Knicks Rumors: NY Has 'The Hots' for Trae Young Ahead of 2018 NBA Draft

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2018

Trae Young, center, from Oklahoma, listens to a question during the interview segment at the NBA draft basketball combine Friday, May 18, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The New York Knicks used the eighth pick a year ago to select combo guard Frank Ntilikina. 

They may use the ninth pick this year to find his long-term backcourt partner.   

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported Monday that the Knicks have "the hots" for Oklahoma's Trae Young, whose father said last week that he sees his son playing in the Big Apple.

"That's what Trae lives for. He lives for that type of stuff. Just think about it: He's probably the most talked about, most publicized kid in this draft and he's been through it all," Ray Young told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. "Trae's been scrutinized to the point that he has thick skin. None of that stuff is going to bother him. He was like the darling of college basketball for three months, and then the last month-and-a-half he turned into a bad guy, for some reason.

"So for him to be in a market like New York and understand that it's all about winning—and if you don't win, there'll be some scrutiny—he's already been through it."    

Young averaged 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game during his lone season at Oklahoma, leading the nation in both categories. He garnered numerous comparisons to Stephen Curry due to their similar size and propensity for knocking down difficult off-the-dribble threes.

"I love the comparisons," Young told reporters at the draft combine. "He's a two-time MVP and a champion. I love the comparison, but I feel like I bring a lot of different things from different players, different players' games to the table. I'm just trying to be the best version of Trae Young. That's all that matters to me. I'm just getting started in this thing. Hopefully, I can achieve some of those things."

The Golden State Warriors selected Curry one spot ahead of the Knicks in the 2009 draft. The Knicks coveted Curry at the time, according to Harvey Araton of the New York Times.

The Knicks drafted Ntilikina as a point guard last summer, but they may now view him as more of a secondary ball-handler. Their moves to add Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay during the 2017-18 season signal some level of displeasure with Ntilikina's development as a full-time floor general. Ntilikina averaged 5.9 points and 3.2 assists during his first NBA season, but he shot only 36.4 percent overall.

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