The New York Knicks could use some frontcourt depth behind Julius Randle and should seriously consider drafting these power forwards.
The New York Knicks don’t necessarily need a power forward.
Julius Randle has made it very clear he wants to stay in New York, and it was reported back in May that both sides would discuss an extension this offseason. Obi Toppin’s rookie numbers weren’t the prettiest, but he still made progress on the court and is already working hard toward his second pro season.
Yet, don’t sleep on the Knicks drafting a power forward. It’s been speculated that Toppin could be part of a trade for Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton. If Leon Rose and Scott Perry make that deal, there’s suddenly a big hole behind Randle.
That means if the deal is made before or on Draft Day on July 29, the New York Knicks would be wise to consider these five athletic power forwards.
No. 5: Roko Prkačin, Cibona (Croatia)
The 18-year-old Prkačin is young, not to mention the Knicks wouldn’t need to use either of their first-round picks on him. No, he could easily be a second-round pick unless Rose and Perry decide he’s worth the reach.
But as a player, Prkačin definitely gives off some point forward vibes. He has a solid handle, has range with his shot, and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty going for a rebound. He’s very young and will almost certainly spend time in the G League, if he even comes to the NBA next season at all. Still, considering he’s likely a second-round pick, the New York Knicks should at least take a look at him.
No. 4: Greg Brown, Texas
Brown might also be a second-round pick and is absolutely a good fit with the New York Knicks. He averaged 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds a Texas last year and is a toughly built 6-foot-9, 205 pounds. Brown also posted a defensive box plus/minus of 2.7.
He still has lots of work to do on developing his low post game and also needs to be more consistent with his range. But playing for a great coach in Tom Thibodeau, Brown’s defensive prowess should be enough to get him some minutes off the bench.
No. 3: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova
The New York Knicks are building a winning culture, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl knows all about that having played for Jay Wright at Villanova. He has a power forward’s build at 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, but moves quickly and can score with the prowess of a guard.
Robinson-Earl posted 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Wildcats last year, and he has the motor necessary to play for Thibodeau. However, as a late first-round pick or early second-rounder, his development will depend on moving away from scoring and slowing down the game for himself. Once he adjusts to playing outside of a college system, the potential is there.
No. 2: Isaiah Todd, NBA G League Ignite
Any team that drafts 19-year-old Isaiah Todd is gambling on his upside. He was committed to Michigan, but then chose to turn pro and entered the G League. In 15 games, he managed 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds.
He needs to hit the weight room, but the idea of Todd in a New York Knicks uniform is a fun one. He can shoot the three, gets himself open in the midrange, and is a thunderous dunker. Todd is still learning the game and will almost certainly come off the bench to start his NBA career. In fact, he might even spend more time in the G League.
Yet, playing for Thibodeau, he could certainly find his way sooner and become a key member of the New York Knicks.
No. 1: Usman Garuba, Real Madrid ACB (Spain)
Like many international prospects, the 19-year-old Garuba is someone with a high ceiling who played limited minutes overseas. The 6-foot-8 Spaniard only posted four points and 4.1 rebounds for Real last year, so why is he being projected as a first-round pick?
Easy answer, folks. Garuba’s talent shines through in international play. He played for Spain at FIBA’s U18 European Championship in 2019 and averaged 15.6 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks as the starting center.
He’d need to learn a new position in the NBA, but remember the New York Knicks could also use some depth at center. If Garuba adjusts quickly and gets quality minutes off the bench, he could easily become a fan favorite.