Seton Hall’s Myles Powell will enter the NBA as a polished scorer and the New York Knicks need to give the local star a long look.
The New York Knicks have found considerable success in the second round in recent years. In the last three drafts, the Knicks have found one star, a rotational player, and one incomplete.
The jury is still out on Ignas Brazdeikis, but he had a strong season with the Westchester Knicks in 2019-20. Mitchell Robinson looks like a future Defensive Player of the Year and a franchise cornerstone. Not to mention, Damyean Dotson is developing into a solid rotational guy who is drawing interest from the best organizations in the NBA.
While New York traded away its own 2020 second-rounder, the Knickerbockers picked up two second-round selections in exchange for Willy Hernangomez (2020, 2021). If the current standings hold through the league shutdown, the Knicks will have pick No. 38.
Speaking of the shutdown, the 2020 NBA Draft is going to be unlike any in league history. Uncertainty and trepidation will be par for the course and for those reasons alone, the Knicks shouldn’t mess around in the second round. Seton Hall guard Myles Powell is a proven scorer who can become a contributor on the Knicks’ second-unit immediately.
“I think he is a late first-round selection,” a scout told Adam Zagoria of NJ Advance Media in January. “I feel his skill of shooting the ball will translate to the NBA. He probably has a very low ceiling, don’t know how much more he can improve. His flaw is probably not good going left effectively. But his ability to shoot the hall from deep can’t be ignored.”
Although many see Powell’s age as a detriment—he’ll be 23 as a rookie—his experience means he’ll likely be less of a “project” and more of a “plug and play” type player. Think about another Big East guard who dropped to the second round, in part because of his age—Jalen Brunson.
The consensus National Player of the Year in 2018 became an early contributor for the Mavericks and is already a reliable second-unit guard on a playoff team. Powell and Brunson aren’t a perfect comparison. While Brunson is a pure point guard, Powell is more of a combo guard who likes to play off the ball.
Don’t be deceived by Powell’s 30.6% three-point shooting during his senior season with Seton Hall. The Big East Player of the Year saw consistent traps and double teams throughout his dominant campaign. At the next level, Powell won’t be the top priority for opposing defenses. Give him a little bit of space and he can make it rain from deep.
The duo of Frank Ntilikina and Powell could make for an effective pairing in the backcourt. Ntilikina’s defensive prowess and size would cover for Powell being a little shorter and not necessarily a stud defender.
On the flipside, Powell’s ability to score in a variety of ways would help take some of the pressure off of Ntilikina on the offensive end. We’ve seen that kind of pairing work between Ntilikina and RJ Barrett at times during the 2019-20 season. Those two were catalysts in wins over the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks this past/current season.
Truth be told, I want to see Powell wind up with the Knicks because it’s a great story. The Trenton, NJ native stayed home at Seton Hall and ended up setting all kinds of records en route to becoming one of the best players in program history. And it’s always nice to see a local guy wind up with the Knicks.
Powell’s draft stock is a mystery given the current situation and the lack of clarity surrounding the draft procedures. Without workouts and in-person interviews, it’s going to be difficult to suss out how teams are going to approach the draft.
As for potential interest from the Knicks, that’s also a mystery. We still don’t know what kind of roster team president Leon Rose wants to build.