As NBA publications pump out mock drafts, there are bound to be differences of opinion on what the Knicks are going to do. Best player available or fill a position of need? Guard, wing, or big man? We could even break those designations into specific positions like point guard, small forward, etc., but we won’t.
The only truth we know now is that we don’t know anything definitive about New York’s plan for the 2022 NBA Draft. The tight-lipped front office isn’t leaking much. However, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo reveals a nugget of NBA insider knowledge in his most recent mock draft:
“Rival teams tend to think the Knicks will target a big or a point guard in the draft, although their search for the latter may be more likely to arrive in the form of veteran help.”
For what it’s worth, this is only what rival teams expect the Knicks to do. While NBA executives have a better handle on the inner workings of NBA front offices, it’s not hard to see why decision-makers are reaching this conclusion.
The search for a point guard in Madison Square Garden has been ongoing for how long now? A long time. As for the big man argument, Mitchell Robinson is an unrestricted free agent this summer and there is no guarantee he returns to New York. Anyone can see why, from the outside looking in, the Knicks would appear likely to draft a point guard or big man.
If the Knicks trade up for Jaden Ivey or the right guy falls to 11, drafting a guard would not be surprising. However, this prediction of “point guard or big man” is ignoring the bigger picture.
We know for a fact that the Knicks were willing to use a first-round pick on a long, athletic wing, albeit in a roundabout way. We know this because they traded a Charlotte Hornets first-rounder for Cam Reddish in January — that pick deferred to 2023, for what it’s worth. Clearly, Leon Rose and the front office think there is work to be done on the wings.
Who is to say that the Knicks won’t continue that work by drafting a wing at 11? There are plenty of lottery-worthy options on the board. Bennedict Mathurin and AJ Griffin are two who could fall to New York. Both would fill needs as athletic, three-point threats. None of this is meant to imply that Woo’s reporting is wrong or that his sources are being disingenuous.
But don’t count out the wings.
Don’t count out anything when it comes to Rose and this front office. They have shown a willingness to move up or down in the draft and have attacked multiple positions. In fact, if we look strictly at traditional positions, Rose’s draft picks fit the mold of a typical NBA lineup There is wiggle room here based on how you view Quickley and Grimes, but you get the idea:
- PG: Deuce McBride
- SG: Immanuel Quickley
- SF: Quentin Grimes
- PF: Obi Toppin
- C: Jericho Sims
Are the NBA executives wrong for reading the tea leaves? Possibly. Am I overthinking the Cam Reddish trade? Maybe. At this time of year — especially for the Knicks — the only certainty is uncertainty.