The 2012 NBA Draft will begin later on tonight and as it currently sits, our Knicks only hold the 48th pick of the draft. Assuming Grunwald doesn’t get real creative and makes a play for a late 1st rounder for a team who is looking to save money, the Knicks will need to make this pick count.
The roster still has multiple areas of need and with this team being more geared to win in the near future, it would be best to try to find a prospect who is more ready to contribute sooner rather than later. This draft class may not be star-studded, but after the lottery, the field is deep and there won’t be much of difference in the talent level from the late first rounder selections to the 2nd rounders. I would like to see the Knicks target some of these guys who I believe can come in and make some early contributions:
DJO is a rugged, bulldog type player out there on the court. He gets after it on both ends of the floor and can really fill it up with deep range and a pretty looking lefty stroke. The only knock on him is that he is more of a tweener who may be a bit too short to match up well with typical NBA SGs and he hasn’t played PG in college either. He is best suited for a spark plug role off the bench that can provide energy and a little bit of some attitude
The NJ product out of St. Anthonys had an up and down career at Kansas, but really put it all together in his last season for the Jayhawks. He is tough as nails and is more of a combo guard than a true PG, but he reminds me a lot of Sixers Free Agent bench gunner – Lou Williams. His decision making can still be questionable at times, but he is a fearless type of player with blazing quickness. I view him as a better and more complete version of former Kansas guard, Mario Chalmers
While Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft got all the publicity and media attention for the Buckeyes, it was Buford that was the underrated key to Ohio State’s success over the last few seasons. Buford is a solid scorer with a lanky frame that enabled him to shoot over defenders. He isn’t overly athletic, but just knows how to play the game and is a proven winner out there. His ball handling skills need some work as he depends on his jumper to open the rest of his game up. He reminds me a lot of Aaron Afflalo who also had good size and shooting ability coming out of UCLA, but had question marks on if he could translate to the speed of the NBA
Jones had a spectacular senior year for WVU. He was a double double machine and can really stretch the defense with his 3 point shooting range. You gotta love guys who can shoot it off the bench, especially stretch 4 guys who can really open things up on the floor. He might be a bit undersized to be a true 4 but his wingspan makes up for his 6’8 frame. Would love to see him as part of our 2nd unit as another corner 3 option, if Harrellson got the green light from deep last year than Jones could enjoy some real success for us off the bench
Crowder is a beast…an undersized beast, but a beast nonetheless. He is rock solid at 6’7 and the only reason he will be a 2nd rounder is because he is another guy who is a tweener and teams are still figuring out what his position would be in the NBA. Crowder beat out the aforementioned Kevin Jones for 2011-12 Big East Player of the Year honors and flashed an overall versatile skill set for Marquette. He is a true inside out guy and I can still see him being a load in the post due to his superior strength. The Knicks want to get tougher and Mr. Crowder would definitely fit the bill, not to mention he rocks the best hair do in the draft
Machado is the definition of a true floor general. The former Iona PG led the nation in assists last year and displayed some unbelievable court vision. His measurables don’t jump off the page at you, but he is a very savvy player. The Knicks are starved for a backup PG and he would be a great guy to come in and take the reigns of the 2nd unit, something Toney Douglas was not suited for last year. He isn’t a dynamic scorer but is improving his shooting and the Knicks don’t necessarily need scoring from their backup PG, they really need a guy who can push the tempo but who still makes good decisions with the ball – he sported a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio in a run and gun system