New York Knicks Working Out Justise Winslow Monday


The New York Knicks will be hosting Justise Winslow of Duke for a workout on Monday. The versatile forward would fill a big hole on the Knicks roster, but is someone draft pundits believe would be a stretch at No.4. The Knicks have always went to the beat of their own drum, so if Winslow is a player that they really like and believe can help them out, he will be their pick later on in the month.

With the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks have a chance to draft an extraordinary player. This will be an important pick for the Knicks, as it is the first chance this offseason to add a player to the roster to help turn around the organization. There will be plenty of options for the Knicks at that spot, so it is important they do their due diligence and make a selection that will not only help immediately, but in the years to come.

One of the players that are supposedly in the discussion for the Knicks with the fourth overall pick is Duke forward Justise Winslow. The Knicks will be hosting Winslow for an individual workout Monday afternoon, as they will get to see him firsthand and if he fits into what they are looking for. The workout was confirmed by a league source according to ESPN New York.

When the Knicks fell to the fourth pick in the NBA Draft lottery last month, many people, including GM Steve Mills, were upset with how things turned out. But, according to Chad Ford, it may not have been the worst thing as he reported that the Knicks were big fans of the versatile Duke forward. Landing at four would make it more palatable to select him.

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Even selecting him that high would go against what seems to be conventional wisdom, as Winslow is an expected lottery pick but top-five seems to be a bit of a stretch according to some people. If the board goes as expected, with Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell going one, two and three, Emmanual Mudiay is thought to be the next best player. Those seem to be the four getting the most consideration for the top pick, so the Knicks passing on any of them in favor of Winslow would be thought of as a surprise.

But, what Winslow does bring to the table that none of those four players does is the immediate impact he could make on the defensive end. Towns is thought of as a solid defender right now, but as a rim protector he wouldn’t be out on the perimeter, where the Knicks struggled most.

Last season the Knicks finished 28th in defensive efficiency and 30th in opponent three-point shooting percentage. If they select Winslow, those numbers will undoubtedly improve. Standing 6-feet-7 inches tall with a 6-feet-10 inch wingspan, Winslow has the size to defend multiple positions. His lateral quickness is looked at as his best strength right now, which would help the Knicks when defending the pick-and-roll, another area they struggled in last season.

Apr 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Justise Winslow (12) celebrates after scoring against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second half in the 2015 NCAA Men

Selecting Winslow would also technically improve the Knicks at two positions. He is looked at as a small forward in the NBA, which would mean Carmelo Anthony is moved over to the power forward. As recent history suggests, the Knicks are a much better team with Anthony at the four compared to the three. Last season the Knicks struggled mightily, but information at shows that the Knicks were 13 points better when Anthony played power forward compared to playing small forward.

Winslow would also take the pressure off of Anthony defensively, as he would more than likely get the assignment of guarding forwards on the perimeter, allowing Anthony to defend power forwards and not chasing quicker players around.

While Winslow obviously has qualities that the Knicks like, it is still very early in the process. While sources are saying the Knicks are high on him now, everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt as agents and teams send out smokescreens trying to influence the draft in a way that would benefit them. The Knicks could very well like Winslow and have him near the top of their board, but until the picks are made June 25th, nothing is set in stone.

Next: Who is the best Knicks PG of all-time?

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