Via CBS Sports Blog
“Instead of taking the blame for how the Knicks’ offensive ball movement stopped in the playoffs, Anthony is once again turning the failures of the team to other players. The Knicks have a team with great passers, good shooters and athletic cutters. They have a great pick-and-roll point guard and a great pick-and-roll finisher in Chandler. Shumpert is talented and versatile. They have all of these options.”
Tommy Dee, theKnicksBlog.com
This is inaccurate. The Pacers, like the Celtics, limited pick and roll because they sagged Hibbert in the paint. This is why the Knicks had success with some flex cuts
, although they didn’t run enough in Game 6. The Knicks don’t slash well and the playoffs, against a great defensive team like Indiana, isn’t a slasher’s game. JR can slash but doesn’t and while Shumpert is very athletic he’s not efficient towards the basket and around the rim. And in his defense Melo’s costly turnovers in the 4th quarter came off passes.
The argument can be made that the Knicks don’t need help offensively because of their rankings. I disagree. Yes, they need rebounders and more versatile defenders as a whole, but they need an element that would pull a Hibbert or a Noah out of the paint and out 15-18 feet. If Chandler learns some confidence and to bang down pick and pop jumpers then great. But I don’t see that being an element he adds. For his sake I hope that he does but again, especially in big moments, that takes experience and reps. Can the Knicks find a cheap, veteran pick and pop guy? Kurt Thomas was one but he was a little past his prime expiration date.
How about the draft? They may have some options at 24 but my intel tells me they are honing in on a point guard.
Whichever way they proceed, the Knicks need to add the element of the pick and pop if they are going to have any chance in getting by Indiana or Chicago next year in my opinion.
By: Adam Zagoria
Former Miami point guard Shane Larkin won’t work out for the Knicks, his agent told SNY.tv.
“Currently, Shane’s not scheduled to work out for the Knicks,” agent Steve McCaskill told SNY.tv. “And we don’t have any intentions of scheduling one. We don’t feel like he’s going to be on the board when they select.”
The Knicks have the No. 24 pick in the June 27 NBA Draft and could be in the market for a young point guard to back up Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd, especially if Pablo Prigioni doesn’t return to the team.
To read more of this story, click here….
Tommy Dee, theKnicksBlog.com
Holy 2010 flashbacks Batman.
By now you may be familiar with this post of all the signs of a Paul and Knicks union. While still a very long shot it’s interesting that Paul, a SUPERSTAR, wants nothing to do with any front office decisions. This is a player who was first team All-NBA and first team All-NBA defense. This is a player with the heart of a lion who competes harder than any player in the league. I’m shocked he is acting passive.
I’ve learned to never say things in the NBA can’t happen. When I look at the heat I see a team with a gimpy Wade and who are super reliant on jump shooting from Udonis Haslem. They are not looking like the force they were all season. The Knicks best chance at a title may just in fact be next season Lebron or not.
Now to the whispers. Word is the Knicks are targeting a point guard, which is a need but not the supreme need. They need a second scorer to compliment Melo. They also need toughness up front.
For the record the Knicks can draft a player then trade them after, they just can’t trade the pick. Any deal would be a numbers game which is the strength of Glen Grunwald. Again, as we’ve said I’m not talking at all about the likelihood of Paul to NY happening, I’m merely talking today about the possibility.
Carmelo Anthony: Third in MVP Voting, the NBA’s leading scorer, played the playoffs with a busted shoulder and still led the team in scoring game in and game out. Carmelo Anthony maybe had his best season as a pro. He came back from winning Gold in the Olympics and had the look of a man on a mission. Yes that mission fell short but it certainly was not his fault. Carmelo Anthony hustled like he never had before, played respectable defense and battled all kinds of injuries. He is the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing in his prime. It is a pleasure watching him play basketball and helping him get that elusive first championship has to be #1 on the list of any Knicks player that is on the team now and into the future. The shoulder injury does leave his summer and training camp availability as a question mark for now but we have to just wait and see. At the end of the day, this is the best player on the team and you should enjoy his play while he is here, because it’s awesome.
