Even without a draft selection, that did not stop the New York Knicks from inviting unheralded prospect Justin Powell of Washington State University to a pre-draft workout.
It is not clear if it was an individual or a group workout.
The Knicks have traded all their picks for this year’s draft in previous transactions — the 23rd pick in the Josh Hart deal at the last February trade deadline and the 53rd pick in the Jalen Duren Draft Day trade last year — and failed to get the Dallas Mavericks‘ top-10 protected pick after it stayed at No. 10.
They could trade, buy a pick, or sign an undrafted player as a free agent to round up their roster that lacks shooting.
The 22-year-old Powell projects to have shooting as his main strength.
The 6-foot-6 Powell, a journeyman in college, shot 42.6% (78-of-183) from the three-point zone in his lone season at Washington after his transfer from Tennessee. He played his freshman year at Auburn. He never shot below 38% from the outside in three years in college.
Powell was the Cougars’ starting point guard this past season, averaging 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists while turning it over less than once per game. He started every game for the Cougars and was the only player to start all 34 games. He is also one of only two Cougars to appear in every game, per 247sports.com.
As a freshman at Auburn, he posted his best collegiate numbers — 11.7 points 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 0.9 steals while shooting 44.2% from deep in 10 games.
He was expected to return to WSU for his senior year, but he pulled the stunning decision to stay in the draft after receiving positive feedback from NBA teams during the pre-draft process, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
Powell’s name can’t be found in any mock drafts, but he has already worked out with plenty of NBA teams, according to Forbes’ Adam Zagoria. Aside from the Knicks, Powell has also visited Dallas, Oklahoma City, Golden State, Utah and Boston. He is scheduled to visit Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta in the days leading to the NBA Draft on June 22.
Knicks Eye to Get Back Alec Burks
A rival general manager believes the Knicks would like to re-acquire Alec Burks, who they shipped to Detroit in a Draft Night deal to free up the necessary cap room to sign Jalen Brunson last summer.
“They could try to bring back Alec Burks,” an Eastern Conference general manager told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney. “I’d expect the [Detroit] Pistons to exercise his [team] option and keep him, but they could do that and just trade him and get some pieces back. The Knicks would like to have him again.”
Burks has a $10.5 million team option for next season.
Knicks Will Try to Lowball Immanuel Quickley
After taking a major leap in his third season, where he became a Sixth Man of the Year runner-up, Immanuel Quickley is due for a massive extension. But with the Knicks’ payroll rising starting next season, with close to $100 million in salaries committed to starters Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, it will be hard to justify a six-figure deal for Quickley.
“They will try to lowball [Quickley] in an extension,” an Eastern Conference GM told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney. “Nothing against the Knicks in saying that, just that is what the protocol is. Every team does it.”
“You know, four years and $50 million, hope he goes for it. Would they come up from that? Maybe. But I know that whatever talks there were about trading him back in November, that is gone,” the NBA GM added.
The Knicks could delay Quickley’s extension and make him a restricted free agent after next season for the right to match any offer he would receive from other teams.