The NBA Draft is rapidly approaching, and on June 25th NY hoops fans will have a better idea of what their uncertain future will look like when the Knicks select 8th overall. From all the best indicators, the Knicks have boiled down their options to just four candidates. Donnie Walsh is a crafty individual, so there is always the chance of trading up for Rubio or Thabeet, but for the purposes of this preview (and realism) we will take a look at how he might spend pick number 8.
Stephen Curry - PG - Davidson
6-3, 181 | Age: 21
I believe The Knicks’ most desired scenario is to see Curry fall to them at number 8. It has been widely reported that Curry has gushed about the potential opportunity to play for the Knicks, and he has even stated that he read Mike D’Antoni’s book “Seven Seconds or Less”. The 6′3″ Curry would be a great fit in D’Antoni’s uptempo offense who could use a reliable shooter. Chris Duhon did a nice job for the Knicks in the beginning of the 2008-2009 season under D’Antoni, but he broke down during the second half raising questions that he could be a true starting point guard. Adding Curry in the draft would allow him to learn under Duhon and also play off the ball when Duhon is on the floor. Curry is known to have a good feel for the game, and has an NBA pedigree in his father, Dell. He is a player that could step right in and make an impact, and continue to build the core with Gallinari and Chandler.
Jordan Hill - PF - Arizona
6-10, 232 | Age: 21
Donnie Walsh was said to be smitten with this bruising big man after his Knicks workout. If Curry is not available and Hill somehow falls to the 8th slot, Walsh would not hesitate to scoop up this talent. Hill is a strong athlete, a good rebounder and an above average shot blocker. He averaged a double-double for Arizona last season and could be the interior defensive presence the Knicks have been lacking. The NY Post has reported that the Knicks would take Hill over Curry in a heartbeat. If this is indeed true, then that means Knicks fans can wave goodbye to David Lee. I am a Lee supporter myself, but the Knicks are a franchise in transition and it is no sure thing that the Knicks will re-sign him. If the Knicks tab Hill here they will probably consider a sign-and-trade of David Lee with a team like Portland, who has been known to have some interest.
Tyreke Evans - G - Memphis
6-5, 220 | Age: 19
If and when the Knicks draft Tyreke Evans, they hope he will invoke memories of his mentor–Memphis Director of Basketball Operations and former Knickerbocker–Rod Strickland. Strickland believes Evans has what it takes to cut it in the NBA as a point guard, he even believes that “he has unlimited potential.” Evans is the biggest point guard at 6-5 and only made the transition to that position midway through his freshman year. However, that change led to Evans improving both his play and his numbers (averaged 17.1 points per game and 5.1 assists) leading his team on a 27 game winning streak. Evans seems more naturally suited to play 2-guard, but both his athleticism and defensive ability from the guard position are qualities the Knick lack sorely. He would most likely fit in as a combo guard playing off Duhon at times, with a chance to win the starting role by mid-season.
Jrue Holiday - PG - UCLA
6-4, 199 | Age: 19
Jrue Holiday has now been worked out by the Knicks twice prior to next week’s draft. Holiday was considered one of the best talents in college basketball going into last season, and didn’t do much to hurt his stock over the year. While his stats don’t wow the eye, Holiday is considered to be a dynamic player. He has an excellent motor to go along with good floor vision and sense of awareness. He is only 19 years old, and probably a work in progress. He must improve his jump shot to be a legitimate scoring threat, but no one questions his heart of his effort on the defensive end. Holiday projects as a bit of a tweener, but has a very high ceiling. If the Knicks take Holiday I wouldn’t expect to see a great amount of contribution this season, but he will most certainly start being groomed to be the franchise PG of the future.