Tyson Chandler: A disastrous post season left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth about Tyson Chandler this season. His total lack of life against the Pacers and Roy Hibbert helped cost the Knicks the series and have some people wondering/hoping that he gets traded away. The former defensive player of the year when healthy was very solid and had a good connection with Raymond Felton. They were very good in the Pick and Roll and Chandler had some dominant games rebounding. I know this may be hard to believe but on the same night Stephen Curry lit up the Knicks for 54 points, he had 28 rebounds. His limited offensive game does hurt the Knicks and he does have injury problems, especially when it comes to getting the flu. His back/neck injury along with the flu put him out of commission for the end of the year and they say hurt his performance in the playoffs. I think the Knicks wont be able to trade him until next year when he is an expiring contract.
Raymond Felton: After a lost year in a half in Denver and Portland, Raymond Felton returned to New York and did a good job helping people forget about Jeremy Lin. He got off to a great start and even rose to the occasion on a Thursday Night in Miami in early December to torch the Heat with Melo out with an injury. A broken pinky slowed his season down and he never captured the all around game he showed at the beginning of the season. A solid point guard that did a good job running the team, he was brilliant in the Celtics series including a valiant effort in the Game Four comeback before they lost. He will be back next season (Sorry Chris Paul hold outs, I doubt he is going to be a Knick next year although it would be great) and will be running the point. The Knicks caught a lot of flak for bringing in Felton and letting Lin go, but that is now long gone.
Pablo Prigioni: A solid bench player for most of the season, it was not until Mike Woodson put Pablo Prigioni in the starting lineup that the team took off at the end of the year. He shot the ball better from three than most expected, helped move the ball and had some great moments in the post-season. His play in Game Three and Game Six against Boston early was huge and his play late in Game Two against Indiana helped turn that game around. He needed to be more aggressive with his shot at times but that may have been the only negative he showed all year. The thing that sucks that can’t be fixed is the fact he is 35 years old. He is a restricted free agent and has been quoted as saying he wants to return. I don’t think a team will outbid the Knicks for his services and will be either a nice piece in the two point guard system or as a back up to Felton.
Iman Shumpert: The breakout star of the playoffs, Iman Shumpert proved this season he is back from his ACL injury and can be a potential star in this league. As the season went along from the time he returned in mid-January till the Game Six against Indiana he got better and better. His defense on the perimeter is near the top in the NBA and he showed during the playoffs he can be relied upon to make big shots, especially from deep. I have a lot of high hopes for him to be a key part of this franchise for a long time. I know the temptation is to take this good play in the playoffs and use it to the Knicks advantage in a trade. I just don’t think they should do that. It has been way too long since the Knicks drafted someone and turned them into anything more than a guy to trade away. He has the athleticism, talent and overall attitude that is going to be very welcome in New York. I became a big fan of his this season and I hope to see him in orange and blue for years to come.
Tommy Dee, theKnicksBlog.com
As you all know the past few drafts and at this deadline I’ve been pining for the Knicks to land another shooter to take pressure off Carmelo Anthony. It’s something that really hurt them against the Pacers, the inability to stretch the floor and make the Pacers guard up to 23ish feet.
Allen Crabbe is a great fit.
What I love most about Crabbe, who I’ve watched a handful of times this year, is that he doesn’t miss in catch and shoot.According to Synergy Sports he was 44% in those situations this season. He can score from a plethora of spots on the floor as well as in transition. To me, he’s the best pure shooter in the draft whose high release and strong elevation will translate easily at the next level.
He’s also adept and strong enough to get to the free throw line in chunks, which shows me that he’s a competitor and doesn’t settle for his gifted jumper. He’s not a great finisher in the lane, but he has above average athleticism. He’s a least willing to draw contact.
