The Knicks have only begun pre-draft workouts, but a wide variety of prospects have already been seen, with an even more diverse group of players set to continuing strolling in as the weeks go on.
So far, New York has worked out potential first-round selections, some likely second-rounders, and even a handful that just may fall below the radar (like Norvel Pelle, pictured above), and go undrafted anyway.
With just the 24th overall selection in this month’s NBA Draft, what’s the Knicks’ motivation here?
There are plenty of reasons to be exploring any and all possibilities of improving the team, and the draft is just one way to do it. By balancing this past season’s squad with a slew of veterans on smaller (and less lucrative) contracts, the Knicks sort of put most (if not all) of their eggs in one basket. With Jason Kidd retiring and a small handful of other veterans’ contracts up, perhaps it’s time New York injects a bit of youth into its rotation.
Having fallen short in the playoffs and getting ousted by the Pacers in just the second round, a different method to finding that perfect recipe for success certainly wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
Some of the better teams in the NBA choose to balance their star power and/or group of proven players by sprinkling in promising young guns. The Heat, Spurs, Thunder, Pacers, and Rockets are all among them. Maybe it’s time the Knicks opt to do the same.
Though New York only holds one pick in this month’s draft, that doesn’t mean that acquiring further selections is not an option.
Buying and/or trading for a second round pick or two isn’t a bad idea. The Knicks have found success inserting certain players selected later in the draft into their rotation in recent years.
Of course, Landry Fields emerged as the Knicks’ starting two-guard in 2010 after being drafted in the second round. The following season, Josh Harrellson went on to serve as a spot-rotation player, and even filled in nicely for the injured Amar’e Stoudemire
Also drafted with Fields, second-round draft choice Jerome Jordan spent a year overseas before coming over for the 2011-12 season. Though he didn’t play much, the big man managed to stay on the team the whole season, as Knicks’ officials saw promise in him. They still like Jordan so much so, that he’ll be rejoining the team for the third straight year in Summer League next month.
Looking at their success in the past, it makes sense that the Knicks wouldn’t mind filling out and ultimately putting the final touches on next season’s rotation by adding a promising second-rounder or two.
Should they still be set on adding more veterans, New York can also always opt to bring a few young guns into training camp, only to waive them and maintain their D-League rights. In this case, at least the Knicks could keep a closer eye on some of the more intriguing prospects in case those NBA players with older legs burn out too early in the season.