The NBA Draft is coming up on October 16, 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 projected targets. Today, the New York Knicks will be evaluated.
The Knicks finished the 2019-2020 season with a record of 21-45, not qualifying for the bubble. After a 4-18 start to the season, head coach David Fizdale was fired, and Mike Miller was named the interim coach to finish out the season. Miller was named the fifth Knicks coach since 2015 (interim or otherwise). The team also replaced their president of basketball operations during the season.
New York had the third pick in the NBA Draft last season, choosing R.J. Barrett out of Duke. Playing in 56 games, he averaged 14.3 points and five rebounds per game. Much of the rest of the Knicks roster is in flux, as there are few players who would not be considered trade bait for a rebuild.
This year, they have secured the eighth pick in the NBA Draft. With a lot of work to be done, the Knicks need to take the best available player at each of their three selections.
The Hornets have three picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No. 8, 27
Second Round: Picks No. 38
Playmaking guard- Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton are simply not going to get it done at the point guard position. The Knicks need a dynamic playmaker to start and set the offense. Some scoring at that position would not go amiss either.
Front court scoring- After Marcus Morris was traded, the Knicks were exposed as a team that could not score from the wing, outside of R.J. Barrett. Perimeter shooting would be ideal, but New York needs a wing that can just put the ball in the basket regardless of where it is on the court.
Center- To keep it short and sweet, the Knicks only have one true center on the roster, 23-year-old Mitchell Robinson. The center may be becoming a bit antiquated in today’s game, but another good big man would certainly not hurt.
First Round, Pick No. 8: Tyrese Haliburton, PG (Iowa St.)
If the Knicks truly want to fill their hole at guard, they need to trade up, plain and simple. Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and Killian Hayes will all more than likely be gone at pick number eight. What they would have to give up to rise to pick five to seven picks is undetermined, but it is without a doubt the best bet for getting what they need most.
If they do not move up, however, Tyrese Haliburton is their next-best bet. A better scorer than passer, he averaged 15.3 points and 6.5 assists per game in his last year at Iowa State. He also shot better than 50.4 percent from the field.
The Knicks could benefit from both of those talent sets, although they would need to coach up his passing a bit more. Apart from that, he is a fine fit.
First Round, Pick No. 27: Tyler Bey, PF (Colorado)
Tyler Bey is absolutely the pick for the Knicks if he is still available for their second pick.
With a points per game average of 13.8 and a three point percentage of a whopping 41.9 percent, Bey is the perfect person to replace Marcus Morris’ production. Along with those huge numbers, he also averaged 9 rebounds per game during his junior season.
It is interesting that he is not a more highly touted prospect, which is probably due to his offense over defense mindset. But even if his ceiling is close numbers he put up last season, Bey is still the perfect pick for what New York needs right now.
Second Round, Pick No. 38: Udoka Azubuike, C (Kansas)
As these draft profiles continue to be released, Udoka Azubuike will undoubtedly be thrown around to multiple different teams at the top end of the second round.
For the Knicks, though, he would fit perfectly in the system right now. A 7-foot center who played all four years in college, Azubuike is a sure-fire pro. He averaged a double-double in his senior year, with 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds.
The only thing holding him back is his defense. A 7-footer needs to be a defensive wall in the paint, and Azubuike is far from that, averaging under two blocks for three of his four years at Kansas. But if he can pick up that end of his game, he is perfect for New York, and NBA-ready.
Featured Image courtesy of New York Knicks
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