New York Knicks: 2022 NBA Draft Team Needs and Targets
With the 2022 NBA Draft fast approaching, we're taking a look at what each lottery team needs to target with their draft selections, continuing with the New York Knicks.
Welcome back to our No Ceilings 2022 NBA Draft Lottery Team Series!
Over the next few weeks, we as a team are going to dive into the needs and targets of each lottery squad. What are the weaknesses and holes of each franchise? Are there players targetable in the lottery who can help fill those gaps?
We will answer those questions and more 5-on-5 style, continuing with the New York Knicks!
Without further ado, let’s see where New York should look for some help with the 11th overall pick.
1. What do you think is the biggest weakness for the Knicks that NEEDS to be addressed on draft night?
Nathan: Well, the Knicks unfortunately have multiple weaknesses that could be addressed. Size on the perimeter to better complement RJ Barrett, defensive versatility, and a center who can offer both rim protection and consistent pressure on the offensive end. I would actually say the latter could be addressed depending on if my priority target would be on the board for the #11 pick.
Tyler Rucker: I still believe that the New York Knicks have a nice assortment of tools that are loading, but they need to get some additional help on the wings. If the Knicks can target some perimeter shooting with two-way upside, that would be a great way to help the rest of the lineup take a step forward.
Tyler Metcalf: Modern wings. This is a team that feels like they are stuck in the past. They need some athleticism, shooting, and defense from their wings.
Nick: The Knicks could use some more shooting and versatility from the wing and forward spots. This team needs players who can guard multiple positions and move well on the perimeter, and they’re in a position in the draft where a few players who fit the bill should be available.
Albert: The Knicks need a lot more than our fanbase wants to admit. As Corey has mentioned before, this team is filled with guys who mostly guard and fill one position. Versatility is the name of the game here; to help that, I’d love it if the Knicks grabbed some versatile wings with modern skill sets.
Alex: The answer to this question can change based on what the front office has planned for this off-season, but as currently constructed, I think the biggest weakness for the Knicks is a lack of versatile athletic bigs who can defend and shoot.
Evan: This does seem to be a Knicks team that could use help in a myriad of ways. I think adding a versatile wing or guard who can complement RJ Barrett should be at the top of the list for New York on draft night.
Maxwell: For me, it’s shooting. So many of their best players would benefit from having more players around them who reliably spaced out the floor.
Stephen: To echo the great Corey Tulaba, positional versatility.
2. Which position group would you target most for the Knicks: Guards, Wings, Forwards, or Centers?
Nathan: I would actually lean centers to answer this question based on who I would love to grab at that pick. But if not a big man, guards would be my backup answer, given the number of projected shooting guards who measure at 6’5” or better.
Tyler Rucker: One order of wings, please. New York is in a great spot; there should be some real good options around their pick when it comes to adding a talented wing to the roster. While it might not be the favorite choice of some, I do believe that adding a big could be a bit of a “wildcard” there as well.
Tyler Metcalf: Guard/Wings.
Nick: The Knicks need wings more than anything else, but a mobile forward could make sense for them as well.
Albert: Guards/Wings. Not even a discussion for me.
Alex: Bigger wings. Guys who can guard those 2-4 positions.
Maxwell: Guard and Wings.
Stephen: Wings or Forwards. They are neck-and-neck to me.
3. Is there any argument for the Knicks to draft based on fit around a core group of players, or should “BPA” be in play at all times for New York on draft night?
Nathan: I think this should be BPA with the Knicks. Outside of RJ Barrett and potentially some of the young pieces like Immanuel Quickley, who really are the “guaranteed” pieces to stick around, whether it’s after a potential trade or free agency? New York needs to continue to add to its underrated stable of youthful talent with this pick and take the best prospect regardless of fit.
Tyler Rucker: While you could make an argument for a number of different teams in the lottery that they could tiptoe into more of a “fit” selection, I think the Knicks are in a great spot to go BPA. With a couple of curveballs in the Top 10, New York could find themselves with some great choices remaining on the board.
Tyler Metcalf: BPA. This team showed how far off they are this last year, and there are some wings/guards with tremendous upside in this class. Taking a swing on whoever falls to them makes more sense than trying to plug one of the many holes in a potentially sinking ship.
Nick: This team should go for BPA. There will be a number of talented players who make sense for them fit-wise, and the Knicks should go for whichever one of those players they think is the best player on the board.
Albert: BPA works for me. I think there might be around five or six really high-end wings available when the Knicks pick at #11. The Knicks are actually sitting pretty and should walk away with a really good player at that spot.
