The New York Knicks walked into the 2021 NBA Draft with two first-round picks, four picks total, and multiple roster needs coming off of the 2020-2021 season.
And they walk out of it with three guards, one a draft-and-stash, and a big man.
The Knicks got their night started by, well, not starting. New York traded the 19th overall pick to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a 2022 first-round pick.
But it’s how they followed up their first surprise of the night that really shocked the fanbase.
When the Knicks were back up to draft, on the clock at 21st overall, they didn’t trade out, but they traded back.
In return for the pick, they received the 25th pick in the draft, as well as a future second-round pick in 2024.
New York took Houston product, Quentin Grimes, there, queuing up another anticipated pick at 32nd overall.
But again, Leon Rose and company “kicked the can down the road,” making a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And that was the last of their dealings for the night of the 2021 NBA Draft.
They still walked away with who a number of scouts would argue is one of the more NBA-ready products in this class.
With the 36th Pick in the 2021 NBA Draft…
The New York Knicks selected point guard Miles McBride with the 36th pick, out of West Virginia University.
He averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game last season with the Mountaineers.
As Marc Berman of the New York Post noted, McBride is a prospect the New York brass would have been happy taking with either of their first-round picks.
But as the draft went on, and players started to slip, they gambled on him being available in the second round.
You could say it paid off. And you can rest assured the Knicks head coach is happy.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported some days ago that Tom Thibodeau was eyeing McBride:
According to one league source, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was pushing for West Virginia sophomore point guard Miles McBride, who has been projected in some mocks as an early second-round or late first-round pick. It’s unclear at which slot Thibodeau would prefer to select McBride — No. 19 or 21 in the first round, or No. 32 early in the second round — but the 20-year-old impressed him in his Knicks workout.
It sure sounds like, Quentin Grimes included, the New York Knicks got their man (men) in Thursday’s draft.
McBride: “I Have A Winning DNA”
Both of the New York Knicks’ first-round picks, Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes, spoke with the media on Friday.
The two guards both went through the motions, per se, but the former of the two made some inspiring comments.
When asked about his focus going into his first season, McBride reaffirmed (via Newsday) it would be his defense:
Definitely think my defense is going to get me on the floor the fastest. Obviously there are facets of my offensive game that can continue to improve. I think my offensive game is one of the best in the draft and as a rookie but obviously it’s a whole other level coming into the NBA. So I think defense and playing with instincts is going to help me the most.
New York was one of the best defensive teams in the entire NBA last season, arguably top-five by every metric.
But it wasn’t enough to hold off Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks offense in their first-round playoff series.
McBride was asked directly about the All-Star point guard, and made a comment that should impress fans:
Trae is a three-level scorer. He can shoot deep range balls and coming off the pick and roll he’s hard to stay attached. So just being able to put my skills up against his, I’m looking forward to that challenge.
It’s important for the New York Knicks to not forget the sour ending to their storybook season when looking back.
And it doesn’t look like Miles McBride is ready to let them.