New York Knicks and Willie Cauley-Stein Draft Scenario


The New York Knicks enter the NBA Draft Thursday with needs at every position. In addition to positional needs, they also have a need for any tall person who can play defense. New York can fill both these needs if they select Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein in the draft.

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Notice how I did not say New York should select him with the fourth pick. New York should not select Cauley-Stein with the fourth pick. His value is not worthy of a a top five pick. However, it is worth a top 10 pick.

The only way Cauley-Stein winds up in a New York uniform is if they trade down a few spots, and draft him there. New York has been rumored to be in play for Detroit Pistons’ power forward Greg Monroe, which would be a huge pick up for the Knicks. If this is the case, grabbing Cauley-Stein solidifies the front court, and gives you a dependable defensive-skilled player for the future. New York has notoriously struggled defensively, ranking 22nd in the league in opponents point per game last season, according to Cauley-Stein can solve this problem.

New York has a lot of different options with the number four pick. They can keep it and have their pick of either D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay (whoever the Philadelphia 76ers don’t draft, Justise Winslow, or Kristaps Porzingis. New York’s other option, is to trade the pick down, to the Sacramento Kings or Denver Nuggets.

Assuming DeMarcus Cousins is dealt, Sacramento will want to reload with a big man, and Cauley-Stein could potentially be there guy. Denver, assuming Kenneth Faried stays, would love to pair him with the defensive-minded forward as well.

And, of course, New York could pick him at four, but his value isn’t high enough to be regarded as a fourth pick. Who knows what Phil Jackson has up his sleeve, but if he plans to sign or trade for a superstar guard, trading down a few spots for Cauley-Stein is an intriguing move.

If New York negotiates with Sacramento, Nik Stauskas is a name that you may see come up, in addition to Ben McLemore or Ray McCallum, one of the two. Sacramento is a bit guard heavy so they will look to unload a few if a team wants to trade with them.

If the Knicks trade with Denver, could we see a potential reunion between New York and the likes of Wilson Chandler or Danilo Gallinari? Its an interesting idea.

At the end of it, New York’s roster just got a lot better. Monroe at the five, Cauley-Stein at the four, Carmelo Anthony three, and whoever Jackson decides to go out an get during free agency. Thats a completely 360 degree turn from the starting five the Knicks put out in their season finale a few months ago. That starting five, by the way, when New York lost to the Pistons 112-90, was Langston Galloway, Tim Hardaway Jr., Lance Thomas, Jason Smith, and Cole Aldrich. I hope Knick fans never see that starting lineup again.

Next: Who do the Knicks take in our complete NBA Mock Draft?

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