Day eight of 2017 NBA Draftmas features the New York Knicks. The Knicks had high expectations for this past season, but fell short of the playoffs. Let’s take a look at the Knicks’ season and their biggest draft needs.
The Knicks have missed the playoffs four straight years now. No one seems to know what Phil Jackson is doing with the team. Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis seem to be at odds with the team. Bringing in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah also did not go as planned.
The Knicks as a team finished in the bottom half of the league in points, averaging 104.3 to tie for 18th in the league with the Pelicans. They shot 44.7 percent from the field (23rd) and 34.8 percent from behind the arc (21st). The defense was also below average, allowing 108 points per game, which ranked 23rd in the league.
What New York did well was rebound. They ranked fifth in the league at 45.2 rebounds per game.
Trade rumors swarm around Anthony. Porzingis at the moment is the team’s future. If Jackson wants to keep Porzingis happy and in New York, he needs to give him some playmakers to work with.
New York Knicks Draft Picks & Needs
New York has three picks in this draft, one in the first round and two in the second.
First Round: No. 8
Second Round: No. 44 (from Chicago), No. 58 (from Houston).
The Derrick Rose experiment was far from successful. The Knicks should use their first pick on a point guard to team up with Porzingis and use the second-round picks to get some key role players.
Targets & Thoughts
Pick #8: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, N.C. State
This draft is loaded with point guards. If it were not for Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox, Smith might be going earlier in the draft. This makes him a steal at the eighth pick in a way.
Smith didn’t enjoy team success at N.C. State as they finished with a 15-17 record. However, the freshman still had a fantastic individual season with averages of 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Smith is a playmaker who can score and make plays for his teammates.
Smith is the point guard New York needs. He is someone who will be able to contribute points while also helping create opportunities for Porzingis.
Smith is a streaky shooter, but posted a respectable field goal percentage of 45.5 and also shot 35.9 percent from behind the arc. He also tended to be a ball-stopper sometimes, picking up his dribble too early and settling for difficult shots.
All of this can be improved over time though. New York would be lucky to have a point guard like Smith.
Pick #44: Dillon Brooks, F, Oregon Ducks
The PAC-12 Player of the Year helped lead the Ducks to another successful season with averages of 16.1 points 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He also shot 40.1 percent from the 3-point line.
The 6-foot-7 forward is strong and can provide a boost for the Knicks off the bench. His offensive versatility will help him beat his man in multiple ways.
Brooks still needs to work on his decision making, as he can be ball-dominant and play too much iso. If he can improve on moving the ball around, he could be a stud off the bench.
Pick #58: L.J. Peak, SG, Georgetown
The junior guard improved his numbers over each of his three seasons at Georgetown. Last year he finished with averages of 16.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Peak shot the 3-pointer really well his sophomore year at 40.9 percent, but fell down to 32.7 percent this season. Guards have to be able to hit the 3-pointer in today’s game.
However, Peak can score in other ways. He is a slasher and a good defender. His playing style has been compared to Dwyane Wade. If he can get his outside shooting back to where it used to be, Peak could be a great pickup for the Knicks.
The Knicks won’t become contenders overnight, but they can get in the right direction. Dennis Smith Jr. is the franchise point guard they need. He can score and create opportunities for Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony.
They also have an opportunity to find some diamonds in the rough with Dillon Brooks and L.J. Peak. Both can develop into key role players in the future and provide a boost off the bench.
Thanks for checking out the New York Knicks 2017 NBA Draft profile and tune in tomorrow for day nine of NBA Draftmas to see what the Dallas Mavericks are going to do.
Featured Image by news.mb.com.ph
“From Our Haus to Yours”