8. Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
ESPN NBA Draft expert Jonathan Givony has the Knicks taking Colin Sexton. In Givony’s proclamation, he asserts that Frank Ntilikina would play better alongside “a more dominant ball handler and shot creator who can take some of the scoring responsibilities off [his] shoulders.”
That’s exactly what New York would be doing with Sexton. He’s the antithesis of Frank in every way on the offensive end. While Frank is very methodical most of the time already playing the game like a veteran, Sexton plays with an aggressiveness that most rookies wouldn’t have. The 19-year-old took 35.6 percent of his shots at the rim and attempted 10.2 free throws per 40 minutes. He carried the offense in his one season at Alabama with an SEC-leading usage percentage of 32.9 percent. He also led the SEC in points produced.
The turnovers are a concern. So is the shooting. In today’s NBA, you need to be able to take care of the ball and shoot the three as a point guard. Not necessarily in that order. Sexton struggled with both. He averaged 2.8 turnovers per game (to just 3.6 assists) and shot only 33.6 percent on threes and 36.4 percent on two-point jumpers (via Hoop-Math).
9. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander turned heads at the draft combine. The 19-year-old is 6-6 with a 7-foot wingspan and just three percent body fat. Gilgeous-Alexander was a beast for the Wildcats in his one season with the squad. He led the SEC in minutes and attempted a staggering 44.3 percent of his shots at the rim. His jump shot improved as the season went on; he made 40.4 percent of his threes (small sample size alert).
The concerns are there too. He wouldn’t bring the explosiveness that a Sexton would bring or the dead-eye shooting that a Young would bring. Gilgeous-Alexander is an unlikely choice for New York, but he’s a fun prospect to consider at least.
10. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami
Any team that drafts Lonnie Walker in the lottery is doing so based on his potential because he wasn’t exactly the most consistent prospect this season. In fact, he wasn’t consistent at all. Walker finished his one season at Miami with a mediocre slash line of .415/.346/.738. That below average three-point number looks even worse when you factor in that over half of his FGAs were from beyond the arc.
Always beware of prospects who are being sold on their “high upside” like Walker, but this guy is worth taking a look at for New York. He’s still very young (19) with plenty of time to develop. Someone with his athleticism and length is capable of becoming a lockdown defender at multiple positions. If he gets that three-point shot figured out, Walker could be very dangerous.
– All statistics are courtesy of Sports Reference.com unless otherwise noted.