A big thank you to Will Villanueva for putting together this writeup
Knicks Draft 2013
3 Guys the Knicks should consider drafting
The New York Knicks currently hold the 24th pick in the upcoming 2013 NBA draft. There are many rumors leading up to the draft as it pertains to what any number of teams plans might be for their respective pick. I’m here to tell you who your New York Knickerbockers should take with their only draft pick. Will weigh the pros and cons of each of the following 3 prospects and what their strengths and weaknesses are as well. Without further ado:
1. Gorgui Dieng PF/C Louisville 6’11” 235 Lbs.
Why you take him:
If he’s there, you take him, no questions asked. The biggest issue is if he lasts until pick 24 in a weak draft. It’s possible, not probable. There are 4 teams ahead of the Knicks who will look to take Dieng if he is there : Boston (16th), Atlanta (17th & 18th), Cleveland (19th) & Brooklyn (22nd). He has good size at 6’11” and a wingspan of 7’4”. He’s already a highly intelligent defensive player and he’s more quicker and agile on the back line than Chandler, Martin and Camby. He’s obviously a more capable defender than Amar’e so from a depth chart standpoint he fits playing behind STAT and Chandler and possibly along side Camby making for an extremely capable defensive front court. Outstanding help defender at the College level, should translate well. He’s got a good mid range touch from the baseline and from 10 to 15 feet from the basket. Decent passer for a big, will find cutters from the high and low post. Will be a solid rotation player for years to come, even from the start of his NBA career.
Why you don’t take him:
He’s currently older than I am, he’s 23 years old so the whole upside thing isn’t there. Lacks any true post skills so he’ll fit right in with the current front court. Not great in transition, much more of a threat in half court through Pick N Roll or Pick N Pop situations. Will never be a go-to scorer by any means, wasn’t able to average double digits in scoring as a senior. Good rebounder, potential to be better, relies on his athleticism and length. Needs to catch the ball better, plain and simple, not bad hands but could be better. Shot 66% around the rim but only 42% right outside the restricted area. Not that strong despite his size. He can be bullied by more bruising center types, luckily aren’t a lot of those types around.
2. Jamaal Franklin – SG/SF San Diego State 6’5” 205 Lbs.
Why you take him:
Extremely solid athlete, can play multiple positions due to his physical tools. Explosive around the rim, target for alley oops. Very good at attacking the rim off the dribble or on cuts. Creative and crafty scorer below the free throw line, doesn’t always rely on athleticism. Decent post up skills, he knows how to use his strength on the low block and can exploit defenders with ball handle and quickness out of post-up situations. Good touch from mid-range. Potential to be a great playmaker on defense at the next level. Averaged 2.0 steals per 40 minutes. Would be fun to watch him and Shump on defense together, could cause headaches for opposing guards and wings. Elite rebounder at the college level for a guy his size, Averaged 9.4 rebounds a game last season. Led his team in PPG, RPG, and APG. Off the chart intangibles, the Anti-JR Smith. Extremely high motor, great competitiveness. His Head Coach Steve Fisher has said that he never coached anyone with the commitment to win as much as Jamaal. Steve Fisher coached the Fab Five and LeBron James stopper Kawhi Leonard by the way. Plays with major chip on shoulder, wasn’t highly recruited out of High School.
Why you shouldn’t take him:
Iman Shumpert. It might be redundant to have both Shump and Franklin as they resemble each other in a lot of ways. Of course if you wanted to trade Shump for a bigger wing or something, this could be a moot point. He’s not a good 3-point shooter, at all, he shot only 28% from the 3 last season. Like a lot of guys that come out of college, his shot needs to be stripped down and re-molded. It happened with guys like Kawhi, Evan Turner, Dion Waiters. It could happen with this kid based on his work ethic. He was pretty much San Diego’s whole offense, the team revolved around him. He will need to learn to adapt to an NBA role much similar to that of a Battier, Prince, Courtney Lee and others. There is still potential down the line for him to be a #2 or #3 guy in a team’s rotation but it won’t be right out of college. While he has the athletic tools to be a really good on ball defender in the Association he got beat off the dribble too much for my liking. This could be a mental thing, with a defined role in the NBA he may be able to polish this part of his game up. And finally you don’t take him because you may have more pressing needs especially with Jason Kidd’s retirement and Prigioni’s probable departure. That brings us to….
3. Isaiah Canaan – PG Murray State 6’1” 195 Lbs.
Why you take him:
Tough minded score first point guard who excels at Pick N Roll basketball. Absolutely torched the college ball 3 point line shooting 48% from deep at over 6.5 attempts per game in the 2011-12 season. Will make defenders pay going under screens. His game translates to play off the ball pretty well at the next level. Quick and efficient dribble game, stays low to the ground. Very strong for his size, won’t be bullied by anyone relative to point guard size. Not a great defender at the college level but extreme responsibility on the offensive end may have factored in. Averaged 21.8 PPG on 43% from the field is impressive even if it came in the OVC conference… I’ll give you a moment to google that to make sure it’s real. I believe he’ll do a fine job backing up Reymond Felton and hopefully another veteran point guard the Knicks should pick up in free agency. With the Knicks current system they need to carry 3 point guards. Canaan should be one of them in my opinion.
Why you should not take him:
Because he’s small. He’s 6’1” in shoes and even that is questionable. He only averaged 4.3 APG in 36 MPG last season so that may be a major red flag as it pertains to his pure Point Guard skills. To be honest though you’re not drafting him to be your Starting Point Guard, I mean not in the next 2 or 3 years at least. The likeliest road for Isaiah is Jameer Nelson 2.0 and that might even be asking too much. Not an explosive athlete by any means so finishing at the rim at the next level will be an issue. He’s quick but he’s not particularly fast, although he did run a 3.22 in the 3/4 court sprint at the combine, which is not that bad. No one wants to touch him in the first round. That might be the most clear indicator that the Knicks won’t be taking him in the 1st round. But if you could buy a 2nd round pick and he’s there late I say you roll the dice and pick him up.