New York Knicks: Five options at center in 2020 NBA Draft

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New York Knicks

Potential New York Knicks target Vernon Carey Jr. #1 of the Duke Blue Devils goes after a loose ball against Juwan Durham #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 15, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Vernon Carey Jr., Duke Blue Devils

Working under the assumption that Mitchell Robinson is going to be the full-time starter in 2020-21, the New York Knicks will need depth. One option could be to find a carbon copy in terms of style of play, but another may be to pursue a more dynamic offensive player.

If that proves to the goal, then former Duke Blue Devils center Vernon Carey Jr. may be a player worth giving serious consideration to in Round 2 or at the tail-end of Round 1.

Carey has traditional skills in that he can play inside, crash the boards, and operate as a rim protector. In 2019-20, he posted averages of 28.6 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.1 steals per 40 minutes—for a Duke team that went 25-6.

Beyond the numbers, however, is a player who needs time, but is progressively becoming a center who can meet the modern standards for execution on the offensive end of the floor.

Carey has displayed range on his jump shot, albeit with the need for time and development. His bread and butter is playing inside and working through contact, but he made eight three-point field goals and seems willing and able to add more volume to his tally.

If the Knicks believe that Carey can provide balance at the center position, he’s a long-term project worth investing in. In the end, he could be a high-level 5.

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