More importantly is that he’s the best defender at the shooting guard position in my opinion in recent drafts. He’s long and he anticipates very well and can get to the apex of another guard or forward’s jump shot to bother the release without fouling. He can also get tips and deflections that lead to easy transition baskets. 18% of his scoring this season came on the break.
This is a player that absolutely fits a need no matter where the Knicks decide to go with the rest of the roster. Major sign off here if they take him at 24. The Knicks have long desired a pure shooter and haven’t had one since Allan Houston. Crabbe fits the bill for sure in my opinion.
Via NY Post
“According to a source, Anthony has told a confidant he is concerned management will stand pat this offseason and said he believes the team needs to add a bona fide secondary scorer for the Knicks to take the next step and win a championship.
The source said Anthony, who turns 29 today, loves combo guard Iman Shumpert, 22, and projects him as a superstar, but not for two seasons. The source also said Anthony privately wishes the club will add a significant piece to the roster and not be status quo…The roadblock to the Knicks making a major move is they are not permitted to do a sign-and-trade for a free agent this season to go after point guard Chris Paul because they are over the luxury-tax threshold. Grunwald would need to make a move via a regular trade, with center Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Shumpert and Steve Novak as potential pawns if the GM is so inclined.
Tommy Dee, theKnicksBlog.com
First of all, any fan who says things along the lines of “then why did you want to gut to the team during the trade” need to realize that the Knicks would have had to pay a Wilson Chandler for example upwards of 8 to 10 million dollars. And the Nuggets really wanted him in the deal. I’d love to have Chandler, but it’s clear that the team’s plan was to remain flexible fo this summer, as we’ve spelled out in great detail here. Maintaining flexibility for this year is the clear answer as to why the Knicks never looked into getting compensated for Landry Fields or Jeremy Lin
in my mind as both players would have required getting salary back in the 5-15 million range per year past 2013.
Secondly, if Melo is looking for a bonafide second scorer than the Knicks are going to have to look to deal their assets including Shumpert and possibly Tyson Chandler in my mind. What’s clear is that when the season is on the line they cannot afford to lean on JR Smith, and Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t looked at as that 2nd option either. The good news from a value perspective is that Shumpert has a ton right now coming off his playoff performance but can you risk losing his potential? Many fans would say no and I’d tend to agree depending on who comes back. It would have to be a pretty good defender who can really score to balance the loss of Shump.
The question then becomes what names are out there and who can be had? Paul aside, my mindset takes me to a player like Tyreke Evans who the Knicks absolutely coveted in the draft and who is restricted. Evans shot 48% from the floor on a dreadful Kings team and is very adept at getting to the basket with the ball, a major weakness for the Knicks this year. He has all the tools to be a strong complimentary piece to what the Knicks are building.
As I look around the league it’s really hard to come up with salary matches that include Stoudemire or Chandler, but there can be deals to be had by packaging Shumpert and, say, Steve Novak’s contract. I understand that the idea of trading Shumpert for Evans may not excite fans and to be clear I’m not signing off on the idea, but it is important to keep in mind that Evans will be 24 in September.
Grunwald has admitted the need to be creative. He’s going to have to be if the Knicks are going to land the established second scorer Melo is looking for. To me, a player like Evans fits the bill if they can’t pull off a deal for Paul.
Matthew Falkenbury, theKnicksBlog.com
The Knicks during the off-season last year did the best they could to add depth and veteran leadership with a group of players that could also help compliment Carmelo Anthony.
For the most part, Glen Grunwald and his staff did a good job in finding those players. The guys he signed ended up being key contributors to the best Knicks team since the 2000 edition.
So how did each player that played for the Knicks this season perform? Well here are my thoughts on how each did and whether or not we will see them next year.
(In Alphabetical Order)
Earl Barron: He had a pretty good game in his one appearance against the Hawks, grabbing 18 rebounds. That is pretty much it. He could get an invite to training camp and a shot to make it as an end of the bench big man (AKA the Herb Williams Memorial Roster Spot). The Knicks got burned towards the end of the season with the lack of young big men on the team. Barron could help alleviate those concerns next year.
