Star Wing Takes Massive Leap to Top of Knicks Draft Options

AJ Griffin of Duke, who has been linked to the New York Knicks.

Getty AJ Griffin of Duke, who has been linked to the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks hold the 11th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. There have been some rumors that they could look to move the pick in an attempt to move up in the draft (or out of it entirely), but as of now, they still hold the selection.

While this year’s draft class isn’t projected to be as talented as last year’s, there are still some solid options. There’s a very clear top three – Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero – but outside of that, anything can happen.

Recent draft odds have been released regarding who the Knicks are most likely to select. On Tuesday, June 21, Purdue point guard Jaden Ivey topped the list. But just one day later on Wednesday, June 22, the odds shifted immensely. Now, Duke wing AJ Griffin sits atop the rankings. On Tuesday, he was listed at +700 to be the Knicks’ first pick, and now, his odds are at +450.

Other names on the list, according to OddsChecker, include Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis, Ohio State guard Malaki Branham, Ivey, Memphis big man Jalen Duren, guard Shaedon Sharpe, and Kentucky guard TyTy Washington Jr.

In an interview with the New York Post, Griffin shared his basketball dreams and what made him want to pursue the sport as a young kid.


Griffin Explains Basketball Dreams

The Duke wing is the son of nine-year NBA veteran Adrian Griffin, who is now an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors. AJ Griffin told Zach Braziller of the New York Post that sitting courtside and traveling with his dad sparked his dreams of playing in the league.

“Going to the games you see the behind the scenes stuff,” Griffin said. “Just getting to see it early made my dream come alive. Being surrounded by basketball as your whole childhood it’s hard not to fall in love with basketball.”

In his one season at Duke, Griffin averaged 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists on 49.3% shooting from the field and 44.7% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has Griffin listed at 10th on his 2022 NBA Draft Big Board, listing his perimeter shooting and ball-handling as his best attributes.


Griffin Strengths and Weaknesses

O’Connor explains that Griffin’s silky three-point shot is one of his biggest strengths, as is his creative ball-handling. He also lists Griffin’s defensive potential as a strength, noting the wing’s “tough mindset and impressive measurables.”

As far as Griffin’s biggest weakness, O’Connor mentions the injury issues that have plagued him since high school as a primary reason teams could be cautious on draft night.

“Knee and ankle injuries have plagued Griffin’s young career. The medical reports that teams receive will be key in determining his final draft positioning,” O’Connor noted.

When listing NBA comparisons, O’Connor mentioned Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown and Indiana Pacers forward TJ Warren. Adding another wing of that caliber alongside RJ Barrett would certainly help the Knicks.

As of now, betting sites believe that the Knicks will make Griffin their first selection on draft night. But if New York decides to make a splash, that could all change in a heartbeat.

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