My Knicks Top 8 Big Board

Written by Guillem @goodoldliam

For the last 2 months or so, I’ve spent quite an amount of time reading and watching videos about the best players in Thursday’s draft. Now it’s the time of truth, and I’ve come to this conclusion to which players I’d draft if I was making the decisions. This order doesn’t mean that I would draft them all at #4, but how high I regard each player. If a player doesn’t have the value, then I’d trade down. Now, let’s go to the big board:

 1 Karl-Anthony Towns

The comparison I like the most is a bigger Al Horford. That’s a center that does everything well, including shooting from distance. With the extra size, he could be a better defender and a rim protector too. That’s why he’s considered the best prospect. And that’s why the Knicks won’t get him. We needed to win those final games.

2 D’Angelo Russell

Russell is the first player the Knicks could potentially draft if he falls to 4. I like his shooting, creativity and vision. Would be a great fit in the triangle, and Phil reminded us that the triangle offense is still the plan. With not a lot of quality guards available through free agency this summer or next (Dragic and Rondo in 2015; Conley and Lillard (RFA) in 2016), this draft may be the only way to get one, and potentially a great one. He has a very high bust potential though, read more here [http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/projecting-the-top-50-players-in-the-2015-nba-draft-class/]: he has the highest % of bust potential in the top 25 college players, and also the highest % to become a star from all of them.

3 Kristaps Porzingis

I can imagine a lot of people not wanting Porzingis here. But let me explain. Porzingis has elite size and length, and great athleticism and skill. His major weakness is his strength. Which is why he may need a couple of seasons to develop physically. But I would take the risk of not physically developed yet over players that can’t shoot, have issues off the court, don’t have size or have injury concerns. Because players can add enough muscle easily, like Durant, Pau Gasol or Noah did. In addition to that, Porzingis’ parents and older brother all played professional basketball, so he has good influences around him. If and when he develops, he could very well be the best player in the draft: a big man that can protect the rim and space the floor to an elite level, something that would complement to perfection a player like Greg Monroe, our most likely free agent signing. Continue reading

Draft Preview # 2.2: Prospect Evaluation

Written by Ian Ellis (iellis2018@yahoo.com)

‘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. In this 4 part series, there are four tiers I will place all the players in: the hopefuls, the most likely, the trade downs and the buy-a-picks.

The Most Likely

These are the players the Knicks are looking the most at to pick at number four. Players I put here are players that I would not be extremely surprised at if they were picked at number four. Now, that doesn’t mean that they’re not trade down candidates, just that they are in play.

*Note: Yes, there is no Kristaps Porzingis. This is not because I don’t like him or that I think he’s bad, he’s just too much of a risk for these Knicks in my humble opinion (sorry Jay).

Emmanuel Mudiay

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NBA Player Comparison: Jason Kidd

Highlights: HERE and HERE

Emmanuel Mudiay is this years ‘mystery man’, like Dante Exum was last year. At the same time, he’s absolutely not. Emmanuel Mudiay was born the Congo and moved to Texas at a very young age with his mother and two brothers to escape the Civil war emerging there. Here, he emerged as one of the top point guard prospects in the nation. After playing taking part in all of the special events for high school seniors, like the Nike Hoop Summit, McDonald’s All American game and Jordan Brand Classic, he even was projected as the potential #1 pick in the 2015 draft by some sources. He initially signed to play under Larry Brown at SMU, but then due to either academic ineligibility or financial reasons, he decided to play for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) for 1.2 million dollars. There he averaged 18 points, 6 assists, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 12 games before he was sidelined with an ankle injury. Mudiay’s strengths revolve around his physical profile. Mudiay is a very strong built point guard at 6’5” and 200 pounds. On offense, this strength as well as his quickness allows him to get into the paint with ease. Once he gets to the basket, he is very adept at finishing with either hand. Also, he can use his athleticism to get up for finishes and high flying dunks. In addition to this, while he’s not the flashy passer D’angelo Russell is, he is a very good passer in his own realm. He is very good at finding open shooters and working the pick & roll, which will be critical in the NBA. On the defensive side of the ball, he has all the physical tools to be a very good defender, his only problem is staying concentrated. Mudiay has two real weaknesses: perimeter shooting and decision making. Perimeter shooting is the biggie here. If Mudiay had Russell’s shooting ability, it wouldn’t even be question who would better. While he shot 34% from 3 in China, he isn’t a great shooter. This will allow teams to go under screens in pick & rolls and sag off of him in man on man coverages, therefore taking some of his penetrating ability. His stroke doesn’t look broken, but t it will take time and practice to fix it. The other weakness is his decision making. Sometimes he seems to force passes or shots, but with tutelage he should be able to fix it. When it comes to player comparison I believe it’s Jason Kidd (now remember, this isn’t a player projection, just a comparison). Both are big point guards, good passers and floor generals, and better rebounders for their position. It’s also worth noting that Jason Kidd, who is 5th all-time in three point field goals made, came into the league as a struggling three point shooter at a measly 27%, very similar to Mudiay. There are also lots of flashes of Dwayne Wade, John Wall and Jrue Holiday in his game. When it comes to Knick fit, I think he could fit much better than people think. Why, well I look back at the 2012-13 season. As we know, the Knicks did very well winning 54 games, and they were spearheaded by point guard Raymond Felton. Felton is a bad player, but let’s look why he did well that season; Felton was a mediocre shooter, set up the offense and penetrated the paint. Sound similar? My thinking is if Raymond ‘Doughnut Eating’ Felton can do that, think of what Mudiay can do with the Knicks. While Mudiay may be just as good a shooter, he could be a much penetrator, finisher, disher and pick & roll operator, plus Mudiay is a much better defender then Felton could ever dream of. Also Phil Jackson said that he wanted someone who could drive to the basket and he also loves taller triangle guards. Anyways, the Knicks could be a great match for Mudiay. Also, here are three more great videos about Emmanuel Mudiay HERE & HERE & HERE.

 

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