NBA Draft 2013: Players the New York Knicks Should Target in the 1st Round

Chris ImperialeCorrespondent IMay 23, 2013

NBA Draft 2013: Players the New York Knicks Should Target in the 1st Round

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    The New York Knicks’ season is over and it’s now time to focus on the 2013 NBA draft. 

    The Knicks had one of their best seasons in several years, winning the Atlantic Division and reaching the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals. However, the year ended on a sour note in a loss to the Indiana Pacers in six games.

    Expectations will always be high in the Big Apple. In order for the Knicks to take the next step toward winning an NBA title, they’ll need to upgrade their roster through the draft.

    New York has the No. 24 selection and should be targeting only a few positions. Center and point guard are the biggest needs and the areas the Knicks should address with their first-round pick.

Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

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    Although the Knicks are set at starting center with Tyson Chandler, they absolutely need to add depth to that position in the draft. 

    The 30-year-old Chandler still has a few good years in him, but the rest of the Knicks frontcourt doesn’t.  Marcus Camby is 39 and Kenyon Martin is 35.

    Dieng isn’t the most polished offensive player, but the youngster from Senegal is a force defensively and on the boards.

    If he’s available when the Knicks are on the clock, he would be a steal. 

Shane Larkin, PG, Miami

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    The other position of need for New York is point guard. Raymond Felton had a fantastic year in 2013, but the depth behind him is very old.

    Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni were great in backup roles, but both are nearing the end of their careers.

    Larkin was an absolute playmaker at Miami. In his sophomore year, he averaged more than 14 points, four rebounds and four assists.

    Larkin had a very impressive showing at the NBA combine, so he’s another guy that may not reach the Knicks. However, if he’s around, New York should jump on the opportunity to add another potential star.  

Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

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    Another center the Knicks should be targeting is Pittsburgh’s Steven Adams. 

    Similar to Dieng, Adams isn’t the best offensive weapon in the paint. However, with the Knicks' roster as it is, they wouldn’t need him to score.

    The seven-footer is another player that turned heads at the combine. According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, Adams “showed off some terrific athleticism and toughness on the defensive end” while showing good touch on his jumper.

    Grabbing a guy like Adams would really solidify the Knicks’ frontcourt for years.

Lorenzo Brown, PG, North Carolina State

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    In Pete Schauer’s latest mock draft, he has the Knicks selecting North Carolina State’s Lorenzo Brown.

    Brown would be a great pickup for the Knicks to add both size and depth at a very important position. 

    Brown is a much bigger option than Raymond Felton and would be the perfect type of unselfish facilitator in the Knicks offense. Last season, Brown averaged more than seven assists, nearly two more than Felton per game.

Jeff Withey, C, Kansas

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    Jeff Withey is another center that would fit the Knicks’ needs down low.

    He doesn’t score too often, but with Carmelo Anthony on the team that’s not a concern.

    Withey does however play fantastic defense and knows how to control the inside. Last year for Kansas, he averaged more than eight rebounds and nearly four blocks.

    He would be a perfect fit to come off the bench and eventually take Chandler’s spot.