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2024 NBA Draft: Knicks Prospects

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In my previous post, I talked about the Knicks potentially packaging their 2 1st-rounders to trade up in the 2024 NBA draft. Since that doesn’t seem to be a direction the Knicks are taking (no indication from the front office), let’s look at the best prospects for the Knicks, offensively and defensively. The fact that the Knicks have back-to-back picks in the first round is an advantage. With the new rules in place, the Knicks should have a clear idea of how they should do things. Cover up all loose ends, and plan for the worst-case scenario.

2024 NBA Draft: Knicks Prospects

Knicks Free Agency Worst-Case Scenario

The Knicks’ worst-case scenario is losing both OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein. While the loss of Hartenstein will be mitigated by the return of Mitchell Robinson, the loss of Anunoby will be brutal. If they do end up losing him, then the Knicks traded away Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett, for a 6-month rental. That would not bode well for the Knicks, as this year’s free agency class is not big on lock-down defenders who can be the 3rd scoring option. KCP and Caleb Martin are the names that come to mind, and both are a huge downgrade from OG.

(All mentioned prospects are predicted to be picked in the High Teens – Mid 20’s in various mocks)

Knicks Draft Targets

Wings

Baylor Scheierman

If the Knicks want offense, not many guys in the draft did it better than Baylor Scheierman. He averaged 18.5 points in College on 44.8/38.1/87.6 shooting splits. He is an elite 3-point shooter who can light it up from anywhere. Scheierman is versatile on offense and would add another shot-creator while being a great catch-and-shoot guy. Yes, Baylor is one of the older prospects, but he could instantly become an impact player for the Knicks (Jaime Jaquez-esque).

According to multiple scouting reports, his biggest weakness is his defense. Scheierman lacks the foot speed to be a great defender and could be easily exploited on mismatches. He might not be able to keep up with speedy players, and shifty guards will blow by him at will.

Ryan Dunn

Ryan Dunn, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. He has been called, by many, the best defender in this class. At 6’8″, he has the height and wing span to guard 1-4 In college, Dunn averaged 1.3 steals and 2.3 blocks per game! He is an NBA-ready defender and has the athleticism and the wingspan to deal with guys all around the court. Dunn excels at securing defensive rebounds. His relentless energy and reach make him a formidable presence on the glass, and it gives the Knicks another fantastic rebounder alongside their centers and Josh Hart.

But, Dunn is lacking offensively. He shot just 20% from 3-point land and under 55% from the line. Both of those marks make him a late-game liability and will limit his impact on the floor. For him to be impactful on the Knicks, he must make a huge leap in both areas. Dunn will hacked at the end of games. However, Dunn excelled at the rim, shooting 67.9 percent on 131 attempts. He demonstrates keen awareness in cutting to open spaces and effectively uses his skills to finish through contact.

Centers

DaRon Holmes II

Daron Holmes II is one of the few big men in this draft that shot 38% from the 3-point line. Offensively versatile, Holmes put up 20.4 points a game at Dayton. He can beat you off the bounce, and grind the defense in the post. Holmes is a small-ball center that the Knicks can use in late-game situations because of his ability to knock down shots. He was a good passer in college and adds another creator to the Knicks offense.

But, questions about Holmes’s play against tougher competition are a fact. The A-10 was not a great conference last year (only 2 teams made it to the NCAAM March Madness), and there is no way to know how he will adjust. For Holmes to be good in the NBA, he must add weight to his frame. He struggled to get rebounds against centers and can be backed down. Holmes’ biggest question mark is how he will adjust to the pace and switchability of the NBA. But, those questions can only be answered post-draft, and he has the upside to be an immediate contributor.

Yves Missi

Yves Missi is the definition of a complementary piece. He has the potential to be a defensive anchor and is one of the best rim protectors in this draft. Missi is strong in finishing near the rim and will be a better offensive option than Mitchell Robinson. Missi is a solid rebounder, his athletic frame and huge wingspan will be beneficial in competing with the unicorns of this era. He can run both ends of the floor and displays excellent footwork, agility, and remarkable fluidity for a 7-footer.

But, Missi is offensively limited outside the paint. He didn’t attempt a 3 in college and is not a great passer. Missi is a conventional big; one who will get the ball down low and get to work. Despite his agility, NBA guards will be able to beat him to the rim, and he will have to figure out how he wants to deal with it.

Last Word

This draft is intriguing in the sense that no one has any clue about who goes where. Mock drafts are all over the place, but if the Knicks are able to grab any of these guys and re-sign key free agents, they will be a legitimate contender in the East.

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