New York Knicks: Projecting rookie impact of top 2019 NBA Draft targets

(Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Texas Tech Jarrett Culver (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Texas Tech Jarrett Culver (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks can land no lower than fifth in the draft lottery, so what kind of impact can they receive from some of the top prospects?

The 2019 NBA Draft is around the corner, and the New York Knicks will own a top pick. Where it slots will arrive on Tuesday, when 14 teams are summoned to Chicago, IL for the lottery, under a new odds system that trims the chance to land the first overall selection.

There are a handful of standout talents from the 2019 class, but once the draft ends, the attention will focus on their offseason development into rookies for the 2019-20 NBA season. Expectations will be high for some, especially those in the top five.

Transitioning to a higher level of basketball takes time. Some players never do. For the top five of this summer’s class, there is a chance for all of them to make their mark immediately and avoid falling out fast.

Impact not only ranges to the Knicks, but anyone that lands these top five players of the 2019 NBA Draft:

5. Jarrett Culver

Age: 20
Height, Weight: 6-foot-5, 195 pounds
Slash Line: .461/.304/.707
Season Averages: 18.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.6 BPG, 1.3 3PM

Texas Tech went under the radar and found its way into the 2019 Men’s National Championship Game as a No. 3 seed. They were not the exciting Duke Blue Devils or the popular North Carolina Tar Heels, but a defensive-minded team that was led by Jarrett Culver.

Culver’s overall stat line looks promising. He hit three-pointers, rebounded well and dished a few assists, almost as a combo guard. The bread and butter of the sophomore’s game was defense, which he will immediately bring to an NBA team.

At 6-foot-5 and a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Culver will become a piece at the other end of the floor for an NBA team to use. Maybe just as a role player in his rookie season, but he can transition with the most comfortable aspect of a game that pushed the Red Raiders forward.

While Culver averaged 18.5 points, his shooting percentages took a hit from Year One to Year Two, including just 30.4 percent on three-pointers. It could have been a result of taking a larger role, something that will diminish with any team that drafts him.

Does that mean Culver’s offensive numbers are troublesome at first? Potentially, especially as the NBA drifts beyond the arc. He can make three-pointers, but on a bad team that might take years to develop, whether it’s the New York Knicks or the Chicago Bulls, it might mean taking too many to compensate for a lacking group.

Overall, Culver’s numbers could grade out around 43 percent shooting for around 10 points and one steal per game. It’s difficult to assess now, but he should make somewhat of an impact in 2019-20.