Knicks Draft Board 3.0 Final

Given this a lot of time, watched a lot of videos of game film. Thought about who the Knicks want to be, and who fits with coach Thibs. I don't care if 1 person or a million people view this, I'm still going to put it out. Draft value for all three Knicks picks below.

Round 1 Pick 8

Option 1 - Aaron Nesmith SG/SF Vanderbilt

Nesmith is ranged from 10-20 in the draft. He is my first choice for the Knicks for three simple reasons. The Knicks need spacing as much as they need shooting. Nesmith's best attribute is not his shooting as he hit over 50% from 3, it is his constant movement on the court. His movement will create lanes for both RJ Barrett and Julius Randle as they are better at attacking the rim in the mid range and post game. Next is his height, and versatility. At 6'6 and 215 pounds he can play the SG, allowing Barrett to switch to SF, and allow two wings that can switch on the perimeter while trapping and defending the pick and roll. Lastly is his shooting. While he won't shoot 50% from 3 in the NBA, he will settle in at better than 40% for his career. The Knicks ranked 25th in FG%, and 25th in 3 point shooting. Nesmith can start and increase the efficiency. His floor as a rookie is JJ Reddick, or Tim Hardaway Jr, but I think he has a much more narrow band and his ceiling is Allan Houston of yesteryear or Klay Thompson of today's era. He's also an alpha dog, and will allow all the players to slide down a spot by his second year in pecking order. Barrett and Randle will vie for a #2 scoring option, which is where they are best suited.

Option 2 - Obi Toppin PF Dayton

Most have Topin rated higher, but I see him as a good player, just not the best option. If the Knicks are unable to move Julius Randle, Topin will sit behind him. SInce there are only 48 minutes at the PF position per game, and Randle is getting 30, Topin will have to play half his minutes at PF, and half out of position at center where he's not going to make an impact. Where Topin is good, is his quick release, aggressive attacking nature, and dominance mid range to post. A knock I have on Toppin is that it's mentioned that he's a 40% 3 point shooter. This is a bit of a misnomer because he only took 2 a game. That sample size is kind of like Ben Simmons in that there is no evidence to support that he will ever shoot 3's in the NBA at a high enough clip that his percentage will make a difference. If Randle plays out his contract, Topin will be 24 years old, or roughly the same age as Julius Randle is now before Topin becomes a starter. I think Topin will be better than Julius Randle, but by how much is negligable. Overall, he will be a good offensive post player, and more efficient player at PF long term, but it may take longer for him to make the Knicks better than Julius Randle is right now.

Round 1 PIck 27

Option 1 Devon Dotson PG Kansas

There are 3 PG options at pick 27. Dotson is my favorite. Kansas has been putting out good PG's under the radar and Dotson is the most recent. He is faster with the ball in his hands than Kira Lewis. He averages 6 free throws a game from the PG spot, and he knocks down 83% of his free throws which is 10 percentage points better than Frank, Dennis, or Elfrid. Dotson also can knock down the 3, at 36% his freshman season. The think I like the most about Dotson is that he's averaged 2.1 steals per game, and is the best defender of the bunch of PG options at pick 27. He's beaten every other top draft pick he's played including Tyrese Haliburton (20pts, 3 steals), Tyrell Terry(14pts/4 steals), Obi Toppin (31points/5 steals). Kansas had 3 losses in 31 games, and Devin Dotson was the reason for that. Better shooter than Ntilikina, Smith Jr, and Payton. Better defender than Ntilikina, Smith Jr, and Payton. I think he's a starter as a rookie PG for the Knicks, and for years to come. Last point I will make, is that despite his speed he is well built at 6'2 and 185 and he can score around the rim at a really high rate. He reminds me of Donovan Mitchell with his ability to find ways to score in close to the basket. I don't see anything not to love about Devon Dotson.

Option 2 Tyrell Terry PG Stanford

Terry might be gone by pick 27. Where Dotson is the safest defensive pick, Terry has the most probability to be the best offensive PG from this draft. When watching his film it is really clear to see that his game is patterned after players like Trae Young and Steph Curry. To compare Terry to Dotson, you have to look at shooting numbers. Dotson was an 83% free throw shooter, while Terry is a 90% free throw shooter. Dotson can knock down the 3 at around 35%, while Terry is 41% from deep. I like Tyrell, but considering coach Thibs, Terry's knock is his size and defensive (or lack thereof) play. Terry stinks on D. and his road to being a starting PG will be harder due to this. For his rookie year he looks like a bench scorer, and more developmental player until he gets acclimated to pro play.

Option 3 Kira Lewis Jr. PG Alabama

If Dotson is defensive, and Terry is offensive, Kira Lewis is right in the middle. He does everything well, but nothing great. Good shooter, solid from FT (80%), and from 3PT line (35%). Kira is super quick, but hasn't harnessed it yet into better playmaking. Although he's played 2 years of college ball he is 19 years old. Where I am not sold on Kira is where he will make his bones in the NBA. He is a jack of all trades and master of none with no real calling card. I think he is a solid player and could be a starter in a year, but he won't make a dent unless he can reduce his turnovers, and get smarter with distributing the ball. Better teammates will help him immensely, as it's hard to evaluate him as his other Alabama teammates were not NBA quality.

Round 2 Pick 38

Option 1 Jordan Nwora SF/PF Louisville

I really love all the guys I'm about to list. Nwora is really good at the things he's really good at. He has a defined skillset, and I think he will be successful in the NBA for a long time. You can see it the same way you knew Carlos Boozer would be a longtime NBA player even when he was picked in the 2nd round. Nwora is a scorer, and he is efficient. He has the quickest release, and I think he's in the top 4 shooting the ball in this draft. When you consider he is doing this at 6'7 (w/out shoes) or around 6'8 as a SF/PF he's going to be a beast. Nwora scored a legit 18ppg, shooting 40% on 6 3pt attempts per game. He grabbed 8 rebounds a game, and shot 80% from the charity stripe. What the Knicks could get with him is the player they thought they would get with Kevin Knox. A deadly shooter and rebounder that can play interchangeably as a SF or smallball PF. Nwora can play either position which will allow him to also play with Knox or RJ Barrett without disrupting eithers minutes. Last is a familiar theme of this post. The Knicks are a bad team shooting from the perimeter, and Nwora can knock them down, or put the ball on the floor and score from all three levels.

Option 2 Desmond Bane SG TCU

If the Knicks elect to pick Obi Toppin at pick 8, it is almost a lock that they will pick a PG at the back of round 1. This would still leave them with a gap at shooting guard, and Desmond Bane is a pure shooting guard. He has no value or flexibility at any other position in my mind, but he is good in his niche. Bane has knocked down 44% of his 6+ 3point attempts per game. He's scored a respectable 16.6 points and 6 boards a game as a senior. He is a second option at this pick because he is not as position flexible as Nwora, but he can fill that role of bench scorer, or potential starter. He reminds me of Malcolm Brogdon of the Bucks/Pacers in that he is little thought of, not overly athletic, but very technically sound, and that is how he will get it done in the NBA.

Option 3 Udoka Azubuike C Kansas

Another Kansas player on here. Azubuike provides 6'11 and 260 pounds of center to back up Mitch Robinson. What you get here is a legit player to provide minutes when Robinson isn't on the floor. Azubuike produced 14 points, 10 rebounds, and an incredible 2.6 blocks a game. He also put a 30 point game on Obi Toppin this year. What he brings to the Knicks is those 2.6 blocks, so that the Knicks continue to have a major shot blocking presence, and trash recycler on the offensive and defensive boards to play 16-20 minutes a game when Robinson is not in the game. Taj Gibson is a good role model, team player, but he is not a shot blocking threat, and that affected the Knicks and opponents getting in the paint and second chance rebounds and scores. Azuibuike can move into that center role, and take those minutes allowing Gibson to be a 3rd stringer at age 35.

There you have it. Eight players the Knicks should target. By my count at least 6 of those 8 could be starters on this team inside of a years time and upgrade the respective positions of the players they would be replacing. Three point shooting, perimeter scoring, perimeter defense would also be increased in most cases, and post defense in other cases. I value these players over guys like Lemelo Ball because they are known commodities, whereas players like Ball are considered high picks even though they need to "improve their shooting, and improve on defense". I think that is ludicrous, because what is left if you can't play offense or defense? There are other players like Devin Vassell that I don't think are alpha dogs, and the Knicks don't need any more role players. I want alpha dogs that have defined skills. Last is Isaac Okoru. He falls into the category of he could be good, but he can't shoot, and my fear is he will turn into Michael Kidd Gilchrest or Justice Winslow who never develop a jumper and waste of a draft pick. I doubt this will be the picks people like, but hopefully at the end of the season when Nesmith is knocking down jumper after jumper as Tyler Hero did for the Heat this year, you'll all see the value of having a defined shooter as your shooting guard. Thanks for reading for all that made it this far!