Who Will Knicks Select With The 4th Pick In The Draft?
When the NBA held their draft lottery, Knicks fans were hoping they would land either the number one or two pick. That would have allowed them to either draft Duke center Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky forward Karl- Anthony Towns who are considered the best two players in the draft. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, the ping pong balls did not go in their favor as they will pick 4th in this upcoming draft.
It was yet another disappointment in what has been the worst season in the history of the Knicks franchise. The Knicks had 19.9% chance of winning the lottery and having the first pick in the draft which was the second highest percentage next to the Minnesota Timberwolves at 25%. So it seemed unfathomable that the Knicks would wind up picking fourth.
Although Okafor and Towns will be off the board when the Knicks pick fourth, there are some talented players who can have an immediate impact for the Knicks. It’s true that Okafor and Towns seem destined to have successful NBA careers. But, there are a few players that will be available for the Knicks to draft that can have sustained success in the NBA.
One of those players is D’Angelo Russell from Ohio State. Russell can provide instant offense to the Knicks backcourt. Russell led the Ohio State Buckeyes in scoring this year averaging 19.3 points per game. Russell can shoot and is a great passer who can either play point or shooting guard. At 6’5 he has the ideal size for an NBA guard. The bad news for Knicks fans is that he is likely to be taken with the third pick in the draft by the Sixers.
If Russell is off the board when it’s time for the Knicks to make their selection, then the Knicks will likely take either point guard Emmanuel Mudiay or small forward Justise Winslow.
Mudiay who spent the past year playing in China averaged 18 points per game and shot 47% from the field. He is a good physical athlete who can play and defend any of the guard positions. Although he played overseas as oppose to college, he has been scouted for years while he was playing in high school. Legendary coach Larry Brown, who was recruiting Mudiay, said he was one of the most talented young guards he’s ever seen. The only concern for him entering the draft is how quickly he can adapt to the NBA game after playing last season in China.
Another option for the Knicks is to take Duke small forward Justise Winslow. Winslow helped the Duke Blue Devils win the National Championship this year and averaged 12.6 points per game and 6.5 rebounds during the regular season. His draft stock rose after his performance during the NCAA Tournament where he averaged 14.3 points per game and 9.3 rebounds. He can score several ways and has tremendous speed and jumping ability. He is also an excellent on the ball defender which is something the Knicks have been lacking since they traded Iman Shumpert to the Cavaliers. He will need to improve on his 62% free throw shooting to become a more complete player.
Whomever the Knicks draft, they will play a pivotal role in the Knicks rebuilding process. With Carmelo Anthony turning 31 and coming off of knee surgery, they will likely become the face of the franchise in the near future. Knicks fans are hopeful an NBA Championship is in near future, which is something the city has been craving for since 1973.