Realistically redrafting the Knicks’ last ten first round picks.
The New York Knicks have made a multitude of bad draft picks over the years and have missed out on some future stars in the process. While it is fair to criticize the team for missing out on some particular prospects, it’s hard to get on them them for passing on a player whose draft projection was significantly below where they picked in a given draft.
Most re-drafts are meant to entertain audiences and are far from realistic. They are often used to condemn front offices for missing out on slept-on prospects, who most teams originally passed on because of various concerns that seemed valid at the time.
There is also a consideration for team fit and team need. It is easy to criticize a team for not taking a player, but the organization might have already had a player on the roster with a similar skill set to the player they passed on. Some players come into the league as long-term projects when the team who passed on them needed win-now prospects to propel them into the playoff picture.
Although this does not justify most of the Knicks’ draft blunders, it surely explains some of their picks in the last ten NBA drafts, spanning from the Isiah Thomas era to the Steve Mills era.
Players, for a large part, are a product of the culture, development, and patience of the team who drafted them. There is no guarantee that the players in this re-draft would have replicated their success playing for the Knicks, but it is interesting to ponder.
Let’s go through each first round pick made by the Knicks over the past ten years and see how we would have drafted differently, while still considering what was known at the time.