This year’s Draft class is being heralded as not only deep in terms of top 10 talent but flush with skilled guards: Washington’s Markelle Fultz, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, NC State’s Dennis Smith Jr., Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, and Frank Ntilikina from France.
Teams drafting in the top 10 must decide whether they should select a player based on talent or by fit. Should a team like the Boston Celtics select a guard even though they have Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and rookie Jaylen Brown earning minutes in the Celtics’ back court? Do the Phoenix Suns take a guard despite having Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker for the foreseeable future? Would the Philadelphia 76ers, a team in desperate need of a guard, consider drafting a forward like Jayson Tatum or Jonathan Isaac if they feel either player has a higher ceiling than any of the guards left on the board?
And what about the New York Knicks?
The Knicks will likely miss the playoffs for the 12th time in 16 seasons. A team that at one point was 16–13 in a mediocre Eastern Conference has faded down the stretch, losing 28 of its last 38 games. With the Knicks closer to having the second-worst record in the NBA than being the eighth seed in the East, it might be time to look towards the Draft instead of the slim chance to play four games against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.
It’s no secret that the Knicks have lacked a consistent, homegrown, two-way starting point guard for what feels like centuries. Yet the Knicks have also been without a consistent, homegrown, two-way starting wing as well. Wings such as Josh Jackson, Jonathan Isaac and Jayson Tatum are all projected to be drafted in the top 10. And while heralded prospects Michael Porter Jr. and Luka Doncic will likely enter the Draft in 2018, drafting either of them may be a pipe dream as long as a star like Carmelo Anthony is on the Knicks next season.
I would prefer to get Jackson, Tatum, Isaac, or Bridges and take a gamble on a PG in the FA like Teague, Lowry, Holiday, Hill, or even Livingston. A future of: