Karl Anthony-Towns talks up his love for the Knicks

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

It goes without saying any top prospect relishes potentially being drafted first overall in the NBA Draft.

And while Karl Anthony-Towns and Jahlil Okafor are both considered to be worthy of such a selection come draft night, perhaps the Kentucky big man would be content getting selected later on, if it means he gets to play his for his hometown Knicks.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Kentucky

There are a handful of potential draftees that would appear capable of helping change the Knicks’ fortunes. But only Anthony-Towns rooted for the team growing up. This, of course, could make a union between the two parties that much sweeter.

“It would be an honor, not only as a player, but as a Knicks fan, to be able to play for that organization,” he told the New York Post in a recent interview. “It’s gonna be, I guess a childhood dream — rooting for the Knicks all this time, and the next thing you know, you hear an organization call your name to go out there and give it your best shot.”

Anthony-Towns’ fanfare would make a potential selection by the Knicks a great story. Fans would rally behind him even further. It’s well known that the team’s fan base is drawn to players that play with heart and passion.

Like many of the team’s fans, such a sentiment appears to resonate with the big man too, as reflected in the players he liked most growing up. Anthony-Towns added he watched Walt Frazier on YouTube, and he appreciated John Starks for his tenacity.

“I just would love to win, and that’s what I would try to do every game, to give us the best chance to bring another championship home to MSG,” he said.

The Knicks have a 19.9 percent chance of winning the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday night. Should they win and ultimately select No. 1 overall, they’ll obviously have their choice of whichever prospect they fancy most. Should they earn the No. 2 pick instead, perhaps Anthony-Towns, more so than of the other top rated prospects, will secretly be hoping he slips to the team he’s rooted for all his life.


The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery probabilities

Team Record Chances 1st Pick 2nd Pick 3rd Pick
Minnesota 16-66 250 25.00% 21.51% 17.77%
New York 17-65 199 19.90% 18.81% 17.12%
Philadelphia 18-64 156 15.60% 15.74% 15.59%
L.A. Lakers 1 21-61 119 11.90% 12.60% 13.30%
Orlando 25-57 88 8.80% 9.66% 10.68%
Sacramento 29-53 63 6.30% 7.10% 8.12%
Denver 30-52 43 4.30% 4.94% 5.79%
Detroit 32-50 28 2.80% 3.26% 3.89%
Charlotte 33-49 17 1.70% 2.00% 2.41%
Miami 2 37-45 11 1.10% 1.30% 1.58%
Indiana 38-44 8 0.80% 0.95% 1.15%
Utah 38-44 7 0.70% 0.83% 1.01%
Phoenix 39-43 6 0.60% 0.71% 0.87%
Oklahoma City 45-37 5 0.50% 0.59% 0.73%
1 This pick may be conveyed to Philadelphia via Phoenix.
2 This pick may be conveyed to Philadelphia via Cleveland.


On eve of Draft Lottery, Fran Fraschilla breaks down Knicks’ options

6a94847b45ba068782e033fee5648f0aAdam Zagoria, SNY.TV

On the eve of the NBA Draft Lottery, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla joined myself and Josh Newman on The 4 Quarters Podcast to discuss the Knicks and their options entering Tuesday night.

Fraschilla, who was out in Chicago last week at the NBA Draft Combine evaluating talent, believes there are several potential franchise-type players at the top of this draft, but also points out that the Knicks could help themselves in terms of acquiring assets should they opt to trade the pick. >> Listen to the podcast here

“The Knicks are going to be scrubbing both guys [Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns] and maybe a couple other players very thoroughly because in this draft, in my mind anyway, there are five guys that all in a normal year could be the No. 1 pick, and that would be the two big guys, [Kristaps] Porzingis, the Latvian who nobody knows about, and then [Emmanuel] Mudiay and D’Angelo Russsell,” Fraschilla said.

“You’re looking at guys who could all be down the line [NBA] starters at worst, stars at best,” he added.

The Knicks, who will have GM Steve Mills on the dais, have a 19.9 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick — expected to be Towns or Okafor — and are guaranteed a top-5 pick.

Here are Fran’s quick takeaways on each of those five guys mentioned above along with Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein, a projected Top 10 pick… To read more of this story, click here

J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert happy to be former Knicks

At the start of the season, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert’s chances of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals were a longshot. Because of a mid-season trade, however, they’re four games away from vying for a title.

After the Cleveland Cavaliers punched their ticket to the Conference Finals, Smith told The Sporting News both he and former Knicks teammate Shumpert were marveling at their journey this season from start to now.

“I just told him, ‘Man, we came a long way,’ ” Smith told the website. “From being where we were at, with the guys we were with to be in the situation we are now, it’s an unbelievable opportunity. We just got to make the best of it.”

Sam Spiegelman

Both Smith and Shump have played pivotal roles at times this season and in the playoffs helping to lead the Cavaliers to this round. Astonishing is the fact that each struggled so mightily while wearing Knicks uniforms, but saw their seasons completely turn around once they were surrounded by superior talents…and LeBron James.

Smith, once named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year while in New York, had been on a downward slope since earning a new deal from the team. He was averaging under 11 points per game and was shooting 36.6 percent from three-point range in New York before making it to 12.7 points per game and a 39 percent mark from downtown in Cleveland. It’s amazing what having better weapons around you can do for a sharp shooter.

Shumpert didn’t see the same rise in numbers as Smith did, but also dealt with an injury for part of the year. But his defensive intensity that made him a valuable commodity with the Knicks returned when he was playing alongside James. Overall, Cleveland’s defense allowed 97.3 points on 44.2 percent shooting over the final 43 games of the season with both Shump and Smith in the lineup. In contrast, the team was allowing more than 100 points and better than 47 percent shooting prior to the trade.

NBA: Miami Heat at New York Knicks

Galloway named to All-Rookie second team

Langston Galloway has been named to the NBA All-Rookie second team.

Joining Galloway on the team are Marcus Smart, Zach LaVine, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jusuf Nurkic.

Making up the All-Rookie first team were Andrew Wiggins, Nikola Mirotic, Nerlens Noel, Elfrid Payton, and Jordan Clarkson.

Galloway, who is the fourth Knick in the past five seasons to make the All-Rookie squad, is the first ever undrafted rookie from the Knicks to be selected.

This past season for the Knicks, the 23-year-old Galloway averaged 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 45 games played.

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

During a season where everything else appeared to go wrong, Galloway provided the Knicks with a little something to be excited about, nevertheless.

The guard appeared to pick up more of the nuances surrounding the triangle offense better than most. Galloway proved to be able to turn up the heat and score in bunches, too. What’s more, he carries himself with a certain level of assertiveness and confidence that other skilled players his age only aspire to obtain.

With a partially guaranteed contract for next season, the 23 year old figures to be a part of the Knicks’ future plans. Still, Galloway’s identity on the court (or lack there of) leaves something to be desired. A steady defender, he appears more as an undersized two-guard trapped in a floor general’s body. Galloway isn’t much of a facilitator, and often had to share the court with another point guard to be more successful. Thus, he’d probably be better suited coming off the bench as a third of fourth guard next season, despite starting 41 games this past campaign.