Marcus Camby: His contract really, really stinks. Hurt for most of the season, Camby essentially got Wally Pipped by both Rasheed Wallace and Kenyon Martin in terms of being the first big man off the bench. He claims to have been healthy in the playoffs and could have helped against the Pacers but Coach Woodson thought otherwise. He is going to be back and if he can stay healthy can be a solid backup to Tyson Chandler.
Chris Copeland: Remember back in training camp and the pre-season when Copeland barely made the team as the 15th man on the roster? Those days are over for him now. An unknown from the European Leagues, Copeland burst onto the scene and eventually became a key part of the Knicks bench. Coach Woodson was too stubborn with him in my opinion in the middle of the year. Yes his defense needs work but it got slightly better and his offensive game had plenty of potential. He will be a Restricted Free Agent and some team could pay him about what they want to pay. Althought I hope that is not the case. He is another Steve Novak with a much more rounded offensive game and better defensively. If the Knicks bring him back, he will be the backup to Melo and can be like Vinny Johnson was years ago for the Pistons, Instant Offense.
Jason Kidd: He was a great part of the Knicks fast start to the season including a three point shot that shockingly was very good. The problems for Kidd started when Raymond Felton broke his finger in December, and in turn was driven into the ground by Mike Woodson. The overplaying of Kidd seemed to be the beginning of his downward spiral towards the end of the season. He was removed from the starting lineup for Pablo Prigioni and was God awful in the playoffs. His contract means, unless he is bought out, he will be back. He won’t start unless forced to next year and that should work better for him. He may not score but does a lot of the little things that can help a team win. He can be a key piece for the Knicks next year if used properly.
Kenyon Martin: The Knicks were so desperate for anyone with size that they came hat in hand to Kenyon Martin and they hit pay dirt. Martin was a very good piece for the Knicks down the stretch and really helped the team in the same fashion that Rasheed Wallace had at the beginning of the year. It was unfortunate that the Pacers were able to get him out of rhythm in the playoffs but his season was still a rousing success. The Knicks will only be able to give him the veterans minimum and he should take it. He was good for the Clippers last season and still nobody signed him untill the Knicks did. So, he may not want to risk it again. The front line depth with Chandler, Martin, Stoudemire and Camby is old and potentially injury prone but still not that bad.
Steve Novak: He can make a three point shot unlike many people in the NBA. That’s pretty much it. His defense is atrocious, his contract basically makes him untradeable and his offensive game is as limited as it gets. He had an up and down season where his three point shooting came and went it seemed from game to game. His back injury during the Celtics series really hurt the Knicks and he eventually found himself stapled to the bench. He will be back next season and will need to really battle against a guy like Copeland to get minutes. He can be a key part of the Knicks but to me he must improve his all-around game to get that chance.
Quentin Richardson: We will always have the fourth quarter of Game Two against Indiana when he hit a couple of threes and that nightmarish few minutes against Boston in Game Four. He won’t be back, but it was fun while it lasted with Q-Rich.
J.R. Smith: The 6th man of the year enjoyed maybe his best regular season as a pro before crashing down to Earth in the playoffs. He hit game winning shots, carried the Knicks when Melo was out and changed his game to more of a slasher as the season ended with the Knicks winning game after game. He was the second best player on the team and showed the league the kind of talent he has. The playoffs though were a nightmare. It was the evidence his doubters needed to get on him and will probably haunt him until next post season. Smith is a free agent but is expected to return to the Knicks. I hope he does because I think he is the kind of scorer and slasher the Knicks need off the bench. We have seen him at both his best and his worst this past season and I think we will continue to do so over the next four years.