Alex: Please, for the love of God, just draft the BPA! The Knicks have done a great job getting their guys later in the first round with Quickley and Grimes the past two drafts, but at pick 11, it’s still high enough where there is a legit possibility of the player you draft turning into an all-star caliber player. There is not a position on this team that isn’t lacking, so instead of trying to get a guy who fits best with Julius Randle, for example, just draft the best player on your board and move it along.
Evan: I’d say it’s BPA. There are so many questions surrounding Julius Randle and Tom Thibodeau’s futures with the team that the Knicks aren’t really in any position to be drafting to fill a specific need. Continuing to stockpile young assets and talent is the way to go for this franchise at the moment.
Maxwell: I’d ultimately go BPA. No one on this team projects to ever be the best player on a title team. If that’s your situation, in general, I think you shoot for BPA.
Stephen: They go BPA. Is Randle interested in staying? Is New York interested in keeping him? RJ is scalable enough to slide around in the rotation to where another wing doesn’t hurt. Those are “the guys” on this team. Anyone else should know they’ll have to prove themselves in the offseason.
4. Who are the Top 5 targets for the Knicks to select with the 11th pick?
Nathan: Mark Williams, Jalen Duren, Johnny Davis, Malaki Branham, and AJ Griffin
Tyler Rucker: If the Knicks somehow left with one of Bennedict Mathurin, Johnny Davis, or Malaki Branham, you should be foaming at the mouth. Dyson Daniels would be great, but I don’t think he’s on the board anymore. AJ Griffin will get some dreamers there. Mark Williams is my wildcard.
Tyler Metcalf: Benedict Mathurin, Johnny Davis, Malaki Branham, A.J. Griffin, and Dyson Daniels.
Nick: Bennedict Mathurin, Dyson Daniels, Malaki Branham, Johnny Davis, and AJ Griffin.
Albert: Johnny Davis, AJ Griffin, Malaki Branham, Dyson Daniels, and Bennedict Mathurin.
Alex: AJ Griffin, Benedict Mathurin, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, and Jeremy Sochan/Tari Eason (tie).
Evan: AJ Griffin, Bennedict Mathurin, Dyson Daniels, Malaki Branham, and Jeremy Sochan.
Maxwell: Dyson Daniels, Shaedon Sharpe, Bennedict Mathurin, Jonathan Davis, and AJ Griffin.
Stephen: Dyson Daniels, Bennedict Mathurin, Jonathan Davis, AJ Griffin, and Malaki Branham.
5. Who is an under-the-radar surprise target for the Knicks?
Nathan: Malaki Branham. His name has been a hot commodity in draft circles for a while now, but he very recently started getting legitimate late lottery buzz. I would draft him higher than that, but if he’s there at 11 and the two centers are off the board, the Knicks should strongly consider Branham. He’s the type of player that could burn opposing teams if they focus the defense around a star scorer like Barrett. He brings size and shooting at the guard spot, and he should be a prime target for the Knicks.
Tyler Rucker: Malaki Branham has been a name that I continue to push New York Knicks fans to get familiar with before the draft. He’d offer some sensational upside on both sides of the ball and could become a nice asset next to RJ Barrett on the perimeter. If you’re looking for a real absolute shocker…I could see Jaden Hardy being an “oh my gosh, did Jay Bilas just fall out of his chair on ESPN?” moment.
Tyler Metcalf: TyTy Washington. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Bryce McGowens is my actual answer. I think McGowens is a ways off from being a positive contributor, but he has some of the most tantalizing scoring upside in this class. It would be a huge surprise, but I would kind of get it (not necessarily like it) if they took the swing.
Nick: Ousmane Dieng’s stock might rise high enough again to the point where he isn’t an under-the-radar prospect for the Knicks at 11 by Draft Night, but he has the potential to be the kind of modern wing with defensive upside who could plug a lot of holes for them on both ends of the floor.
Albert: Alondes Williams, Dalen Terry, Justin Lewis, and Andrew Nembhard all might be great options for the Knicks at 42. I think all of those guys offer skills, versatility, and good positional size.
Alex: I’m going to go a bit out of the box and say Jaden Hardy. He has that potential “star power” that New York craves but is currently lacking. The team is also desperate for shot creation, so they could take a swing on Hardy continuing to figure things out and hoping he ends up reaching his full potential as a scorer.
Evan: For a team desperately needing “modern wings,” Jeremy Sochan could be a sneaky fit for New York at 11. He’s a defensive pest who can provide the switchability that this rotation desperately needs. Although I think it would be a bit of a reach, I’d totally understand the pick of Sochan by the Knicks.
Maxwell: TyTy Washington. He’s not the buzziest name, but he can shoot and defend at the one. The Kentucky connection doesn’t hurt, either.
Stephen: Jaden Hardy. A player with high expectations, he proved himself against a ginormous leap in competition, and he has in-the-gym range. Hardy could get the Garden rocking again.