The New York Knicks landed the 9th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Knicks do have some team needs at shooting guard and small forward. The front office in New York has stated that the Knicks will draft the best player available come draft night regardless of their position. Here are 5 potential targets for the Knicks at number 9 and how they would fit in.
Five New York Knicks Draft Targets
1 : SG/SF Mikal Bridges
Mikal Bridges is a 6’7” 210 lb wing player from the University of Villanova. Mikal was one of the most productive players in college basketball last season. He was the leader on the Wildcats who won the National Championship. Bridges checks most of the boxes that scouts look at with his all around talent and his drive for the game. Mikal doesn’t have very many weaknesses in his game but the one that sticks out the most is his lack of ability to create for himself which he could develop at the next level. Mikal Bridges might be the most NBA ready player in this draft and with his all around game he could fit on any team in the league.
The New York Knicks have a big need for a wing player and Bridges would be the perfect candidate for that job. Bridges is your typical three-and – player who can guard multiple positions. Bridges would thrive in the Knicks organization under new head coach David Fizdale who stresses defense and ball movement. He is one of those players who doesn’t need to be the star on the team but he does what the team needs him to do night in and night out to help win games. There are many scouts and experts out there who think New York would be the perfect destination for Bridges to come in and start right away.
2 : SF/PF Miles Bridges
Miles Bridges is a 6’6” 220 lb forward out of Michigan State. Miles Bridges played out of position in college because of the need at PF that Michigan State had. Bridges is normally a SF who can play multiple positions with his freakishly athleticism. Miles was a projected lottery pick last season but decided to go back to school for another year to work on his all around game and to try to bring a trophy back to Michigan State. Miles is a high energy player who brings consistent aggression to the floor every play and every time he steps on the floor. He will bring practice the same way he plays the game which is great to have in a young kid who is willing to do whatever it takes to be the best.
Miles has worked hard over the past year on his jump shot and last season showed huge improvement with hitting shoots from all over the floor which will help him get downhill and attack where he is at his best. Bridges has the tools to be a great defender at the next level with his quick first step and his attention to detail on the defensive side of the ball. The one knock on Miles is that he played PF in college so scouts see him as a “tweener” which means he doesn’t have a true position but with his size and abilities. Miles would fit in nicely at the SF position at the next level.
Miles Bridges could be what the Knicks need at the wing with a guy who can score at any level while still having the court vision to get teammates involved. His high ceiling on the defensive end could be reached under David Fizdale and the coaching staff.
3 : PG Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton is a 6’2” 185 lb point guard from the University of Alabama. Collin was coached by Avery Johnson in college who has also played in the NBA and has also coached in the NBA. Sexton is the best on ball defender at the guard position in this draft. The Knicks do have 3 point guards on their roster already in Trey Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Frank Ntilikina. The Knicks front office has said that they will take any position in the draft if they think that one player has more potential then the players at that position on their roster.
Sexton is a player who thrives when the spotlight is on and when in New York the spotlight is always on so it would be interesting to see how he would play in New York. Sexton is also a two way player in which he loves to play defense night in and night out and his offensive game is also there with his ability to attack the rim and play through contact.
Having a player like Sexton at the point guard position who likes to press full court and take on the challenge of the opposing player will do wonders for the team who will have that same mentality. Sexton gets to the free throw line at a high rate and makes most of his free throws. The Knicks could use a point guard who brings a high level of energy on both sides of the ball night in and night out. Pairing Collin Sexton and Frank Ntilikina at the guard positions for years to come could bring a bright future in New York.
4 : SF Michael Porter Jr
Michael Porter Jr is a 6’10” 210 lb small forward from the University of Missouri. Porter is the biggest question mark in this entire draft. Michael suffered a back injury before the season started last year and missed the entire year. He came back to play a couple games in the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament before their season ended. Michael was the number one high school player coming into college last year and has a skillset which is off the charts. He is a gym rat and is one of the hardest working players you will ever come across at the high school or college level. Michael has the ability to become one of the greats in this league if he puts in the work and focuses on basketball.
Michael could eventually move over to the PF position in todays NBA because of his size and his feel for the game. Before Porter got injured he was projected to go number 1 in this draft but now with some health concerns he’s projected to fall back. The New York Knicks never imagined they would have a shot at Michael but if teams have concerns about his health then he could end up falling to number 9. Michael Porter would fit in nice in New York with a guy who can do a little bit of everything at the SF position and possibly pairing him and Kristaps at the PF and C position would be deadly. If Porter is on the board when the Knicks are on the clock then expect the Knicks to jump on him quickly.
5 : C Mohamed Bamba
Mohamed Bamba is a 7’0” 225 lb center from the University of Texas. Mohamed Bamba is the best defensive big man in this draft. Bamba has a wingspan of 7’10” which is the longest ever recorded at the NBA Combine. Mohamed Bamba is a rim protector and a rebounding machine. Bamba is also a very smart kid who had Ivy League grades and college credentials while still in high school. The one knock they keep saying about this kid is that he doesn’t care about basketball as much as the other top prospects and he doesn’t live in the gym.
Mohamed Bamba is going to come into this league and be a major factor on the defensive end from day one. The New York Knicks could be in the need for a center with Kyle O’Quinn and Enes Kanter having player options in their contract for the upcoming season. Bamba would thrive in New York next to Kristaps Porzingis with what could be the best defensive frontcourt in the league. Bamba is still raw on the offensive end but with his ability to change the game defensively. His offensive game will round into shape when at the next level due to the coaching staff and just being able to be in the gym whenever. Having Bamba work with Porzingis day in and day out could help the both of them and their chemistry. Bamba has been putting in the hours in the gym with Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett since his season ended.
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