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Why The Knicks Should Keep The Number Four Pick And Draft Emmanuel Mudiay

Emmanuel Mudiay is a point guard that could be an All-Star.

Emmanuel Mudiay (Sam Forencich/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Mudiay (Sam Forencich/Getty Images)

 

So the New York Knicks did not get the number one draft pick in next month’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn. Not all is lost, I mean the number two pick is nothing to wave a finger at.

They didn’t get the second pick? Well the third pick will leave them with another great player like Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell. Its ok, all is well.

They got the fourth pick? Um, ok.

So the Knicks, who had a 20 percent chance of getting the first overall pick, fell all the way to fourth in what pretty much encapsulates this season for the organization. While fans began having dreams of Jahlil Okafor or Karl Anthony-Towns, the Knicks will now have to examine the next step of the draft process. Do you trade the number four pick and not only attempt to stockpile picks, but also fill numerous holes? Do you try to move up in the draft and attempt to draft Okafor or Anthony-Towns? Or do you keep the pick and go with the best player available on your draft board?

Well many Knick fans are thinking that trading the pick is the best move. I was so enraged after the draft lottery by the way ping pong balls landed that I even said trade the pick. Cooler heads eventually prevailed and I began to think…what is the one thing that the Knicks can’t do without right now?

The answer is a legitimate point guard and that man Emmanuel Mudiay.

At 6’5” and 200 pounds, Mudiay has the size of today’s NBA point guards and already has some professional experience. After being highly recruited by major college programs, Mudiay chose to attend SMU with Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown. Last July it was announced that Mudiay would forgo college and he decided to play professionally in China for the Chinese Basketball Association season. Even with that decision, Brown had nothing but high praise for the point guard.

“He’s the most special point guard I’ve ever seen at that age,” Brown said to ESPN last year. “He plays the right way, and God has given him incredible gifts. We all know [the NBA is] a point guard’s league.”

In his one season in China, Mudiay averaged 18.5 points, six rebounds and five assists per game. While those numbers would be great for any rookie in the NBA, the fact that those numbers came in China has many believing that the stats are inflated, as the level of competition is not there in China. Kevin Pelton of ESPN converted Mudiay’s CBA stats to NBA stats and this is what he came up with: 11.6 points, five rebounds and five assists a game, which some would believe to be All-Rookie First Team numbers.

The key with Mudiay is that he has gotten comfortable with his body and his 6’8” wingspan while using his size and strength to his advantage. Many call him a “Power Point” who uses quickness and his frame to get to the hoop and make the extra pass as he is a pass first, shoot second type of point guard.

The comparison that continues to be mentioned is a younger, more physical John Wall. While Mudiay’s shooting needs improvement and scoring is not a concern for him, having a deadly mid-range jumper in his arsenal can only make him effective both on and off the ball.

Simply put, Emmanuel Mudiay is a point guard that could be an All-Star by his third year in the league, maybe even sooner.

In the Knicks’ triangle offense, having a skillful point guard could make or break the system. This season, the lack of good point guard play was apparent as Jose Calderon was a non-factor for most of the season and no other quality starting NBA point guard emerged during the long, dreadful year. While the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers did not have a top-five point guard during the 11 championships that Phil Jackson won, they had serviceable point play. Something Jackson never had was a young, talented point guard and he just may be chomping at the bit at the thought of Mudiay feeding the ball to Carmelo Anthony.

In the end, we have no idea whether Emmanuel Mudiay will be a star in the National Basketball Association. What we do know is that he is probably the best point guard in the 2015 NBA Draft and beyond Jahlil Okafor and Kart Anthony-Towns, he may be the next can’t miss prospect in this draft. While trading the number four pick would be a good move also, keeping the pick may result in the Knicks drafting their best point guard prospect since selecting Mark Jackson out of St. John’s in 1987.

See what the Knicks do with the No. 4 pick at the NBA Draft in person. The NBA Draft will take place June 25, 2015 at the Barclays Center.  According to Hipmunk.com, a leading travel resource, Brooklyn hotels have rooms starting from $42 near the Barclays Center. Hipmunk also provides information on cheap airline tickets to Brooklyn for fans flying in from outside the greater New York City area.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for DoubleGSports.com as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow DoubleGSports.com writer Jason Cordner.
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