With NBA publications releasing mock drafts, there will inevitably be disagreements about what the Knicks will do. The best player available or fill a needed position? Guardian, wing or big man? We could even break these designations into specific positions like point guard, small forward, etc., but we won’t.
The only truth we know right now is that we don’t know anything definitive about New York’s plan for the 2022 NBA draft. The locked front office doesn’t leak much. However, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo reveals a nugget of NBA insider knowledge in his latest mock draft:
“Rival teams tend to think the Knicks will be targeting a big or a point guard in the draft, although their quest for the latter will more likely come in the form of veteran help.”
For what it’s worth, this is just what opposing teams have come to expect from the Knicks. While NBA executives have a better grip on the inner workings of the NBA front offices, it’s not hard to see why decision makers reach this conclusion.
How long is Madison Square Garden looking for a point guard? A long time. As for the big man argument, Mitchell Robinson is a full free agent this summer and there’s no guarantee he’ll return to New York. Anyone can understand why, from the outside, the Knicks would likely draft a point guard or a big man.
If the Knicks trade for Jaden Ivey or the right one falls to 11, calling a watch wouldn’t be surprising. However, this “point guard or big man” prediction ignores the bigger picture.
We know for sure 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 has been pushed back to 2023 for what it’s worth. Leon Rose and the front office clearly think the wings need work.
Who says the Knicks won’t continue that work by designing a wing at 11? There are many lottery-worthy options on the board. Bennedict Mathurin and AJ Griffin are two who could fall to New York. Both would meet needs as sporting three-point threats. None of this is intended to mean that Woo’s reporting is incorrect or that his sources are disingenuous.
But don’t count the wings.
Don’t count for anything when it comes to Rose and this front office. They have shown a willingness to go up or down in the draft, attacking multiple positions. If we look strictly at traditional positions, Rose’s draft picks actually fit the mold of a typical NBA lineup. There’s wiggle room here depending on how you view Quickley and Grimes, but you get the idea:
- PG: Two McBrides
- SG: Immanuel Schnellley
- SF: Quentin Grimes
- PF: Obi Toppin
- C: Jericho Sims
Are NBA Executives Wrong When Reading the Tea Leaves? Possibly. Am I reconsidering trading Cam Reddish? Maybe. At this time of year — especially for the Knicks — the only certainty is uncertainty.