New York Knicks draft targets likely to be older, more NBA-ready

If the New York Knicks use any of their three draft picks in the 2024 NBA Draft, they may favor a player who can help right away.

The Knicks own the 24th, 25th, and 38th picks in the draft. According to multiple reports, the Knicks are exploring trade scenarios with those picks and may only make one selection.

If they do make a pick, it would be more in line with head coach Tom Thibodeau’s philosophy to get an NBA-ready player.

While speaking on the “Knicks Film School” podcast, SNY’s Ian Begley said his guess would be that the Knicks aim for a more “seasoned” player.

“That’s been kind of the Thibs’ ethos, taking players, guys who are kind of ready to go right away. Those are the guys I think he likes,” Begley said. “I think maybe an older, more seasoned player over an 18-year-old who hasn’t played a ton in college, but has a lot of upside.”

Indeed, recent Knicks draft picks — such as Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, and Miles McBride — have all played multiple seasons in college.

Begley said on the podcast that during the Knicks’ injury-riddled second-round series vs. the Indiana Pacers, Knicks coaches came away feeling they needed to add more depth in the offseason — players who could contribute in a pinch. Begley didn’t elaborate beyond that, so the specifics are unclear, but it’s possible that Knicks coaches didn’t feel like the team’s end-of-bench players this season were ready to play.

Of course, it’s not entirely surprising that the Knicks would want a player who is ready to play right away — most teams do. That potential thinking might just limit who the Knicks target in the draft.

For instance, some mock drafts had the Knicks taking Baylor center Yves Missi. As The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie had noted, Missi is a raw, high-upside player, but someone who might take awhile to develop.

Meanwhile, the Knicks have also been linked to Virginia forward Ryan Dunn, who is considered the best defender in the draft. Dunn only played two years of college, but is considered an NBA-ready defender.

Vecenie and others have also seen Purdue center Zach Edey as a fit for the Knicks. Edey, the reigning national player of the year, is 22 and played four years of college, so he could fit the NBA-ready type that Begley referenced.

The Knicks have been active on draft day under president Leon Rose, frequently making deals to trade up and down the draft and even trading out to acquire future assets. Amid rumors that the team is exploring deals around their picks, it’s difficult to project just what the Knicks will do or who they might come away with on draft night.

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