Amar’e Stoudemire: It was a lost year for the man that helped the Knicks start the trek back to relevance. First, he had knee surgery in the pre-season that cost him the first half of the year. He then returned on New Year’s Day and for two months seemed to be getting better and more comfortable with his bench role. He was going to be the post presence off the bench that the Knicks needed when Melo was off the floor. Then his other knee needed surgery and that was basically that for Amar’e. He was a shell of his former self against Indiana and it was honestly sad to see (athough where did that buzzer beating three in Game Three come from?). His contract guarantees he will be back and the question now is what will his role be. I think he should still come off the bench as he and Melo don’t seem to work. The thing is that Amar’e wants to give it one more try. We will see how Coach Woodson handles that once training camp begins.
Rasheed Wallace: The Ball Don’t Lie and the bones in his feet didn’t either. The “Knicks just signed HIM?” guy from training camp proved to be a key part of their hot start to the season. He had some nice post play, shot the three alright (except for those times he decided one made three meant taking eight more randomly) and had some great passion and leadership both on and off the court. The injury to his foot was a killer for the team until Kenyon Martin showed up during the middle of year. He did try to comeback at the end of the year but it didn’t work out and Wallace retired. He wont be back but he will certainly be missed.
James White: He stunk in the Dunk Contest, stunk in his chances as a starter and will not be back next season. Flight White was grounded all year long.
Those are my thoughts on the Knicks bench, what do you think? Who should stay? Who should go? and what should the roles be for the guys you end up keeping?
Tommy Dee, theKnicksBlog.com
It’s mock draft study time. Let’s take a stroll around the top mock sites and who they have the Knicks drafting.
Gorgui Dieng- 6’11 Center- Louisville
Skinny: I mentioned valuing Plumlee out of that big man class, but there are plenty of solid NBA-ready bigs who can fit a need for the Knicks and Dieng is definitely near the top of the list. And if he’s there at 24 he makes a lot of sense. You have to love that he played in a super-fast paced, pro-style system at Louisville and that he was not only able to handle the speed, but excel in anchoring it. Dieng at 24 would be a win for the Knicks.
Dario Saric- 6’10 Small Forward Cibona Zagreb
Skinny- The more I watch Saric the more I see a tougher version of Toni Kukoc in terms of offensive ability. He’s long and lanky and has a great feel for the game. NBAdraft.net has him going 10 to Portland, which is quite a leap from 24 to the Knicks. Again, Saric doesn’t fit an immediate roster need for the Knicks and judging by his status in mocks it’s anyone’s guess where he ends up.
Myck Kabongo- 6’3 Point Guard Texas
Skinny: I’ve been studying Kabongo more and more recently and it’s really not hard to like his bounciness and athleticism. Ray Felton struggles with getting to the rim and Iman Shumpert struggles finishing around the rim and the Knicks could use a dribble drive, pass-first guard like Kabongo to slice into the lane with speed and strength. His shooting form needs to be worked on in my opinion but it’s not broken. All in all I think 24 is a bit of a reach for a player who has talent but I believe is more passive than pass-first in scoring situations. He’ll need time to develop and, similarly to how I feel about Nate Wolters, there are plenty of solid options who played in the D-League or overseas this year who can help the Knicks’ more immediate needs at the 1.
Sheridanhoops/ Bleacher Report
Shane Larkin- 5’11 Point Guard Miami
Skinny: I’m not going to lie here, I love Larkin. If he falls to 24 I’d be absolutely shocked. Again, I have no idea what the Knicks strategy is, I’ve been hearing they are looking for best available, which would be silly in my estimation. They need best available need. Larkin has all the ability in the world and has both an incredible resume combined with great family pedigree. I think he’s outstanding.
After the season ended, Carmelo Anthony was diagnosed with a slight tear in his left shoulder. Sources have told different media outlets covering the Knicks that the team’s doctors suggested rest to see if it will heal on its own.
The one question though has been what happens if that doesn’t work and surgery is needed to have it heal properly?
If that is the case, people have speculated has been that Anthony would need to take the entire summer and training camp to heal.
That would then put his availability for the beginning of the season in jeopardy
ESPN New York’s Ian Begley talked with Dr. Neil Roth, an orthopedic surgeon, about the injury and what could happen if Melo did need surgery.
