Offseason thoughts

I was going to call this the 2018 NBA draft thoughts but I wanted to say this first;

THE KNICKS ARE NOT GETTING KAWHI LEONARD OR LEBRON JAMES.

The Knicks don’t have enough cap space, and without trading Porzingis they have no assets to trade for them. Those guys wouldn’t have any reason to come here without Porzingis (and barely any reason to come even if he is here). So let’s stop all this talk right now.

OK, rant over. On to the draft. I’m not a draft expert, I hardly watch any college ball, but I did call for Porzingis months before the draft, so lets see if I can make another good prediction this year.

Trae Young – The guy can score. The Knicks need scoring. The Knicks also need literally everything, so taking a guy based on one need isn’t the way to go about this. From the little footage I’ve seen I have a feeling Young is going to get creamed on defense. I’m thinking Isaiah Thomas. Can put up a ton of points but is almost unplayable due to not being able to guard anyone. I’d take a pass on Young.

Michael Porter Jr. – There’s a chance that his injuries could scare people off. I know the Knicks have had terrible luck with injury prone players, but if Porter Jr. falls to #9 I’d grab him. His upside is too hard to pass up. He’s been all over the place in mock drafts, but he’s trending upward just days before the draft so I’d make a NetBet that he’s not available at 9.

Mikal Bridges – He’s a two way player. The Knicks have maybe two of those on the roster if you squint just right. Can’t get enough of guys like that. If he’s available the Knicks should thank the basketball gods and jump on that.

Collin Sexton – I’m torn on this one. Drafting a PG the year after drafting Ntilikina seems weird, but maybe they can play together. Sexton can play defense to that would be a nice young defensive backcourt. As I’m writing this I’m talking myself into it.

Wendell Carter Jr. – I wouldn’t be a fan of this pick. Doesn’t seem terribly athletic. Might have trouble scoring. Probably couldn’t keep up with quicker power forwards. The Knicks need a stud and I feel like Wendell’s ceiling is solid rotation player.

It’s such a crap shoot at #9 who knows. I’m sure a couple of these guys will be really good and a couple will be complete busts. I just hope the Knicks make the right pick.

 March Madness Draft Preview

 March Madness Draft Preview

By Wyatt Krehbiel

As the NCAA tournament approaches many top NBA prospects will be in action providing NBA fans a good look. This is a good opportunity for fans whose teams are in tank mode to see potential prospects in action.

I recently got Twitter for the first time and one thing I have noticed is the apparent desperation among Knicks fans to reach the top of the lottery. Fortunately that may not be necessary to get a franchise cornerstone in this draft.

This was one of the best drafts at the top in recent memory, and the ascension of Oklahoma’s Trae Young just makes it better. Collin Sexton has been compared to last years fifth overall pick De’Aaron Fox. In this years draft many mock drafts have Sexton falling out of the top ten.

It also helps that the Knicks major deficiencies, defense, three point shooting, and the small forward position all can be addressed around the ninth pick. The back end of the top ten seems to be the optimal spot for a team seeking a three and D wing.

This season has been a career year for Villanova Junior Mikal Bridges. Up to this year he had been a defensive stud for the one seed Wildcats. Now he has been an offensive weapon as well. He averaged 18 points a game for a very good team, and is a good three point shooter. He has spent the most time in college of the top prospects which could help ease the transition to the NBA. His scoring ability, and three point shot are nice, but his ability to defend multiple positions, and shut down an opponents best player is his biggest draw.

Kevin Knox Continue reading

2018 NBA Draft Preview

2018 NBA Draft Preview
By: Wyatt Krehbiel

This is the first of a series of articles on the 2018 NBA Draft. I plan on following this
article with several updates throughout the season and then scouting reports for players likely to interest the Knicks in the weeks leading up to the draft. The top end of this draft appears to very strong with five potential franchise cornerstones. After those five the rest of the draft is much harder to predict but has a lot of potential talent.

Although it’s too early in the year to know how everything will play out, the consensus
top pick in the draft appears to be Marvin Bagley III out of Duke. Bagley is a 6’11 front court player who has the potential to lead the league in rebounding while guarding multiple positions.

Bagley is a very athletic, high motor rebounder with plenty of shot blocking ability, as well as the speed and lateral quickness to guard smaller players on the perimeter. Bagley has shown flashes of a solid jump shot but needs to develop his offensive game to become a true star in the NBA. While New York appears to have an overabundance of players in the front court, if they somehow obtained the first overall pick it would be hard for the team to pass up on the best talent in the draft who could provide them with defensive flexibility alongside KP.

Luka Doncic is a 6’8 guard who seems to have the most developed set of skills in this
draft. Doncic lacks top flight athleticism, but his court vision, passing instincts, and ball skills allow him to be incredibly effective. Unlike the most of the prospects in this class, Doncic has performed well on a professional court. Doncic was a key player in leading his team to the Euroleague Final Four, and served as Goran Dragic’s sidekick in Slovenia’s gold medal run in Eurobasket. Doncic would be an ideal fit with this Knicks team by sliding in next to Frank Ntilikina providing another solid outside shooting threat, an exceptional secondary distributer, a high motor defender, and a high energy emotional leader on the court.

Michael Porter Jr. is 6’10 Forward out of Missouri who has the size to play the four but
the skills and athleticism to play the three. He has the ability to score from anywhere on the court with above average shooting from the outside. Experts have gone as far as to suggest that Porter has the upside of Kevin Durant. Porter needs to show scouts that he has the vision to be a consistent passer, and that he is willing to work on the defensive end but he looks to have the ability to slide into Melo’s old position, and provide the same scoring punch with higher upside.

The final two players in the preseason top five are Deandre Ayton from Arizona, and
Mohammed Bamba from Texas. Both players are centers which is not a position the Knicks are likely to be targeting. Ayton is the more talented offensively of the two and has a solid outside shot. If he develops his post moves he could fit the mold of Karl Anthony-Towns. Bamba will enter the league with the longest wingspan of any NBA player at 7’9, he is expected to develop into a potential defensive player of the year with similar rim protecting skills as Rudy Gobert.

Bamba has shown flashes of offensive ability but is not nearly as polished as Ayton.
The rest of the draft is hard to gauge at this point in the process. Other prospects of
interest include Miles Bridges who is an athletic freak who shoots threes and could potentially play small forward for the Knicks. Trevon Duval is a long, physical point guard who could potentially play with Frank Ntilikina. Lonnie Walker is a prototypical shooting guard who can shoot the three, attack off the dribble and has the wingspan to be a plus defender. Hamidou Diallo could be the most athletic two guard in the class but probably has the most riding on performance this year of any prospect. His athleticism is off the charts but he needs to show that he has the basketball skill to go with the athleticism.