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Austin Daye Could Be Knick Pick: Why NY Should Draft the Gonzaga Forward

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 28:  Head coach Mike D'Antoni of the New York Knicks argues a call during their game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 28, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IJune 3, 2009

Austin Daye did not have an impressive draft camp last week, testing as one of the least athletic players.

The Gonzaga forward could not lift the 185-bench press once, and his vertical was tied for last at 28 inches. He also finished last in a three-quarter court sprint. However, his wingspan and reach were the third best at the combine.

His weak results are very surprising for such a promising player. Even with such a poor camp, he still could be picked in the lottery.

Daye is a versatile player who can defend and score from anywhere on the court. As a sophomore, he averaged 12.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks, and shot 43 percent from three.

Daye blocked at least two shots in 20 of his 34 games. The New York Knicks have been last in the NBA in blocked shots the past two seasons.

Daye (pictured above) is built similarly to Golden State Warriors forward Anthony Randolph who was taken 14th overall in last year’s NBA Draft. Coming out of LSU, Randolph was compared to Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince and Lakers forward Lamar Odom. Randolph at his camp measured in at  6'10" (in sneakers), 197 pounds, with a 7'3" wingspan.

With more playing time in March and April, the rookie averaged 12 points, nine rebounds, and 1.45 blocks in 23 games. He also gained about 14 pounds during the season.

Daye is 6'10" in sneakers and weighed in at 192 pounds with a 7'2.75″wingspan. He has the physical tools to be a lottery pick like Randolph, but needs to bulk up if he wants to succeed at the pro level.

If teams pass up on Daye because of his poor camp, the Knicks should be interested if they acquire another pick in the first round. Pairing Daye with last year’s rookie Danilo Gallinari would provide the frontcourt with length and long-range shooting.

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