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Knicks 2011 Draft Preview

The 2011 NBA Draft will definitely be a unique one.  Unlike the past drafts, this year’s event doesn’t have much buzz.  It’s going to be held in Newark instead of New York because of the renovations in Madison Square Garden.  Many analysts project this class of incoming prospects to be weaker than the average.  The draft will be a key component for most teams with lottery picks.  They are more focused to bring in role players to compliment their stars, different from the last few drafts, where players like Michael Beasley or Evan Turner are expected to perform better than what they already have done on the hardwood.  Minnesota may look for a catalyst to fit in with Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.  Washington already considers John Wall to be the face of the franchise, but they wouldn’t mind drafting someone who great in the transition offense.

However, New York has an ordinary draft in their hands.  They haven’t had more than 2 picks in a single draft since the 2005 draft.  The Knicks were never in the hunt for a young phenom, yet New York has a good history of drafting players that has a tremendous upside.  I believe that New York is in the same situation on Thursday.  They have the 17th pick, which is their only selection in the draft.  New York is only a few picks away from the lottery, and has a good chance of grabbing a solid player.

I see that most mock drafts think the Knicks will select Klay Thompson, the pure shooter from Washington State.  I don’t see why the Knicks would want a rookie shooting guard to backup Landry Fields, who had just finished his rookie season.  I think New York would to acquire a veteran shooting guard from the free agency.  Another shooting guard was talked about, Marshon Brooks, had attended workouts for the Knicks earlier in the month.  But I don’t see New York drafting guys in this position.

Other analysts and mock drafts sites agree that New York would indeed select a big man to fill in the Knicks’ rebounding and defensive needs.  Each of the Morris brothers from Kansas has been talked about.  Marcus is a better scorer, while his brother Markieff is known for his rebounding instincts.

The only other forward that’s been mentioned in numerous articles is Kenneth Faried of Morehead State.  The Newark native would certainly have a blast being drafted in his hometown.  I’m sure he won’t mind playing for a team that’s just about an hour away, in New York.  I think he is definitely one of the more exciting players in the draft.  He has a growing talent and great athleticism.  He also averaged a double-double this past season with 17.6 points and 14.4 rebounds.  Any scout would be amazed looking at his stats, regardless of the teams his college had played against.  Faried may undersized for his position, but he plays with great confidence and outstanding work ethic.

One player that many teams are uncertain about, but may have a good career here, would be Bismack Biyombo.  The Congolese shot blocker has a lot of great skills.  Biyombo is known to be an instinctive shot blocker and rebounder.  This man has an incredible strength andphysique for an 18 year old.  His arms are reminiscent of Karl Malone’s arms, or like Dwight Howard’s. recently reported that he thinks he will be the league’s leader in rebounds and blocks.  Although he is believed to be an outstanding defender entering the league, many worry that he’ll be compared to one-dimensional players in Dennis Rodman and Ben Wallace.  Foreign players are also avoided by some teams due to contract buyouts with their previous team.  U.S. scouts also feel suspicious about European statistics, because the players there play less minutes.  There is hope in his offensive game.  He recently recorded a triple-double in Nike Hoop Summit, the first time that it has ever happened.  It will be very interesting where he ends up.  I think he can fit perfectly with New York.  I have faith that he might do much more than what Jared Jeffries had done for them.

There are also talks about drafting a point guard, probably a Iman Shumpert of Georgia Tech, or a Nolan Smith from Duke.  But there has been rumors swirling around about the possibility that New York will trade for a young point guard, most notably Jonny Flynn.  There are also recent rumors about the possibility of trading Chauncey Billups for Steve Nash, but I think that would conflict with the team’s principle of keeping the core players intact. Ultimately, I personally don’t think New York will draft a point guard.

If I was the Knicks GM on draft night, I think I would select either Kenneth Faried or Bismack Biyombo as the 17th pick. I don’t know how other players in the draft would fit in to the Knicks’ roster, but I am positively sure that New York needs a lot of help in the rebounding, as well as their defense. Hopefully they won’t be picked before because I know these two guys will do an astonishing job on that department for the Big Apple.

The small chart shows stats from last season, also each of the players’ names contain a link to their prospect profile in and their corresponding team has a link to their highlights.

Suggested Players
PlayerLast TeamHeightWeightMinsPtsRebsBlksFG%FT%
Bismack BiyomboFuenlabrada (Madrid, Spain)6′ 9″243 lbs.
Kenneth FariedMorehead State6′ 7.5″225 lbs.34.717.314.52.30.6230.577

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