Written by Ian Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘Sup folks, today we look at the most important part of the draft, the players (duh). Let’s see who the heck these people are, their strengths & weaknesses and how they would fit in with our Knicks. There are three tiers I will place all the players in: the hopefuls, the most likely and the buy-a-picks.
The Trade Downs
These are the players that *shouldn’t* be in play for the Knicks to pick at number four, but due to the Knicks interest to trade down, they are still in play to be picked in the late lottery or mid first round if the Knicks do trade down. Also due to the mass amount of potential options at this area of the draft, I am only looking at the prospects the Knicks have been already linked to.
NBA Player Comparison: George Hill
Cameron Payne is a 6’2” sophomore point guard coming out of Murray State. Payne was initially projected to be a mid to late first round pick, but over the last few weeks, he’s started accumulate some draft buzz. First, the Thunder promised to take him if he was still on the draft board by pick 14. Then the Sacramento Kings decided to work out him, mind that the Kings only have the 6th pick. Now here we are, with our Knicks brass intrigued by Payne. Payne is a crafty guard with a high IQ for the game, with good scoring ability (averaged 20.2 points per game last year) including a beautiful Tony Parker-esc floater, solid three point stroke (37%), and pull up jumper, with good defensive instincts to get into passing lanes and Payne is a good passer (6 assists per game) in the pick & roll. Payne on the flip side is not good at finishing with any contact, he is a streaky and sometimes ill advised shooter, Payne isn’t very consistent defensively and he played in a lower level of competition (than a player like D’angelo Russell did) at Murray State in the Ohio Valley conference. While it is worth noting that guards from smaller schools like Stephen Curry (Davidson), Damian Lillard (Weber State) and Elfrid Payton (University of Louisiana Lafayette), it’s harder to evaluate the talents like Payne coming from to these smaller schools because while they are putting up superior numbers, it’s important to note that he’s playing against inferior talents than to the Big 10 or ACC conferences. Payne has a player comparison to George Hill because Hill is a solid but not spectacular NBA starting point guard is a good three point shooter, good smart pick & roll passer and annoyingly pesky defender. In terms of Knicks fit, he would be in the mix for starting point guard along with José Calderón and Langston Galloway and would be a solid contributor in the backcourt. Also, since the Triangle doesn’t emphasize the need of a amazing point guard (while it wouldn’t hurt if it had one), Payne could fit in as a solid starting point guard in the Derek Fisher mold. Also, here’s a nice graphic to look at for more info on the dude.
Frank Kaminsky III
NBA Player Comparison: Kelly Olynyk