Easier said than done…
I anticipate Thursday’s NBA Draft could go a variety of ways for the Knicks who will select fourth. I will present a best-case scenario, a worst-case scenario and a likely scenario for how it could all play out.
Best-Case Scenario: Knicks Select Jahill Okafor or
There’s a general consensus among NBA executives that the top three players in this year’s draft are Karl Anthony Towns out of Kentucky, Jahill Okafor out of Duke, and DeAngelo Russell from Ohio State University.
I would be jumping for joy if the Knicks could land one of these three players. Towns, is a pipe dream considering there is no way in the world the Timberwolves pass him up with the first pick in the draft.
However either Okafor or Russell is a possibility.
I would assume the Lakers, who select second, would lean toward Okafor considering their history of developing big men. Do Chamberlain, Jabbar and O’Neal ring a bell? Regardless, the Lakers can only select one of these two players, which brings us to the Philadelphia 76ers who select third.
The hope and prayer is that the 76ers will go against conventional wisdom, select Kristaps Porzingis, a forward from overseas. The selection of Porzingis would open the door for the Knicks to select either Okafor or Russell.
With 76ers GM Sam Hinkie’s radical thought process over the last couple of years, it’s possible, yet unlikely.
Both Okafor and Russell are can’t miss NBA players in my eyes. The Knicks would be incredibly lucky to get their hands on either one.
Worst-Case Scenario: Knicks trade down and take marginal player due to triangle offense
Nothing would make me more sick to my stomach than to see the Knicks trade down in this draft just to take a player because they “fit the triangle offense.” I’m sorry, but that thought process and rationale is just totally unacceptable. The Knicks have not selected fourth in a draft for a very long time, they should be looking for the best basketball player on the board.
I don’t care what system suits them best, if the player features All-Star potential, bring him in! System be damned! I hope and pray Phil Jackson does not pass up superior talent just because he wants to bring in the perfect fit for his triangle.
Likely Scenario: Knicks select Justice Winslow or Emmanuel Mudiay and hope for the best
I think either one of these options would be acceptable and reasonable to expect from the Knicks come Thursday. Mudiay, is a point guard that has a lot of athleticism and promise, but there are concerns about whether he can shoot well enough.
Any Knick fan who hears the comparison of John Wall or Russell Westbrook will be smiling from ear to ear, but you have to wonder considering none of us have seen Mudiay play overseas in China.
There are questions, but Mudiay would be an acceptable choice.
Winslow is the guy that I hope the Knicks select if the top three are off the board. He can defend, he can handle the basketball, he’s versatile and he showed a ton of big game experience for Duke throughout the NCAA Tournament. I think Winslow has a chance to be a big-time NBA player and I’d be more than willing to take that plunge if I were the Knicks and Phil Jackson.
Decisions, decisions; let’s just hope the hapless Knicks make the right choice for once.
John Jastremski hosts his own show on WFAN & CBS Sports Radio nationwide. You can hear him from 1-6 a.m. on Friday & Sunday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN 66 AM & 101.9 FM.