2012 NBA Draft: Examining the New York Knicks Drafts this Century


The struggles of the New York Knicks franchise has been well documented this century. A major part of their woes can be attributed to their poor success when it comes to the NBA Draft.

The Knicks have had 22 picks since 2000 that have produced a total of one All-Star appearance. Thirteen of those picks did or have done next to nothing (or worse) in the NBA.

With the No. 48 pick in the 2012 draft (Kostas Papanikolaou), it’s easy to say that history is not on the Knicks side, but the last two times the Knicks have been on the clock, they did pretty well by selecting Landry Fields (2010) and Iman Shumpert (2011).

Now that the draft is in the books, I thought it would be intreresting to take a look back at the Knicks drafts since 2000.

Warning: Proceed with Caution. Some of these selections may make you sick.

2000: Donnell Harvey, Florida (22nd overall); Lavor Postell, St. John’s (39th)

Who could forget the 2000 draft. Actually probably everyone because it was very forgettable. Harvey was dealt (along with John Wallace) for Erick Strickland and Postell averaged 3.2 points per game in three seasons in the Big Apple. Looking back, DeShawn Stevenson was selected right after Harvey and the Knicks passed on Michael Redd to take Postell.

2001: Michael Wright, Arizona (38th); Eric Chenowith, Kansas (42nd)

The Knicks had only a pair of second rounders in 2001, but missed on both as neither played in the NBA.

2002: Nene, Brazil (7th); Milos Vujavic, Serbia (36th)

The Knicks almost got it right with Nene in 2002, but we all know how that turned out after he, Marcus Camby and Mark Jackson were traded for Antonio McDyess and Frank Williams.

Nene has averaged 15.1 points and 8.5 rebounds and all the Knicks have to show for the first three draft classes of the decade are Postell‘s 3.2 points per game.

2003: Michael Sweetney, Georgetown (9th); Maciej Lampe, Spain (30th); Slaveko Vranes, Montenegro (39th)

To say the Knicks missed badly in 2003 would be the understatement of the decade.

2004: Trevor Ariza, UCLA (44th)

Finally a guy that turned into a decent basketball player. The only problem is that he didn’t do it in New York and was a part of the Steve Francis trade. If you are scoring at home, that’s five drafts with nothing to show for it.

2005: Channing Frye, Arizona (8th); David Lee, Florida (30th); Dijon Thompson, UCLA (54th)

It took five years for the Knicks to land a player that would contribute, but this wasn’t a terrible draft on paper as the Knicks got a couple of assets. 

Frye had a decent rookie season when he average 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, but was traded to Portland after two seasons in the Big Apple in the Zach Randolph deal.

Lee is the only Knicks draft pick to make an All-Star team this century. He spent five seasons in the Big Apple and became a very productive player, his best season coming in 2010 when he averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds.

Thompson played two unproductive seasons in the NBA, none with the Knicks as he was part of a draft day trade that sent Kurt Thomas to Phoenix for Quentin Richardson and Nate Robinson.

2006: Renaldo Balkman, South Carolina (20th); Mardy Collins, Temple (29th)

How could anyone forget this failed draft? This was Isiah Thomas at his best, especially since Rajon Rondo went with the very next pick after Balkman and Kyle Lowry was also still on the board.

Balkman played four seasons in a Knicks uniform in two different stops and never averaged more than the 4.9 points per game he did as a rookie.

Collins played 2.5 seasons in New York and never average more than the 4.5 points he did as a rookie.

With a pair of first round picks in his pocket, Thomas struck out swinging on both. This draft is one that sticks with me when you look at the Knicks recent failures.

2007:  Wilson Chandler, DePaul (23rd)

No complaints here as Chandler became one of my favorite Knicks until he was dealt in the Carmelo Anthony trade.

2008: Danilo Gallinari, Italy (6th)

Two good picks in a row and without them, the Knicks wouldn’t have Anthony right now. As painful as it was to see Gallinari and Chandler go, it was nice to see two draft picks that were NBA players. Gallinari reminded Knicks fans of how good he was when the dropped 37 on the Knicks and severely outplayed Melo in a Denver win at the Garden in January.

2009: Jordan Hill, Arizona (8th)

Well the streak of  two good first round draft picks ended in a big way when the Knicks took Hill with the eighth overall pick in 2009. The very next two picks were DeMar DeRozan and Brandon Jennings.

Hill played 24 games as a Knick and averaged 4.0 points per game before being dealt to Houston in the Tracy McGrady deal that ultimately cost the club their first round pick this season which ultimately turned out to be Royce White, who has a chance to be a very good NBA player.

2010: Andy Rautins, Syracuse (38th); Landry Fields, Stanford (39th)

Rautins did nothing, but Fields has turned into a nice player. Considering where the Knicks were picking, to come out with a player that started 143 of 148 games in the second round is a very good value pick.

Rautins on the other hand has appeared in a total of five NBA games, playing a grand total of 24 minutes.

2011: Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech (17th)

The Knicks did well with Shumpert who as a rookie became an outstanding defensive guard. Hopefully his knee recovers fully as Shumpert is slated to be the starting 2-guard for a long time.

2012: Kostas Papanikolaou, Greece (48th)

This guy is talented and although Knicks fans would have rather hoped to hear a name called out that could contribute right away, but while Papanikolaou won’t be coming to the NBA for a couple of seasons, hopefully the Knicks can finally hit on one of these foreign-born players.