Dr. Neil Roth, a veteran orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder and knee care, estimated that Anthony might need up to four months to recover from surgery to repair his shoulder.
In that case, the procedure could sideline Anthony through late October. He’d likely need several days — weeks? — of practice before he could play in a game.
“It depends on the exact diagnosis, but it’s possible that the rehab could take four months,” said Roth, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and the tending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. “But I would still expect him to see significant improvements in his shoulder in the early portion of the season as he continues to strengthen it.”
Roth believes Anthony may have suffered a shoulder subluxation. A subluxation is a partial dislocation — a temporary stretching or tearing of shoulder muscles, ligaments and tendons that can cause instability in the shoulder.
“It was likely very painful to him,” Roth said. “The area was probably very sensitive and inflamed and that’s why he was grabbing at it when he was hit.”
Roth says there is a chance that Anthony’s injury can heal with rest. But, depending on the severity of the tear, surgery might be the preferred avenue of care.
“There are many different types of labrum tears that vary characteristically by symptom, severity and treatment,” Roth said. “Recurring subluxations can sometimes get better with rehab, but in a contact athlete like Carmelo I would treat it aggressively and fix it if it’s the type of tear that’s amenable to repair.”
Anthony hurt his shoulder on April 14th against the Pacers but it was in Game Five against Boston where the injury may have gotten worse.
Kevin Garnett yanked on his arm and caused it to, as Anthony put it, “pop in and out.” He still led the Knicks in scoring during the playoffs and which includes scoring 39 points in the Game Six loss to Indiana.
Matthew Falkenbury, theKnicksBlog.com
Surgery is both a good thing and a bad thing for Melo right now when it comes to healing the shoulder.
It would be a good thing because the doctors would have a chance to see what exactly the issue is and get him 100% healthy. The bad part would be that surgery would force him most likely to miss the beginning of the season.
Now if Melo is going to miss a part of the next season due to injury I rather he missed time in November than later on in the season. Of course with the different diagnosis that the Knicks medical staff were giving out this year to different injuries, you never really know what is going on for sure.
The doctor that was interviewed for the article quoted above has not examined Melo and was just giving his professional opinion based on his experience in this field.
So you can take it as more an opinion than absolute fact. The point is that until Melo and the Knicks give an update on how the plan of rest works, we wont really know what he is in store for the rest of this summer.
Obviously if he can avoid surgery and be ready for training camp at 100% that would be for the best. That is what the Knicks are hoping for with the suggestion of rest to see if it heals on its own that way.
We know the Knicks will only go as far as Melo takes them. No matter how the shoulder gets healthy, as long as it gets to the point, that is what counts the most.
Tommy Dee, theKnicksBlog.com
This is an off season that I’m really interested in seeing what the Knicks do to improve. If I were a season ticket holder I’d be very disappointed if the Knicks stood pat and hoped for internal improvements to take them to the next step. I’m not sure how much JR Smith can improve on the court. Off the court, if the drug whispers have any merit, JR needs severe lifestyle changes he needs to make and the Knicks need to monitor them if they are going to invest a lot of money and years into him. James Dolan’s business decisions have been questioned, but you have to respect the path he recognized his life was on before cleaning himself up.
As I’ve said, figuring out what to do with JR is question one then you go from there. Is Chris Paul definitely not an option? Let’s say for argument’s sake he isn’t, now what do you do with the 24th pick and the draft night as a whole?
There have been rumors that the Mavericks are shopping the 13th pick. The Knicks and Mavericks have done deals before and it looks as if the Mavericks, who were dormant last year, are ready to hit the market big time and they’ve targeted Dwight Howard. This means that they may not be looking for much in return for a pick, but you can bet they’d ask for Iman Shumpert. No deal. Unless, of course, there’s potential for other picks so the Knicks can get younger, but I assume they are holding Shumpert for Chris Paul and Paul only. No Paul no dealing Shumpert.
