Things are slowly taking shape at Madison Square Garden as the New York Knicks introduced new head coach David Fizdale to the city’s media on Tuesday morning.
While he stressed rebuilding the culture of winning with an organization that has been a doormat of the NBA for much of the past 20 years and working with Kristaps Porzingis, team president Steve Mills offered a glimpse of what the team might do at the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft.
“We need talent,” Mills said on MSG Networks. “We need athletic players and the [draft] position will determine who we pick but in an ideal world, we’d like to get a wing player.”
To translate Mills’ comments, he wants to find Carmelo Anthony’s replacement at the small forward as a talent that can create offense from almost anywhere on the floor.
Finishing 29-53 last season, the Knicks have just a 6.2-percent chance to jump into the top-three picks of the draft. They’ll likely pick toward the lower end of the top 10, around eighth or ninth.
However, a deeper draft class will provide the Knicks with an opportunity to address the need with some top-level talent.
Here is who could be available for them:
Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova
At 6-foot-7, Bridges provides premier length and athleticism on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Over his three years at Villanova, he’s developed into one of the best perimeter defenders in the nation to one that brings a dangerous offensive game from beyond the arc to boot. It’s made him one of the most attractive two-way players in this year’s draft class and likely one of the Knicks’ top prospects to watch.
Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State
While Miles is an inch shorter than Mikal, he brings a much more explosive game. The Michigan State product can jump out of the gym with highlight-reel-worthy dunks and brings an aggressive style of play to every possession. The problem is that Bridges’ size is working against him as he likely can’t be a starting power forward in the NBA. That means he needs to vastly improve his perimeter offense in order to lay the foundation for a successful NBA career as a small forward.
Michael Porter, SF, Missouri
If the Knicks find a bit of luck at the NBA Draft Lottery and shoot up the board into the top three, Missouri’s Michael Porter could very well become a legitimate target. Porter was considered the can’t-miss prospect entering his freshman year at Mizzou last season, but injuries robbed him of most of his time there even though it did little to hurt his draft stock. This is an elite athlete and shooter in a 6-foot-10 frame.