New York Knicks: Evaluating which NBA Draft prospect fits best with New York

New York Knicks. Zion (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
New York Knicks. Zion (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

With the opportunity to draft one of this year’s top prospects, the New York Knicks have a chance to select a franchise-altering player. This pick could finally turn the tide for the struggling franchise.

After years of mediocrity, the New York Knicks have finally committed to tanking, and actually have young pieces to build around. With a chance at the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, there are a few prospects that have the ability to become all-star-caliber players with New York.

Let’s take a look at 3 of this year’s best college basketball prospects and how they could fit in with the Knicks.

Zion Williamson – Forward, Duke

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It’s no secret that Zion Williamson is college basketball’s shining star. The Duke forward is a walking highlight tape and has the frame and skillset to dominate at the next level. Zion averaged 22.2 PPG, 8.7 rebounds and 2 assists for a stacked Blue Devils team. Even with other stars around  him, Zion finds a way to put on a show each time he takes the court.

Williamson would have no trouble fitting in David Fizdale’s system and could play at either the 3 or 4, alternating roles with Kevin Knox. The main concern for Zion, who stands at 6’7″, is the size he gives up when playing the 4. However, at 280-plus pounds, I challenge anybody to take him to the post with continued success.

Oh, did I also mention that he is an athletic freak?

RJ Barrett – Forward, Duke 

As good and game-altering at Zion is, he may not even be Duke’s best player. RJ Barrett possesses everything his Duke teammate has in a slimmer, NBA-prototypical frame. Barrett led his team in scoring with 23 PPG and added 7.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists. While Barrett doesn’t garner the same amount of attention as Zion, he is truly the complete package on the basketball court. The “Canadian Kobe” had the most points by a Freshman in ACC history and could still end up as the draft’s best player.

As an efficient scorer and capable ball-handler, Barrett can play every position from the 2 to the 4. The Knicks could play around with him and find out which position he finds the most comfort in, though he can thrive nearly anywhere on the court. As the primary scorer, which the Knicks desperately need, Barrett would have the chance to be an immediate contributor.

Ja Morant – Guard, Murray State 

A Russell Westbrook-type game with a more polished shooting form, Ja Morant is everything you want in an NBA point guard. The Sophomore averaged 24.5 points and 10 assists for the surprising Murray State squad. Morant joined elite company when he became just the eighth player in college basketball history to score a triple-double in an NCAA tournament game.

What can he bring to the Knicks? Well, Morant can pull up from anywhere on the floor and take it to the basket as good as any player in this draft. He also doesn’t give up much size at 6’3″ and has the ability to perform highlight-reel plays at any moment.

The Knicks have been searching for a franchise point guard for years, and Morant is exactly that. Even with a multitude of point guards in Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay already on the roster, the Knicks would have to at least consider taking Morant in the draft.

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The Knicks have all but locked up a top-3 draft selection, barring any sudden winning streak or lottery mishap – which could certainly happen knowing this franchise. But if they do earn a top-pick, even the Knicks can’t botch this year’s draft full of top-level talent.