NBA Draft 2012: 6 Players New York Knicks Should Target with 48th Pick
The 2012 NBA Draft takes place tomorrow night, and after months of preparation, the New York Knicks will finally make their selection of a player from basketball's finest young prospects to join the roster.
And though the Knicks own only a late second round pick, it cannot be dismissed just how valuable the 48th overall selection could be to the Knicks' future.
This isn't a normal year for drafting, as a second-round pick from this year's crop of players won't simply be something to throw away before the start of the season.
Even as far back as the Knicks are selecting, there will be tons of rotation-quality players available and the Knicks will have to choose wisely as to which one they want on the team.
Though there's a chance that they could be taken a few picks before the Knicks, I'm going to take you through the top six players the Knicks should consider taking if available when they're on the clock tomorrow night.
Kim English, SG (Missouri)
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Kim English out of Missouri is one of the purest shooters the 2012 Draft has to offer, and he's the first of quite a few potential steals the Knicks could make if things go their way.
The Knicks are a team in need of at least one more dead-eye shooter to go with Steve Novak and J.R. Smith. After shooting 45 percent beyond the arc in his senior season, English definitely brings that to the table.
But English is most certainly not a one-trick pony, as he only recently became the elite three-point shooter he is today.
Outside of shooting, English is known primarily for his intelligence and decision-making, which will help him big-time when it comes to adjusting to the NBA.
English also plays pretty good defence, and on the whole has the makings of a solid NBA two-guard, even if he'll primarily be utilized as a shooter.
The likelihood is that English will still be around for the Knicks to take at 48, but there's a small chance he could be taken a little sooner by a team like the Pistons, who may want to replace the outside shooting they lost after trading away Ben Gordon to the Charlotte Bobcats.
Drew Gordon, PF (New Mexico)
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New Mexico forward Drew Gordon is a player who'll probably be selected in the earlier portion of the second round, but there's still a chance he could eventually drop to the Knicks.
And if Gordon does fall that far, the Knicks will have to seriously consider making him their sole selection from this year's draft.
Despite standing at only 6'9", Gordon is ready to be an effective rebounder in the NBA—something which current back-up forwards Jared Jeffries and Steve Novak struggle at.
Adding Gordon would go a long way to helping solve the bench's rebounding issues, but will also pay off in numerous other ways.
Gordon's strength and athleticism will make him an effective player on the offensive side of the floor, especially if the Knicks can pick up a point guard like Jason Kidd to join him on the bench next season.
As he develops an already solid variety of moves in the post, Gordon could eventually become more of a go-to scorer on the bench, but that shouldn't be something to count on quite as much as his defence and rebounding.
Kevin Jones, PF (West Virginia)
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If Drew Gordon falls off the board before 48, and the Knicks still want to address their need of a backup power forward, they may well take a look at West Virginia's Kevin Jones.
At 6'7", Jones may be even more under-sized than Gordon but he's just as explosive, and his 7'4" wingspan more than makes up for his lack of height when it comes to rebounding.
And when does come to offensive rebounding, Jones is one of the better players in this draft and it'd be great to consistently give sharpshooters like Steve Novak a second chance at getting the ball in the net following a miss.
As well as rebounding, Jones utilizes a nice jumper on the offensive end, which he's even succeeded with at times from three-point range.
To really summarize what Jones can bring to the Knicks, he's one of those fiery, competitive players who's able to make up for the majority of his physical disadvantages with toughness and determination.
And the fact that he can play as either a power forward or small forward doesn't hurt either.
Scott Machado, PG (Iona)
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If there's one player in the second round that the Knicks should go all-out for, it's Scott Machado of Iona.
Pure point guards are growing increasingly rare in the NBA, but in Scott Machado, the Knicks will have the perfect man to relieve Jeremy Lin off the bench.
The fact that Machado led the nation in assists last season tells you all you need to know about his style of play—he's a pass-first point guards who will make his teammates better.
And as if his passing skills weren't enough to make him worthy of a late second round pick, Machado is also a capable scorer and isn't nearly as flawed offensively as some will have you believe.
Standing at 6'1", it's probably Machado's height more than anything that will cause his drop this far into the second round. But if the rest of the league is crazy enough to let this talent fall so far, the Knicks shouldn't hesitate to snap him up.
Kostas Papanikolaou, SF (Greece)
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There have been a number of former Euroleague players who've had some success in the NBA after falling past the first round—Andres Nocioni, Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola to name but a few—and Greek small forward Kostas Papanikolaou could be the next in line.
The Olympiacos star is a well-rounded player with a multitude of skills, though there isn't one in particular he excels at.
Papanikolaou is a strong rebounder with pretty good left-handed shooting range, and if there's anywhere teams will worry about him, it's on defence.
The swingman's height, strength and toughness should help him eventually iron out any defensive issues, at which point he could become a very useful player to have in the rotation.
With Landry Fields struggling as of late, Papanikolaou may just be the Knicks new "glue guy" if taken with the 48th pick.
Maalik Wayns, PG (Villanova)
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Though Scott Machado would be my pick if the Knicks were to select a point guard in this year's draft, there's certainly a case to be made for Maalik Wayns instead.
The Villanova star is possibly the fastest player in the draft, and when you couple that with his ability to penetrate, he could be a very dangerous player in the NBA.
Even without a particularly great jump shot, Wayns should be able to score off the bench as a pro, and help his teammates do the same.
The Knicks may be more of a half-court team under Mike Woodson, but it would be interesting to see what a bench unit including Wayns, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith could cook up on the fast-break.