With the ninth overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select? Those are the words that will come out of Adam Silver’s mouth when announcing who the Knicks are selecting with their lottery pick. You might be wondering who the Knicks are going to select with this pick as this draft class is very deep and has lots of talent. Let’s take a look at five potential prospects that the Knicks will target.
Trae Young PG/ Oklahoma University
The Knicks would love to see Trae Young fall into their lap at the #9 spot. Young lead the NCAA in scoring and assists averaging 27.4 points and 8.7 assists. He even had a game where he recorded 22 assists in the game, which tied an NCAA Division 1 record. Young is an excellent three-point shooter as he hit 3.7 threes per game. He was a consensus first-team All-American and helped lead his team to the NCAA Tournament. Young whose offensive game is one of the best in this draft class will struggle defensively to start out in the NBA. However, pairing him up with Knicks young guard, Frank Nkitilina can help alleviate some of the defensive pressure as Nkitilina is a very solid defender. Those two together paired with Kristaps Porzingis could make for a very bright future in the Big Apple.
Michael Porter Jr. F/Missouri
Michael Porter Jr. was voted as the Preseason ESPN National Freshman of the Year as he was the #1 high school prospect. However, two minutes into Porter Jr’s freshman campaign he sustained a back injury that would require him to have surgery and made him miss out on most of the season. If Porter Jr. were to fall to this spot, it would be because teams are worried of lingering injury issues from his back or the more recent reports that Porter Jr. had to postpone his Pro Day workout because of a hip issue. However, he would be worth the gamble because the reward of him being a healthy player is too hard for the Knicks to pass up. Porter’s size, skill, and scoring prowess make him a much-coveted prospect. He and Porzingis together would be a very scary duo for years to come.
Collin Sexton PG/Alabama
Collin Sexton would bring the aggressiveness and toughness that the Knicks need on their roster. Sexton is known for driving the lane, putting pressure on opposing defenders with his quick handles, and is a good off-the-dribble jump shooter. Sexton can score with the best of them, and his playmaking will only get better since he will be surrounded by better players than he was in college. Teams have concerns about his reckless style of play and on-court decision making. He likes to play a little out of control sometimes, but with a coach like David Fizdale at the helm, he can help Sexton play more under control. Sexton is a hard worker on the defensive end and has even drawn comparisons to Patrick Beverley. A backcourt consisting of Sexton and Nkitilina would give the Knicks two very good on-ball defenders to hound opposing teams guards.
Mikal Bridges G/F/ Villanova
Mikal Bridges would help fill a need for the Knicks as they could use someone who can defend multiple positions and play out on the wing. He can also stroke the ball from three-point range as he shot 43% from the perimeter during his junior season at Villanova helping his team win a National Championship. Last season he became just the second qualified NCAA player to average at least 2.5 made three-pointers, 1.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game since Shane Battier was the first to do it at Duke during the 2000-2001 season. The 6’7″ wing has a 7-foot wingspan that can cause issues for shooters as he is able to close out effectively. The Knicks drafting Bridges would add a much-needed wing player that can shoot the long ball and play solid defense. The Knicks could use a 3-and-D type of player after allowing 108 points per game last year, which was the ninth highest in the league.
Kevin Knox II F/Kentucky
Knox can shoot the ball from deep and has good size for his position on the wing. The Knicks lacked a true small forward who could put the ball on the floor and score for them. Knox would provide them with a scorer off the wing shooting 51% from two-point range and 34% from the perimeter. Knox averaged nearly 2 three-pointers per game during his time at Kentucky. He was also a 77% free throw shooter. These numbers indicate his future is bright to be an efficient offensive scorer in the league. However, some teams fear that he may have some defensive flaws at the next level from watching his game tape, but with his size, vertical, and length Knox could become a competent defender by being able to defend multiple positions at the NBA level if he puts the time and work in.