New York Knicks: Five best NBA Draft prospects in 2019 Final Four

Texas Tech Jarrett Culver (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Texas Tech Jarrett Culver (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
New York Knicks Auburn Austin Wiley (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Auburn Austin Wiley (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Without Duke’s star trio, a different group of NBA talents will take over the Final Four and be players for the New York Knicks to follow.

The New York Knicks have just four games left on the 2018-19 schedule, which means the 2019 NBA Draft is close. With just 10 weeks left, the preparation will increase, along with the anticipated draft lottery on Tuesday, May 14.

In the meantime, college basketball games remain on the calendar — three to be exact. It’s the 2019 Men’s Final Four. No, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish will not be part of it, and that will disappoint some basketball fans.

However, this Final Four is not without talent, as Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Virginia bring quality players to the forefront for high-pressure games and a chance at holding up the National Championship by Monday, April 8.

Which potential draft targets are worth eyeing for the Knicks, however? Let’s take a look:

5. Austin Wiley, Auburn

Age: 20
Height, Weight: 6-foot-11, 260 pounds
Slash Line: .568/.000/.571
Season Averages: 7.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.1 APG, 0.2 SPG, 1.2 BPG

Austin Wiley is hardly the most-known Auburn player, and he sat the entire 2017-18 season due to suspension after a promising freshman year. So while head coach Bruce Pearl only gave the junior center a reserve role, he still made the most of it.

In just over 13 minutes per game, Wiley had 7.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. His Per 40 Minutes numbers are 21.6 points, 12.6 rebounds and 3.7 blocks, so there is underlying potential as an NBA big man.

A 7-foot-4 wingspan plays in Wiley’s favor as a rim protector, which should allow him to stick as a rotational big, pending a professional team takes a chance. That would probably happen in the second round.

No sign of an outside game puts Wiley behind, as well as staying in school for a third consecutive season. Even at age 20, it’s still “older” for a draft pick, when most of them are 18 or 19 years old.

Either way, Wiley can at least carve a summer league role, translate that into a G League spot and play onto an NBA team’s roster. The talent is there, and the Final Four is an intriguing spotlight for him.