The most recent draft class for the New York Knicks provided a top-10 pick and the potential steal of the process.
The 2018 NBA Draft placed the New York Knicks in the top 10 for the second consecutive season. They fell out of the Luka Doncic and Deandre Ayton range, but landed high enough to select an impact player, or one with potential to become that.
The Knicks also had a second-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder, which was acquired in the 2017 Carmelo Anthony trade.
These players impacted the most recent New York team, which went 17-65 in the 2018-19 season, but they have the upside to become key contributors for the next five to 10 years.
Slash Line: .370/.343/.717
Career Averages: 12.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.7 3PM
Kentucky always sends out one-and-done prospects under head coach John Calipari. Kevin Knox became the latest in the 2018 NBA Draft, which Shai Gilgeous-Alexander joined him in just a few picks later.
The rookie campaign was a struggle at times for Knox. His December was terrific, with over 17 points and 40 percent shooting to earn that month’s Rookie of the Month award. The rest of the way was difficult, given his sub-40 percent mark from the field and below 35 percent on three-pointers. Defense was hardly a strong suit, either, which questioned the 19 year old’s overall impact.
There is room to grow, though, given Knox’s age. He also contributed to a team that went through an 18-game losing streak and lost more often than not, otherwise.
On a superior roster, maybe that changes, as soon as the 2019-20 season. Knox needs his own development at both ends of the court, but working this offseason with head coach David Fizdale should help that.
Slash Line: .694/.000/.600
Career Averages: 7.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2.4 BPG
From no college to the 36th pick of the second round, the Knicks snagged Mitchell Robinson and seemingly had a project on their hands. While arguably still the case, the results in Year One went far beyond anyone’s expectations.
Robinson became a shot-blocking machine after frontcourt depth cleared up. From Enes Kanter‘s departure to opening minutes by design, the former Western Kentucky commit stepped up, with tutelage from DeAndre Jordan, and excelled.
Robinson had a stint of 3.0 blocks per game at one point, along with more control of his foul troubles. That led to his impressive 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks to make the All-NBA Rookie Second Team for 2018-19.
This is perhaps the most exciting and intriguing player remaining on the roster. If Robinson continues his foul control and grows his offensive repertoire, which was limited to just alley-oops as a rookie, the sky’s the limit.
That concludes the modern-day retrospective on New York Knicks draft classes. The next look-backs will evaluate this organization’s older classes, featuring Basketball Hall of Fame talents.