Glen Grunwald would do well to dig out some picks, however, and as customary they may be looking into the second round to make a play for a point guard. A source with serious knowledge has told me specifically not to sleep on South Dakota State PG Nate Wolters who, in studying, has some ability but is a major reach at 24 in my estimation. Let’s dig deeper. Forget the level of play, many executives aren’t concerned with competition level as much as they are concerned with how a player can compete against speed and, far more importantly, length.
Putting 30 on Alabama, the 17th best defense in college basketball last year, is impressive as is his ability to control flow and wait for the offense to return to him later in the shot clock. Combine that with a very low shooting release in my estimation and there are questions. Can the Knicks risk their first round pick on a quarterback with a questionable release? Wolters, to me, would be a target in the second round (picks 35-45) but is too much of a risk? He’s got good size at 6’4 190 and I think can handle the load of an NBA season off the bat thanks to that sturdy frame. That said there are very good PGs who developed well last year in the D-League who are already more NBA ready than Wolters and there are far more talented players per position than Wolters at PG. This draft pick has to play rotation minutes.
So let’s say that the Knicks are heart set on adding talent up front? Do they wait around hoping bigs like Steven Adams, Jeff Withey, Mason Plumlee or Gorgui Dieng falls to 24? To me, if any one of these players are on the board you take them especially Plumlee who I have ahead of all of them. People think Plumlee and associate him with other Duke bigs, but, in my mind, he’s the best big out of Durham since Elton Brand. He has the total package on both sides of the ball and is physically dominate. Any of these bigs would fit perfectly, but I put Plumlee on top of the list in terms of being fully ready to step in and contribute in the regular season and in the post season.
What if all these bigs are gone? Good question and I have to plead ignorance on the European talent because I haven’t been able to study them all but I will say whatever Kevin Wilson wants to do is a smart choice. Not just based on finding a guy like Chris Copeland, but because his credibility in finding talent overseas is very, very strong. If the Knicks want to think for the future and develop a player then it may make sense to choose a skilled European talent like Dario Saric or Giannis Adetokunbo or a big like Mouhammadou Jaiteh or hoping they pan out in a few years. I like Jaiteh’s defensive ability and motor, but he’s super raw offensively and not ready to absorb the 20-25 minutes per game the Knicks desperately need against more physical teams. Plus he’s not a guy who you think you can depend on come post season.
Saric seems to be the most NBA ready, but I don’t think that’s the direction they go unless they make a trade and bring back a player up front. Again, the Knicks need this pick to contribute next year in my opinion, and none of these players fit immediate needs, but it’s hard to argue with Wilson’s note taking on talent evaluation.
For me, barring anything major, I’m looking big in the first round and then looking for serious talent in the second round. You may already know how I feel about Tyler Brown from Illinois State , but I’m really high on Minnesota’s Rodney Williams. This guy is a freak athlete who is long in the passing lanes and can finish with anyone in the country. He’s a corner or wing jumper away from being another Wilson Chandler/Trevor Ariza, in my opinion, and he’s a talent that the Knicks can gamble on in the second round. He’s flown completely under the radar but I’ve talked with several people around the league who have told me that he’s on a few team’s lists. He’s a 4-year guy under a coach who knows a thing or two about NBA talent, Tubby Smith, and a strong defensive player with NBA size and skill. Again, he struggles to shoot threes but there’s some potential and he’s the type of gritty defender/athlete who can get a ton of easy baskets in transition, a MAJOR weakness for the Knicks.
I’m not married to the idea that the Knicks need to go point guard in this draft unless Shane Larkin falls to them at 24 which I don’t see. There are talented guards who’ve been developing and can be signed for cheap after summer league. I think this is a draft for bigs, but I’m not going to get excited about a big who needs development unless it’s a player like Pitt’s Adams.
There’s a lot of directions the Knicks could go here, so make sure you check out our notes as the team invites prospects for their individual workouts.