Givnoy is nothing if not consistent; he said the Knicks would take Okoro last time, too. Okoro is a 6’6” small forward who had himself a lovely little freshman season at Auburn, with averages of 13 points, 4.4 renounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block per game.
In a May interview with ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz, Okoro noted how important it is to hustle and get 50-50 balls. He was likened to players like Jaylen Brown and Andre Iguodala. Sounds good!
Just finished up an ESPN Film Session with potential top-5 pick, Isaac Okoro. We broke down his game and also looked at how he compares to wings like Jaylen Brown, Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala, Justise Winslow & Kawhi Leonard at the same stage. Really enjoyed this one. pic.twitter.com/y1KY94gg27— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) May 12, 2020
Tyrell Terry (EDIT: The Ringer’s big board has Terry No. 8; O’Connor has the Knicks taking Tyrese Haliburton) Over at Bill Simmons’ website, Kevin O’Connor has the Knicks taking Tyrell Terry out of Stanford, even though Okoro is still on the board. O’Connor has Okoro being selected 9th by the Washington Wizards . Terry is a 6’2” point guard who averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 boards and 3.2 assists over 31 total games in his freshman season as a Cardinal. The Knicks are known to have issues finding stability at point guard, so perhaps Terry will be their next try. In highlights, Terry looks terrific. He fires passes through windows that don’t look open and displays a soft touch around the rim. Will it translate to the NBA?
The Athletic: Killian Hayes
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic believes the Knicks will take Killian Hayes, a Florida-born 19-year-old who has played professionally in Europe the last three years.
A 6’5” lefty, Hayes is commonly believed to have what it takes to make in the NBA. Way, way, WAY back in March, when Hayes was still a precocious 18-year-old, Marc Berman of the New York Post penned an article with the following headline: Hidden point-guard gem Killian Hayes may be answer for Knicks.
Importantly, Hayes and Frank Ntillikina already have a kinship.
Killian Hayes says he has known Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina for a long time and he has asked him about what it takes to stay in the NBA. Have heard that Hayes interviewed with the Knicks already before the lottery. He said today he Zoom'd with the Spurs and Wizards.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) September 28, 2020
Hayes posted 11.6 points and 5.4 assists in 33 games last year, but shot only 29.4% from deep. Maybe him and Frank have been going to the same three-point shooting school.
Sports Illustrated: Deni Avdija
SI’s Jeremy Woo said the same thing last time. In his mind, Avdija will fall to the Knicks. It’s hard to imagine that really happening, as the 19-year-old is coming off an Israeli League championship and last season became the youngest-ever Israeli League MVP.
According to Woo, the Knicks should wait to take a point guard until their turn comes up again late in the first round (they also have the 27th pick thanks to the Marcus Morris trade). Per Woo, Avdija is a “somewhat divisive prospect, and offers more in terms of floor than he does star upside.”
But he’s a 6’7” big man who shot 35% from three last year while putting up 13 points, 6 boards, 3 dimes, 1 steal and 1 block per game. Plus, he already has a Knicks connection in that one of his teammates last year was Amar’e Stoudemire.
He may not be Luka Doncic, but the NBA has long gotten over it’s stigma against European players. If he’s there, grab him. The Knicks need shooting. And tall guys who can shoot threes are a hot commodity in the modern era.
Bleacher Report: LaMelo Ball (via trade)
Last time, BR’s Jonathan Wasserman said the Knicks would pick Vassell. This go-round, he’s changed his tune and thinks the Knicks will make a trade with the Golden State Warriors so they can take the latest Ball brother.
Ball did recently sign with Puma, which is the sneaker home for Walt Clyde Frazier, RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox, so maybe it’s not crazy to think the Knicks are angling for a draft day deal. Just as possible is that all of our brains have turned to mush during the coronavirus pandemic so now everyone is just making sh*t up.
Per Wasserman, the Knicks will receive the 2nd overall pick in exchange for both of their first round picks this year, next year’s first round pick they received from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, and Ntilikina.
We’re not supposed to say stuff like this, but man it would be cool to see Ntilikina play with guys like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who are actually good at team basketball. In this hypothetical scenario Wasserman has cooked up, the Warriors would use the eighth pick to take Vassell.
Here’s what Wasserman had to say about Ball to the Knicks:
Losing seasons and franchise instability have turned free agents away from the New York Knicks. Even with a new front office, the team can’t feel confident in its ability to just sign the next star.
Instead, the Knicks could make a play for one of the draft’s potential stars, and if they can get LaMelo Ball without giving up Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett or the Knicks’ own 2021 first-round pick, president of basketball operations Leon Rose would presumably sign off.
Aside from Ball’s flash and pace that the team has been missing, he’d give the Knicks a special playmaker to build around, regardless of how his scoring skills develop. For a 6’7” point guard, his elite passing will translate.
Ball could reach an exciting level of upside if his body continues to improve, his finishing gets better and his shooting starts to go from streaky to consistent.
Final score in the second edition of the 2020 Knicks mock draft power rankings:
There’s no consensus! No one knows anything!