The New York Knicks, the worst team in the NBA last season, are obviously disappointed with getting just the number 4 pick in the 2015 draft via the lottery. But that doesn’t mean they’ll trade the pick. Not with two very talented point guards in D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay available.
The top 4 of the next draft is pretty much set. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor will go 1-2, while Russell, coming out of Ohio State, and Mudiay, born in DR Congo but grew up in the United States since the age of 5 and was a high school star in Dallas. While originally committing to play for SMU, he eventually chose to play his basketball in China instead of college.
So the Timberwolves (#1) and Lakers (#2) will take the two big men. Then come the Philadelphia 76ers. Two years of abysmal tanking, and the Sixers still don’t have that number one pick they want so much. What are they going to do with the third overall in this one? Sam Hinkie can’t keep hoarding second round picks forever. At some point, his bosses would like to see wins and good players sticking around.
The Knicks might be in the same situation, although their tanking is a lot more recent. They are paying Phil Jackson $10 million a season, and that means they’re probably not going to be comfortable with someone taking his time, which means two or three years of piling draft picks while Carmelo Anthony is wasting away. Can they get proven talent to move them forward for the fourth overall pick?
That’s probably the first course of action they’ll pursue. Afterwards? Take a look at who is left, be it Russell or Mudiay and make their choice. There’s not a position the Knicks don’t need improving at, be it in the starting lineup (except for Anthony) and their depth, which means it’s a matter of taking the best possible player and not thinking about a specific need they have. They need everything.
Both players might become stars. Russell is the better shooter, Mudiay is probably a bit more mature in his basketball and thrives on attacking the basket. They can’t go wrong either way considering what they have. Mudiay is probably the better defender as well, and considering how poor the Knicks are in stopping teams, something the Sixers did pretty well last season, he might be a better fit in New York.