|The Knicks are at 22. This proved to be an
interesting pick. The Knicks Net GM, Alan Weir seemed to have missed
his pick. Actually the pick was on time but got lost in the net and
did not arrive until 24 hours later. Mike Rosenberg agreed to take
over and took:
When Alan's pick finally showed up, he had also picked Thomas. Adam wrote sections I, III, VI of this report and Mike write sections II, IV, V and VIII
I. DRAFT HISTORY
II. TEAM NEEDS
While it may seem odd to say this about a team with Patrick Ewing on the roster (or on the bench in a cast), the Knicks need size. But, with the current makeup of this team, it needs to be athletic size. After Ewing, who will likely grace the NBA for another season of lumbering fallaways, the Knicks have no real power players. Marcus Camby has tremendous talent, and has great timing as a shotblocker, but his willowy frame puts him at a disadvantage. Kurt Thomas is an interesting offensive prospect, but his defense remains only slightly improved from his Billy Tubbs days. John Wallace hasn't panned out as well as he should have, and then, of course, you have the dud (Chris Dudley)
III. CURRENT TEAM
Patric Ewing, Chris Dudley, Andrew lang
While Patric Ewing did a formidable job they still need a backup center that can come in and give defense and rebounding. Camby can do that but he is to skinny to bang with the big centers (i.e. Shaq) although he has good timing on his blocks. He is more of a Power Forward I think. Lang is a free agent I don't think they will resign him
Latrell Sprewell, Marcus Camby, Larry Johnson, Kurt Thomas, John Wallace
The frontcourt did pretty well they need more rebounding out of LJ and Marcus Camby. Latrell Sprewell is one of the best small forwards in the game. Kurt Thomas needs to be resigned although he is sometimes unpredictable He still contributes.
Allan Houston, Chris Childs, Charlie Ward, Rick Brunson
Allan Houston is one if not the best shooting gaurd in the game he can hit the three with dead eye accuracy. He also has good footwork and can get by you. Charlie Ward should have stuck to football and Chris Childs isn't much better. The Knicks will need to get someone through free agency( I.E. Howard Eisley, Mark Jackson)
IV. PICK AND WHY I MADE IT
I think Thomas fits in nicely with this team. At Syracuse, Thomas was a defensive wiz, and Van Gundy loves players who aren't willing to suck it up on the defensive end. His shotblocking is exceptional -- and he didn't foul out of a game this season, showing his intelligence for post defense. Teaming him with Camby in the frontcourt would allow Houston, Sprewell, and the PG stable to gamble and press even more than Van Gundy currently has them doing. Admittedly, Thomas is raw offensively. His scoring average did increase throughout his 'Cuse career. He has some decent post moves and good footwork (which also helps him on the defensive end), but his range and touch are barely adequate for the NBA. He has good physical talent. He's a quick leaper, and he runs the court well. More importantly, he knows WHEN to run the court -- he protects his goal well on fast break rotations.
While a bit undersized to bang with a player like Shaq -- he should be able to hold his own in the post against many of the Eastern Conference centers. If he improves his faceup game, he could see some more time at the 4.
V. WHO ELSE WAS CONSIDERED
Aside from their big man needs, the Knicks have looked for a long time for a quality point guard, but they can't seem to get anyone to unseat the two-headed mini-monster of Charlie Ward and Chris Childs. Both these guys are solid defensively, but they won't scare anyone on offense. I considered picking up a point guard with some offensive ability -- Erick Barkley, Keyon Dooling, or even Mateen Cleaves (OK, he's not great offensively, but he's a winner). Scoonie Penn could have been a possibility with this pick...but I wasn't sold on him. Khalid El-Amin and Ed Cota, while gifted, probably aren't justifiable for first round picks. Neither of them play defense well enough to fit into the Van Gundy system.
Other big men were considered, also -- Mamadou N'diaye was an intriguing possibility, but he was even more raw offensively than Thomas. Also considered Jamaal Magliore (again, limited offense -- not as athletic), Jabari Smith (solid player, but not as good as Thomas), and Jason Collier (good size and excellent offensively, but sloooow.).
VII. WHO THE TEAM WILL PROBABLY TAKE
They will probably take Etan Thomas if he falls this far but that is very unlikely I have seen him as high as 13. They probably will get Jamaal Magloire who played his senior season and improved his scoring. He's a tough shot blocker and a decent rebounder who figures to get better as a pro. Maybe they could get Collier like i said above he has good size and is excellent offensively, but is very very slow. Also they might consider Mateen Cleaves who could fall that far. He is a great floor leader with skill exactly what the Knicks need.
VIII. OTHER MOVES THE TEAM SHOULD MAKE
Knicks management should fine Larry Johnson every time he fires off a "Big L."
The nucleus of the team is under contract for next season. Sprewell and Houston have become a formidable duo, and are nice pieces to build upon. The only significant contributor who's a FA for next season is Kurt Thomas, who may try to sign for bigger dollars elsewhere (but will likely resign with NY). The Knicks are capped out, so they can't really get in the bidding for a major free agent. They may try to pool resources and get another serviceable big body or a PG, but they are likely stuck with the same cast of characters for a bit, unless they do some sign-and-trade stuff -- although there are few tradeable players (aside from Thomas) on the roster. With the Eastern Conference wide open next year, and with a little less annoyance from the injury bug (they lost 197 player-games due to injury last season), they should be solid.
|Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner|
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