There have been great NBA players who started as second round picks. The New York Knicks better find one in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Carlos Boozer, Manu Ginobili and Draymond Green all began as second round picks in their respective draft classes. The New York Knicks better know the list of successful second round picks does not stop with these three players. Each team that drafted them did not see what they would eventually become. If they had, all of these players would have been given a first round grade.
Correctly grading a player outside the top 15 becomes increasingly more difficult. While there is more tape than ever before on players from smaller schools, it doesn’t make things easier for scouts. More film to comb through increases the chances of talent falling through the cracks.
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When the second round begins in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft, Phil Jackson will have two picks. Picks No. 45 and 58 belong to the Knicks and could end up being trade bait on draft night. However, as of now they own the picks and are preparing as such. This is a talent-rich draft and if the Knicks don’t screw it up, they have a chance to find real talent in round 2.
Players like Sindarius Thornwell, who are accomplished but unproven, will fill up the second round of the draft. Thornwell will most likely be off the board when the Knicks pick, but plenty of talent will remain. Who should Phil Jackson and the Knicks choose in the second round?
Wesley Iwundu – Kansas State
Draft Express has Iwundu slotted to go to the Knicks but that isn’t the only reason to consider him. He has the size (6’7″) to play both shooting guard and small forward with plenty of experience to go with that size.
Iwundu was productive across the board in scoring, rebounds and assists while playing in a major conference. 6’4″ shooting guards are plentiful in the NBA, but 6’7″ shooting guards who can fill up a stat sheet are not.
Assuming a trade of Carmelo Anthony, the drafting of a prospect to fill the swing position is paramount. Consequently, Draft Express also has the Knicks choosing a wing player with their last draft pick as well.
Sterling Brown – SMU
Sterling Brown played for a succesful SMU team and had the potential to make a deep NCAA Tournament run. Even though the team didn’t meet expectations, Brown was a steady force all season.
Overall, Brown is almost the same exact player as Iwundu with more beef. He weighs 20 pounds more and is almost an inch shorter. Either way, having both players competing for a spot in the summer would only make them both better.
The combination of Iwundu and Brown would benefit the players and the organization. Competition brings out the best in athletes and coaches alike. There is also a chance that one or both players jump up the draft board and are gone. Who else should the Knicks set their alarm for?
Josh Hart – Villanova
Hart is a national champion who can score from the outside with most anyone in the draft. At age 22, Hart would be close to NBA ready while still needing some work. His experience and shooting ability would be exciting for the Knicks, even with a low ceiling.
Nigel Hayes- Wisconsin
Once he’s in the NBA, Hayes can’t pull the same baseline spin moves he used in college. Yet, he has a nose for scoring and can be a beast rebounding the ball. Too small to be a power forward and not agile enough to be a small forward, Hayes may be just right for the Knicks.
Most of the players chosen in round 2 of the draft will be nominal NBA players. However, if a team does its homework and takes a calculated risk, the payoff can be enormous. The New York Knicks need talented assets, no matter how they fit with the team. When the 2017 NBA Draft is over, the Knicks should have a stable of talented players for their present and future.