Knicks Draft: A scout and non-believer talk Aleksej Pokusevski

New York Knicks draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
New York Knicks draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
New York Knicks draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Aleksej Pokusevski might be an intriguing lottery option for the New York Knicks.

The NBA lottery is finally approaching. The New York Knicks will learn their draft pick fate on August 20. Where the ping pong balls land will obviously dictate who they are able to target as their next young hope. But could an unfamiliar name in Aleksej Pokusevski become the answer to their problems?

I’m typically pretty confident when it comes to my familiarity with NBA Draft prospects. I’ve been obsessed since a young age and can’t get enough scouting videos and big boards and mocks. So you can imagine my consternation when not too long ago I pulled up Twitter to find an unfamiliar four-letter name all over my timeline. P-O-K-U.  My first thought was, ‘What’s a Poku?” and my second was, “Oh, okay, just Twitter twittering.”  You know, gotta be unique, gotta hype up the guy no one else knows, What, you never heard of Poku? Couldn’t be me… 

Then I started seeing him – Aleksej Pokusevski – creep into some mocked second rounds. Then some firsts. Then YouTube videos, social media clips…everywhere I turned: POKU!

I wrote an article a few weeks ago about Knicks’ draft targets, and to assist with prospect analysis, I enlisted the help of my go-to scout: Stepien contributor and former Draft Consultant to the Phoenix Suns, Spencer Pearlman. At the end of that article, I posed the question: if the Knicks are picking in the 6-10 range on draft night, which of these seven prospects would you take?  After humoring me for a few lines, he gave the answer that was in his heart: “The one I’m taking is Aleksej Pokusevski.”

POKU??? He wasn’t even on the list! Was never a consideration of mine. At the time, I think the highest I’d seen him mocked was mid-to-late 20s. I couldn’t believe that a player whose name I’d only just learned was worthy of a Top-10 pick, and I’m still not sold. Which is why I’ve invited Spencer back to educate me.