The NBA Draft is coming up, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and targets. Today the New York Knicks will be evaluated.
The Knicks were without Kristaps Porzingis due to injury and then traded him to the Mavericks when it was clear he did not want to sign an extension with the team. That didn’t help them, as they finished with 17-65 record. As a result of the Porzingis trade, the Knicks did get Dennis Smith Jr. to pair with their rookies Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson. There is still a lot of work to do on the roster before they can be competitive, but they will try to land some big name free agents to make it happen.
New York ranked 28th in scoring, 20th in rebounding, 30th in assists per game and 22nd in points allowed per game, showing the need to improve in every facet of the game. The Knicks also ranked 28th in three-point percentage, so they need a lot of quality players to turn the franchise around.
Lance Thomas, Frank Ntilikina, Smith, Knox, Robinson and Damyean Dotson are all under contract for the 2019-2020 season. Allonzo Trier and Henry Ellenson both have team options for next season. DeAndre Jordan, Mario Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay, Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet, John Jenkins, Kadeem Allen, Isaiah Hicks and Billy Garrett are all set to hit free agency.
The Knicks have two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No. 3
Second Round: Pick No. 55
Guards- Smith can be a solid point guard with more development, but they need more around him.
Wings- Tim Hardaway Jr. led the team in points per game, but he was traded to the Mavericks. Kevin Knox is still young and inconsistent.
Shooters- As mentioned above, the Knicks were one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA last season.
Perimeter Defenders- Mitchell Robinson is blocking shots on the inside, but New York needs to get some lockdown defenders on the perimeter to improve the defense.
First Round: Pick No. 3: R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke
The Knicks may trade this pick for Anthony Davis, but if they keep it, they need to take the best player available. With the Grizzlies reportedly liking Ja Morant, Barrett should fall to them at the third pick. He is a very talented offensive player who can create his own shot and could develop into a star. Barrett will be given the opportunity to develop in New York or could learn from some great players if the Knicks are able to land some top free agents. Unfortunately for New York, he may not be able to improve their perimeter defense or three-point shooting, as he shot 30.8% from deep at Duke last season.
Second Round: Pick No. 55: Kyle Guy, G, Virginia
New York has a late second round pick from Houston that could be used on a shooter to help spread the floor for some potential superstars they may sign. Guy was a great player at Virginia who helped them win a National Championship. He has experience running all over on offense around screens to get open. With that, Guy is able to knock down shots at an extremely high rate, which will help the Knicks and their poor shooting. He is also a good defender, but is undersized as a two-guard.