New York Knicks: Five alternatives to Zion Williamson in 2019 NBA Draft

New York Knicks Jarrett Culver (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Jarrett Culver (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images) /
4 of 5
new york knicks
Murray State Ja Morant (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

2. Ja Morant

Slash Line: .573/.328/.809
Stat Line: 24.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 10.2 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.7 BPG

A stellar sophomore season has Ja Morant in the top five of most NBA media draft boards. Despite playing at mid-major Murray State, he’s arguably this class’s most exciting prospect behind Zion Williamson, due to eye-popping athleticism and the gaudy numbers put up over the past four months.

Doing this in a lower-tier conference could deter Morant slightly, with questions on the talent level he faces. However, guards like Damian Lillard (Weber State) and CJ McCollum (Lehigh) both proved this false over the past seven years, moving on to stellar careers with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Otherwise, there’s plenty to like with Morant, who’s a terrific athlete at point guard, has decent size at 6-foot-3 and the wingspan to defend the position. Dishing the basketball is no issue, either, with a double-digit assist average.

Outside shooting may set Morant’s stock back, given the current 32.8 percent mark. The other parts of his game should compensate for that, though, for the rest of this season and into the draft process.

On the New York Knicks, Morant would mark the latest “point guard of the future.” They had this in Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay for a moment and now Dennis Smith Jr., who’s under contract for two more seasons.

If the Knicks are not content with that trio, Morant can be their pick, but only if before the Phoenix Suns, who sorely need a point guard. Would the New York front office spend another roster spot on a young distributor with needs across the 15-man group?