But the draft exodus may go even further into the first round. Sources say that the Charlotte Bobcats (9), Milwaukee Bucks (10) and Golden State Warriors (11) are also open to moving their picks. In this case, the interest is all pretty specific. The Knicks, and a handful of other teams, are trying to get ahead of the Jazz. The target? BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.
The Knicks have been rumored to be attached to Fredette for months leading up to the draft, given that he is in fact a New York native. Having said that, the team’s most dire need may very well at center, with Chauncey Billups returning next season. Furthermore, seeing how much of a beating Amar’e Stoudemire took throughout the season on the physical end of the things, drafting a bruiser to play the five next to their star may very well be in the Knicks best interests.
If they are unable to trade up for Fredette, the Knicks seem to have a backup plan in another hometown kid: the Timberwolves’ Jonny Flynn, who starred at Syracuse. Flynn would presumedly be flipped to New York in return for Toney Douglas. With the long awaited arrival of Ricky Rubio to Minnesota, Flynn has become trade bait for the Timberwolves. Douglas, the sure-shooting combo guard, may be a better fit with Rubio finally in town. All the same, Flynn has the potential to be the more traditional point guard the Knicks have sought out to be their long-term solution at the one.
While Flynn does share the same agent as Carmelo Anthony and rumored Knicks 2012-target Chris Paul (Leon Rose), it would appear as though the arrival of Flynn would close the door on Paul.
Nevertheless, opting not to bring in another star (along with another ego) could prove to be a better route for the team after witnessing shaky team chemistry with the Heat and its “Big Three” this season. Shoring up holes and filling voids while building on their already solid foundation of STAT and Melo could ultimately bring the Knicks a championship sooner than the Heat.
Frankly, the Knicks may benefit most from drafting a big man like Kenneth Faried, who has drawn comparisons to the likes of Udonis Haslem, Jason Maxiell, and the team’s own Ronny Turiaf. Faried can take the heat, along with some bumps and bruises down low, to take some pressure off Stoudemire. The Knicks could ultimately snag a player of Faried’s caliber at their current draft spot of 17, and then subsequently swap Douglas for Flynn, who himself only happens to be 22 years old.