Re-draft of the 2017 NBA Draft for the Knicks: Donovan Mitchell
Knicks pick: 1st Round, Pick 8
Actual player selected: Frank Ntilikina
Donovan Mitchell (selected 13th overall) was projected to be a late lottery pick to mid-first-rounder before the 2017 draft, but there were reports that Phil Jackson liked Mitchell at eighth overall. It may have been a reach, but it was justifiable if the Knicks were not sold on Dennis Smith Jr, Frank Ntilikina, or Malik Monk.
Surprisingly, all three of those players were available for the Knicks when it was their turn to pick. Dennis Smith Jr and Malik Monk had the hype and support of Knicks fans, while Frank Ntilikina was an “ideal” fit for the triangle offense. It may have been tough to sell the other Knicks executives on taking the fourth rated guard on the board, but the Knicks should have.
Dennis Smith Jr, Malik Monk, and Frank Ntilikina were not slam dunk picks, and all had flaws. These flaws are evident today as Dennis Smith Jr. has battled various injuries, Monk has been inconsistent and streaky, and Frank Ntilikina has struggled on the offensive side of the ball. Donovan is a rising star and is one of the most entertaining players to watch today.
It is tough to say that the Knicks should have taken Mitchell when given their situation. Multiple teams passed on him, and the Denver Nuggets traded him. However, since the Knicks considered taking him at the time, he is the pick for the re-draft.