The New York Knicks have certainly made things a bit interesting when it comes to their 2019 NBA Draft outlook. While they hold the No. 3 overall pick, there have been recent rumblings and conflicting opinions about what the team could opt to do with that selection.
Many analysts are sold on the Knicks selecting Duke star RJ Barrett at No. 3, but a few additional options have been put on the table. One of which is the idea of trading back and selecting either UNC’s Coby White or Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the Knicks held a private workout with White on Thursday, along with bringing Garland in for one.
Both options could be on the table if the Knicks opt to take a trade offer which moves them back in the round, especially if the deal is with the New Orleans Pelicans. And that’s where we’ll look when it comes to the final mock draft for the team.
Knicks Mock Draft: New York Trades Back & Takes Coby White
I’m not entirely sold on the Knicks selecting White over Garland, as both prospects are incredibly appealing. But as SNY’s Ian Begley reported, the team was impressed with White in his draft-day workout and they’re prepared for a potential trade down.
Along with this, there was chatter and a report from Peter Vecsey that the Pelicans are assembling assets to try to jump the Knicks into the No. 2 spot to land Barrett.
While it’s an interesting report, if the Pelicans were to trade with the Knicks, they’d surely still land Barrett as the Memphis Grizzlies appear to be locked on drafting Murray State’s Ja Morant. So, while the move would just lead to the Knicks dropping back one spot, it would allow New Orleans to pair Barrett with his former teammate in Zion Williamson.
I’d expect this trade to bring at least some sort of future first-round pick, which may or may not be protected, along with the No. 4 selection and one or two second-rounders for the Knicks. In turn, New York adds White and is able to stockpile a few more assets in the process.
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Knicks Draft Jaylen Hoard in Second Round
It’s unknown if the Knicks would pick up an additional second-rounder this year, but that could very likely be the outcome of the above trade. Regardless, we’ll go off their current selection, which is No. 55 overall pick. In this spot, I could see them targeting a talented power forward with upside such as Wake Forest’s Jaylen Hoard.
The former Demon Deacons forward stands 6-foot-8 and is just 20 years old. He played one collegiate season before heading to the NBA, averaging 13.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists on 45.8 percent shooting. He did make 50.2 percent of his attempts from inside the three-point line while showing decent upside when it comes to finding the bottom of the basket.
While Hoard’s numbers aren’t overly-incredible, he was consistent throughout the year, scoring 10-plus points in 22 of 31 games. This included a 17-point performance against the North Carolina Tar Heels, along with a 16-point, seven-rebound showing in the team’s lone ACC tournament game.