Have the Knicks hit again with their draft picks?
It was only just a few years ago where Knicks fans rained a chorus of boos as the team chose Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick. I was not in the building, but I was most definitely one of them, considering the Knicks’ poor draft history and affinity for drafting lanky, injury prone foreigners. Porzingis may have torn his ACL early last season and will most likely be out until mid-season next year, but at worst he’s already been more successful (All Star, ROY runner-up) than pretty much every Knicks pick not named Patrick Ewing.
As mentioned before, the boos rained down from Barclays Center once again on Thursday, when the Knicks took Kevin Knox from Kentucky with their ninth overall pick. The fans wanted Michael Porter Jr., but considering his injury history, it was smart for the Knicks to steer clear. In addition, Knicks fans want to boo for the sake of booing. Most of the time they don’t know the people being drafted and fall into this group-think mentality where if it’s not a certain player, it’s the worst pick on Earth.
Is Knox a sexy pick? Not necessarily, as the Knicks could have made a bigger splash with Mikal Bridges or Porter Jr. However, it was the right pick because the Knicks got exactly what they needed; a do-it-all three who can mesh with Kristaps Porzingis.
From all that I’ve read up on Knox, he’s the ultimate utility player who has good range on his shot, can dish the rock, and is one of the more athletic players in this year’s NBA Draft. The knock on him? He isn’t always committed to defense and has a tendency to lose focus, especially late in games. Whether that be commitment or conditioning is unknown, but head coach David Fizdale will make sure Knox is whipped up into shape for the upcoming season.
Knox seemed very excited to join the Knicks, a place where there hasn’t been much optimism lately. He had already spoken to Fizdale multiple times and told the media that he thought he was the perfect fit for a Fizdale-run offensive system. He’s ready to get to work and help bring this team back to relevancy.
In other news, the Knicks also selected big man Mitchell Robinson with the 36th pick in the second round. What do we know about Robinson? Not much actually, considering he didn’t even play last season after bouncing around from Texas A&M to Western Kentucky. The only tidbits most scouts had on Robinson was that he was a lanky (7’4 wingspan) center who could run the floor like a guard and times shots to block.
Most of the time second round picks very rarely make an impact on a team, so if Robinson starts his career out in the G League it wouldn’t be a surprise. With second round picks, it’s more about drafting on potential than actual results. Maybe one day Robinson can be the big man center the Knicks need, but most likely not.
The Knicks took a step in the right direction with their Knox pick, and now they have a good, young core of Knox, Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. (yes he’s still young) and Frank Ntilikina. It’s not the most inspiring core, but they do have a lot of skill and given the right coach and system, they could produce a lot of points. Either way, things may finally be starting to turn around for the Knicks. It can’t get much worse, right?