The top 10 players Knicks could target in NBA Draft

The top 10 players Knicks could target in NBA Draft
May 16 12:26 2017 Print This Article

The worst the Knicks can do after the pingpong balls bounce Tuesday is fall back to the 10th pick. Though Phil Jackson is stressing guards and small forwards, here’s Marc Berman’s list of the top 10 best available.

1. Lonzo Ball, PG: Extraordinary UCLA playmaker, probably would be No. 1 in other mock drafts if not for his Sweet 16 dud and father’s incendiary remarks.

2. Markelle Fultz, PG: Solidly built, strong in all areas — including defense — and impressed at combine interviews with an even-keel personality. Some scouts think the 6-foot-4 guard might turn into more of a shooting guard after team failed to succeed at Washington.

3. Josh Jackson, SF/PF: Supremely athletic, high-flyer and touted as a lockdown wing defender. Knicks would need to see he can play small forward after often playing power forward at Kansas.

4. Jayson Tatum, F: Duke power forward is an excellent shotmaker with good range; he may go very high as a need pick. One scout at the combine had him No. 1 on his board.

5. De’Aaron Fox, PG: At 6-3, has great size for a point guard, is John Wall-fast, sees the floor and had his shaky outside shot improve slightly as the season went on. Bubbly personality a plus in interviews.

6. Malik Monk, SG/PG: Wide-ranging opinions on the Kentucky guard’s versatility, but consensus is he’s a potential marksman and volume scorer.

7. Frank Ntilikina, PG: Top international prospect, French league product comes off the bench and might be a project as a rookie, but the 18-year-old has size (at 6-5), outside shooting, defensive grit and a high basketball IQ. The Knicks have flown to France to see him.

8. Lauri Markkanen, PF: The 7-foot Arizona freshman who hails from Finland seems like a duplication of Kristaps Porzingis, but he averaged 15 points on 42 percent shooting from 3.

9. Dennis Smith, PG: The N. C. State point guard was sky-high on the Knicks’ board before the college season with his dynamic slashing ability, but his team struggled and he had a few lackluster outings coming off an ACL tear.

10. Justin Jackson, SF: At the combine, the Knicks met with UNC’s title-winning forward — a cerebral player with a nice shot but not as much explosiveness or upside. That’s why most mocks have him going in the early teens, but he could succeed Carmelo Anthony at the 3, is a good system fit and has arguably highest basketball IQ in lottery.

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