2011 NBA Draft: 8 Potential Picks That Could Benefit the New York Knicks
The New York Knicks finished the 2010-2011 season with a regular season record of 42-40, the best since their 48-34 finish in the 2000-2001 season. Even after a decade of losing and frustration, the winning record and playoff birth was not good enough for the Blue and Orange faithful.
After rearranging the whole roster to bring in stars Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, Knicks fans had one thing on their mind; championship.
Unfortunately for those fans, the Boston Celtics had other plans. The Celtics trounced the Knicks and sent them home after just four games in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, leaving the city of New York frustrated and disappointed.
Now as June rolls around, the big question for the Knickerbockers is, whom will they select with the 17th overall pick in the NBA Draft?
Here are eight players the Knicks could draft to help them reach that next step.
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After a solid season with the Jayhawks, Markieff decided to forego his senior season and enter the NBA Draft.
His numbers increased steadily throughout his college career, finishing his junior season averaging 13.6 PPG and 8.3 RPG.
Morris is a double threat on offense, dangerous around the rim and an efficient outside scorer, perfect for the run and gun Knick offense.
On the other side of the ball, Morris is an above average defender who can fill some major needs for the Knicks. A team that lacks a real defensive/rebounding presence could really use a spark like Markieff.
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Shelvin Mack is one of those guys who seems like he has been around forever. That might have to do with the fact that he has played in the past two NCAA Championship games. Although they failed to win, Mack was a major factor in bringing the underdog Bulldogs to the finals both years.
He possesses a quality that most players crave, leadership.
He could be the perfect replacement for the aging Chauncey Billups, a veteran leader who can score and distribute the ball.
Though he may not be needed right away, Mack is an offensively gifted player who could be developed into a great fit for the Knicks.
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Morris is a very aggressive point guard who knows how to take it to the hoop. Standing at 6’4", he is a tough matchup for many point guards in the NBA.
He can run a half-court or fast break offense, leading the Big Ten with 6.7 APG in his sophomore season.
Morris could also be a solid replacement for Billups, a true point guard with a great basketball IQ and is only getting better.
He is certainly on the Knicks radar, and Knicks fans shouldn’t be surprised if they hear his named called later this month.
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Chris Singleton could provide help where help is needed most; defense.
His size, athleticism, and defensive instincts make him one of the top defenders available in this year’s draft.
On top of his defense, Singleton is an aggressive rebounder on both sides of the ball and is a versatile scorer.
He may never win a scoring title, but his leaping ability and developing jump shot make him a good fit for the Knicks up-tempo offense.
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Faried moved his draft status up enormously with his performance in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. In his two games, he averaged 11.5 PPG and 15.0 RPG, while leading his team to upset the No. 4 seeded Louisville Cardinals. These are fairly normal numbers for the former Morehead State Eagle, who averaged 17.3 PPG and 14.5 RPG, in his final season with the team.
If there’s one thing Knicks fans should know about Faried, it’s that he eats glass. As the nations leading rebounder, he grabbed double-digit rebounds in all but 4 of his games last season; he is a proven rebounder, which the Knicks could really use.
Faried is also a very solid defender, leading the Ohio Valley Conference in blocks with 2.3 BPG, and averaged 1.9 SPG.
Faried, or the “manimal”, could help the Knicks in some much-needed areas, and Knick fans should be happy if his name is called later on this month.
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Honeycutt comes from a UCLA program that is proven to produce solid NBA players.
A wingman with excellent athletic skill, he can defend multiple positions and cause a lot of problems for opponents. His 6’9” wingspan makes him a threat to block some shots and grab some steals, not to mention snatch a few rebounds as well.
On the offensive side of the ball, Honeycutt could mesh well with superstars Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony because of his unselfish play. He is an exceptional passer for his size, and has the ability to run the floor and set up the open man. He does a good job of setting himself up for shots, and he isn't afraid to shoot the three ball.
Expect Honeycutt to be a hot commodity in this month's draft.
In a draft that is lacking true centers, Bismack Biyombo is high on a lot of teams’ lists.
Standing at 6’9”, Biyombo is an above average shot blocker and is tough around the rim. He could provide Amar’e Stoudemire with some much-needed defensive help in the paint.
His offensive game is a work in progress, but if drafted by the Knicks, his services would be used more on the defensive side of the ball. He has the potential to be a respectable offensive player, but could take some time to develop.
Biyombo could be drafted in a number of different places, but don’t be shocked if he is taken 17th overall by the Knicks.
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Averaging 20.5 PPG in his sophomore season, Burks led the Big 12 in scoring.
An exceptional ball handler with great scoring instincts, Burks could make an immediate impact on the NBA level.
If the Knicks were to draft him at No. 17, they would be getting an explosive scorer who can also distribute the basketball. He does an excellent job of getting to the free throw line, and excels in fast break situations.
He can hold his own defensively, but his defensive game should improve over time.
Burks could be a great compliment to Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, and has the potential to be the third piece to the “Big 3.”