What should the Knicks do in the 2015 NBA Draft?

Publish by: Malik Martin

Rejoice Knicks fans the 2015 NBA Draft lottery is 19 days away. The 2015 NBA Draft takes place on June 25th  at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn (56 days away).

The Knicks have a 19.9% chance of securing the top overall pick, an 18.8% chance of picking second, a 17.12% chance of picking third, a 31.86% chance of picking four, and a 12.31% chance of picking fifth. The Knicks have a 55% chance of landing one of the top three picks.http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/os-2015-nba-draft-lottery-odds-20150429-htmlstory.html

This draft class is one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. You have top prospect like Karl Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay, D’angelo Russell, and Justice Winslow.

Based on the draft lottery odds, those are the players the Knicks will be looking at.

What should the Knicks do in the 2015 NBA Draft?

I’ll start off by saying what the Knicks shouldn’t do. The Knicks shouldn’t trade there pick. Phil Jackson is open to trading the pick, if the Knicks fall to the fifth spot in the draft.http://nypost.com/2015/04/21/phil-jackson-draft-fall-could-alter-knicks-offseason-strategy/ Unless, the Knicks get blown away with a trade proposal, they should keep the pick and draft the best player available. One of the many things the Knicks lack is talent. In the NBA talent wins game, and outside of Carmelo, they don’t have much promising talent.

For the Knicks, it comes down to Karl Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor: with D’angelo Russell being a close third. Phil Jackson said “defense is an area that they would like to get better in, and that bigs are there number one priority.” http://nypost.com/2015/04/21/phil-jackson-draft-fall-could-alter-knicks-offseason-strategy/

If the Knicks are looking for a defense big man, I have five words for you Karl Anthony Towns. The Knicks currently lack a big man that can defend the paint and block shots. Anyone remember Tyson Chandler? He’s now a member of the Dallas Mavericks.

This season Towns was second in the SEC with 87 blocks, second in total rebound percentage at 18.5, and second in defensive shares with 2.9. Towns also shot 81.7% from the free throw line, which is impressive for a big man of his size. Towns is known as an elite rim protector, but his offensive game is not to be overlooked. On paper, Towns averaged 10.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 2.3 bpg, and shot 56% from the field. Keep in mind he only played 20 minutes per game, because of a loaded Kentucky frontcourt that included Willie Cauley-Stein.

Okafor is a once in a generation type of talent. You have to go all the way back to Tim Duncan at Wake Forest, to find a skilled big man with such great footwork, and soft touch around the basket. In his one season at Duke, Okafor averaged 17.5 ppg, 8.7 rbg and 1.4 apg. He also led Duke all the way the National Championship as a freshman. No question, Okafor is going to be a dominant center at the next level. The only thing holding him back is his defense. The good news is that he has the quickness and length to be an above average defender.

In order to draft Karl Anthony Towns, the Knicks must secure the number 1 overall pick. Even if they don’t and land in the top three, Okafor and Russell are not bad consolation prizes. Rejoice Knicks fans a savior is on the way.

Sources

Berman, M. (2015). Phil Jackson: Knicks could trade number 5 pick, won’t be in title mix. Retrieved from New York Post. http://nypost.com/2015/04/21/phil-jackson-draft-fall-could-alter-knicks-offseason-strategy/

Robbins, J. (2015). Every team’s odds of winning the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery. Retrieved from Orlando Sentinel. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/os-2015-nba-draft-lottery-odds-20150429-htmlstory.html

Stats provided by Sport Reference/College Basketball. http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/karl-anthony-towns-1.html

Photo taken from Dailyknicks.com. http://dailyknicks.com/2015/04/26/phil-jacksons-summer-plans-knicks-planning-2015-lottery-pick/

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