5 Draft-Day Steals Who Can Help the NY Knicks Next Season

Adam Friedgood@AfriedgoodContributor IIIApril 26, 2012

5 Draft-Day Steals Who Can Help the NY Knicks Next Season

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    The 2012 NBA draft is shaping up to be one of the deepest draft classes in recent history, which means there will be many steals to get with late selections.  

    Numerous talented underclassmen have entered their names in this year's draft pool, like Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrence Jones, UNC’s Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall, UConn’s Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb, Kansas’ Thomas Robinson and Duke’s Austin Rivers.  

    With so many great players leaving school early this year, there will definitely be some impact players who will slip into the end of the first round or even the second round.

    Since the New York Knicks traded their first-round pick to the Houston Rockets in an attempt to clear up cap space, they will only have their second-round pick in this draft.

    Here are five players who can be draft-day steals for the Knicks and help them improve next season.

Darius Miller (Kentucky)

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    Position: Small Forward

    2011-2012 Statistics: 9.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.1 APG

    Don’t let Darius Miller’s statistics deceive you. He is an excellent scorer who can get to the basket as well as knock down three-pointers. He could have doubled his numbers had he been playing on a different team that weren’t as stacked as the national champion Kentucky Wildcats were last season.

    The Knicks have much bigger needs than a backup small forward, and Miller will most likely be off the board when the Knicks pick in the second round anyway, but if he happens to fall to them this would definitely be a huge steal for the NYK. 

Tu Holloway (Xavier)

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    Position: Point Guard

    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.1 APG

    The Knicks can really use another point guard since Jeremy Lin is injured and a free agent after the season, Baron Davis and Mike Bibby are both on their last legs, and Toney Douglas has been a complete disaster this season.

    New York native Tu Holloway would definitely bring some much-needed excitement back to the point guard position for the Knicks. He may be small, but Holloway is a lethal scorer who is also as tough as nails.

    If the Knicks could add Holloway, his play may bring back memories of another small point guard for the Knicks who turned out to be a fan favorite: Nate Robinson. 

Alex Young (IUPUI)

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    2011-2012 Statistics: 20.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.2 APG

    Since it is expected J.R. Smith will opt out of his contract at the end of the season, the Knicks will most likely need a new sixth man next year.

    The casual college basketball fan has probably never heard of him since he played for IUPUI in the Summit League, but Alex Young definitely has the ability to fill that role. He is a four-year player in college who shot over 42 percent and averaged double figures all four seasons.

    Young is also a very solid rebounder for his size, which is another area the Knicks sometimes struggle with.

Will Barton (Memphis)

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    2011-2012 Statistics: 18.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 3.0 APG

    Will Barton is another player who could step right into J.R. Smith’s role if he does in fact opt out of his contract with the Knicks.

    Barton really improved his game from his freshman to his sophomore season at Memphis and turned into the player everybody thought he could be. He is an extremely efficient scorer who shot 51 percent from the field, good for being in the top 10 in the country for all guards. He is also a great rebounder, in the top 10 in the NCAA for guards in that category as well.

    To be able to get a guy with those statistics in the second round would definitely be a steal. 

Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas)

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    Position: Point Guard

    2011-2012 Statistics: 17.3 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 4.8 APG

    As I stated before with Tu Holloway, the Knicks can really use another option at point guard for next season and Tyshawn Taylor would be a great choice. He was a four-year starter at Kansas who helped them earn a three-seed or higher in the tournament every season he was with the team.

    Taylor was usually more of a distributor, but last season he proved he was just as capable of scoring the ball as well. During his entire college career he shot at least 44 percent from the field, and the past two seasons he’s shot 38 percent from three.

    If the Knicks can grab a point guard who helped lead his team to a national championship in the second round, it will definitely be one of the steals of the draft.